Blockhouse Studios Brings Columbus History to Life with Immersive Projection Mapping Display
As the Columbus Area Bicentennial Commission looked for ways to celebrate 200 years of legacy and culture in Bartholomew County, IN, they turned to Blockhouse Studios to create an immersive light projection show that would bring the community together. Blockhouse leveraged seven Epson Pro Series laser projectors to create 200 Years Together: Our Stories Illuminated on Fourth Street, celebrating the Bicentennial with visuals that captured the history and culture of the last 200 years.
Watch a video of the project.
“When the Columbus Area Bicentennial Commission came to us with a vision for their illumination event, we knew we could make it special for this unique city,” said Kevin Winkler, owner, Blockhouse Studios. “A lot of details went into the visual art for this store window display to make it unique and offer a historical context, including radios, TVs, and clothing that were manufactured in Columbus from each of the individual eras. Because of this, we knew we needed a projection solution that would provide the advanced resolution needed to reproduce every minute detail and even read text in each of the store windows.”
The immersive show highlighted the city and county’s past, present, and future through projection on the historic Ulrich Building in downtown Columbus, bringing the community together over the course of a two-day celebration. Blockhouse Studios created an intricate and detailed historical story with special moments, from giant, almost 3D-looking images of local figures to a mix of swirling, dancing Cs that are part of the city of Columbus’ brand that appeared to spill out of the building’s windows toward the crowd.
Blockhouse Studios says it approaches events with a unique background in cinematography and created the detailed eight-minute show by filming content using a green screen. The team has experience in film, documentary, music videos, and stop motion animations, which they apply to projection mapping to create engaging and immersive stories.
Watch a behind-the-scenes video of the Columbus Bicentennial.
“We try to create more of a theater-type show on a three-dimensional structure,” continued Winkler. “Additionally, we produce these shows in very high resolution, which requires more projectors than are traditionally used to cover the same amount of space. But the result speaks for itself—it’s an important part of the magic that leaves our audiences questioning how we created it.”
“We were looking for an opportunity to demonstrate the rich history of the Columbus area and connect the community in a safe, unique celebration,” said Tobi Herron, co-chair, Columbus Area Bicentennial. “The creative skills of Blockhouse Studios and the cutting-edge technology they were able to bring to the project were the perfect combination. Their design and technical delivery of the show were a huge hit. They made something our community will be talking about for years to come.”
“We wanted to make this as accessible as possible, and that meant allowing visitors to get close to the building without casting a shadow—which is normally not the case with projection,” continued Winkler. “We were able to do this by getting creative and angling the projectors from across the street, which is another reason we relied so heavily on the brightness and image quality of the Epson Pro L models.”
“Epson’s laser projectors are designed to allow visual professionals to create memorable events, which is exactly what Blockhouse Studios did for the Columbus community,” said Ramzi Shakra, product manager, Epson America, Inc. “As visual artists find new, exciting ways to leverage projectors, we are always delighted to see how Epson’s technology is used to bring people together for a shared experience.”