US BANK TOWER

Skyspace

Immersive Digital interactives

Project Background

Role
Visual Design, Art Direction

Company
OUE, Gensler

Tools
Cinema 4D, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Animate

Team
Project Manager, Visual Designer (Me), Illustrator (External), 3 Developers, Systems Engineer, Lighting Engineer (External)

The US Bank Tower in Los Angeles, the tallest building west of the Mississippi, gives visitors access to some of the most stunning views of LA, but it requires visitors to transfer between elevator banks in order to get to the top. 

To make the transition interesting and entertaining, we created three unique digital installations that gradually expose visitors to the view they will experience from the observation deck at the top of the tower.

Responsibilities — I was lead visual designer and the art director for all three exhibits and created proof of concept 3D models and 2D animations to communicate with the client and development team.

SKYSPACE

360° Landscape

The first experience is the 360° Landscape, a 50’ x 30’ interactive projection-mapped ellipsoid space which surrounds visitors with an abstract representation of the topography of Los Angeles, as rendered from the viewpoint of the tower.

The ellipse also includes a highly-specialized video mode, facilitating playback of custom-produced content at up to 11,520 x 1,200 resolution, synchronized across two separate walls.

Technology — We used Kinect sensor technology to detect presence and proximity of each visitor and based on where they stand, are presented with animated illustrations depicting different locations throughout the LA area.

Attraction — A custom-fabricated railing hides a collection of LEDs which animate in front of visitors as they approach, drawing them toward the projection. Visitors move around the space at their own pace to crack open each gem and uncover playfully-animated graphics for points of interest that are visible from the top floor.

Role — I designed the look and feel for the environment, sourced and art directed the illustration work, and animated the illustrations. To share creative, I built the environment in 3D using Cinema 4D. I also created maps for the placement of the illustrations.

Visualization the Space

Based on Gensler's architectural drawings, I created a rough model of the environment . This helped us get a sense of overall feel of the space before ever seeing it.

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Mapping Landmarks

Once we got a dynamically driven version of the landscape, driven by topographical data provided by the USGS.gov, I was able to estimate the proper scale of the illustrations and get a good distance from the floor for optimal viewing.

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Showing the location of the landmarks and coordinates
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The position of the tower vs. the direction of the landmarks.
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Coordinates layerd over Google Maps and the architecture drawings.

Illustrations

With the client, we established 20 points of interest throughout the Los Angeles area to illustrate and then animate. Using proximity sensors, each image would be triggered when a visitor approached.

Responsibilities — I first, conducted extensive research into each of the points of interest to find inspirational imagery for each location. Then I put together mood boards to guide the amazingly talented Tremendousness Studio to suss out the final style and create the final artwork. I then took their illustrations and animated each one using Adobe Animate. We used the Animate because the output format matched what the development team needed.

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Illustrations by Tremendousness

SKYSPACE

Infinity Mirror

The third installation is a 30′ wall that features an interactive particle system which tracks visitor movement and captures their pose before casting their shape upwards.

Responsibilities — I directed our developer through the use of mock ups and animations built in Adobe After Effects, then tweaked the final parameters to dial in the final look.

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3D Mockups

Pulling inspiration from the shape of the multi-facited crown that sits atop the building itself, I created 3D models to comminicate the design concept to the fabricators and simulated lighting effects to share concepts with stakeholders and lighting engineers.

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SKYSPACE

Reflection Wall

The second installation is a digitally-enhanced infinity mirror that is built into the floor and its shape is designed to mimic the iconic crown at the top of the building. The infinity mirror is lined with animating LEDs which animate based on visitor presence and can be customized to celebrate various themes.

Responsibilities — I created 3D versions of the infinity mirror in Cinema4D to help art direct the lighting and form of the structure.

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Prototyping

I used After Effects to build a crude motion capture mock up of the reflection wall effects. This turned out to be an invaluable tool for communicating with the developer because he was able to build a particle system that was pretty close to final in his first try. He built in tweak-able parameters that I used to finalize the look and feel for final delivery.

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Screnshot of the editing tool I used for the particles

Awards

2016
Horizon Interactive
Award: Gold

HOW Design International Design Awards
Award: Merit Award

 The FWA
Award: The FWA Site of the Day

2012
Event Design Awards
Award: Gold