• Jonathan Brigden

Gauzes, Films and TOLEDs

What on earth is all that about then? Here at Studio Giggle, we specialise in the really interesting space where creative and technology meet. We always being asked for the latest ways of presenting content in surprising ways. We are currently deep in the R&D phase of a large installation project that you will hear all about in 2021. Nick Diacre - our kind of in house visual engineering wizard - and I went on a bit of a fact-finding mission / jolly to ISE (or the less glamorously named Integrated Systems Europe) in Amsterdam. Obviously we can't tell you about our secret squirrel project but we thought we'd share all the things we found on our trip.


The welcome 'hologram' to the conference.

We were there with a laser-focused approach (and yes there were lots of lasers there too which made Nick and I childishly excited).


We were specifically looking at the latest developments in 'holographic' presentation and the shortest of short-throw projectors. There are now a few different ways of producing holographic style images.


We have worked with 'Musion' in the past which is a commercial version of Pepper's Ghost. More recently we have worked with our studio mates Holotronica and their amazing Hologauze product.


Short throw projectors and Novaline's 'black' gauze

This new project is pushing us and the technology to the absolute limits of what can be achieved in the smallest of spaces. We need to present content that is at the limits of any projectors focal length. The physics of the light play is complex and the prospect of blending projectors in a very short distance, daunting.


We are also interested in all the different 'film' products that are out there. These are transparent or semi transparent films that are applied to glass or plexiglass that effectively stop the projected light. We were able to see all the products from companies like Ad Window, Toppan and Invisiscreen in various forms. There was also a Hologauze 'rival' that was rather nice...the blacker than black Novaline screen, (careful or Anish Kapoor will get litigious on yo ass).

Invisiscreen on the Optoma stand

Next came all the projectors stands: Barco, Christie, Panasonic, Maxwell, Benq, Optoma, Epsom, I'm sure I've left one out. They all have ultra short throw lenses (UST) as part of their line up (if you'll parden the pun - projectionist Dad joke alert). Some UST lenses are like periscopes, some like elephant trunks, some tiny, some massive. There was a large array to see under one roof.


Finally, we went around to the plethora of stands that were showing off variants of TOLED or 'GhostLED' screens. These are typically 55" screens that are in essence flat OLED screens with all the gubbins stripped away leaving only the glass and the LED. All the processing is in a box at the bottom of the screen. So you can, in essence, see through the screen to whatever is behind.


GhostLED or TOLED. Four of them in a frame.

LG is the only company that makes this product and due to the Coronavirus outbreak did not attend the show, the massive footprint of their stand now covered with street food vendors. Coronavirus didn't deter us though (we're fine, thanks for asking!).


What other vendors are doing, however, is buying the screens (a cool £20,000 per screen) and creating their own versions. These bits of kit are wonderful and you can do some amazing things with them. They are extremely fragile though and apparently 40% or so fail in the manufacture process.

We went a little bit silly for this tiny computer from ZOTAC

One of our favourite finds of the trip was an affordable motion capture suit 'NOITOM' or 'motion' backwards. See what they did there? We are using a lot of movement and dance in our projects at the moment, and suits like this allow us to capture the movement from the dancers. We can for example take the data from the suit and make new characters that dance with the grace of a human. This really opens up things for us.


Whilst this trip didn't necessarily reveal anything particularly new, it has solidified our approach for this project and we are going to test a lot of this tech during an R&D week next month. So if you are interested in the findings of our project please watch this space...we will be publishing the results here in time.


In the meantime, check out this massive LED head with various different curved panels of LED. Please excuse the filming quality...we hire camera operators for a reason...