Named by Conde Nast Traveler magazine as one of seven architectural wonders, the Kogod Courtyard recently served as the stage for a stunning projection-mapped visual spectacular for a private event in Washington, DC. The venue houses the Smithsonian’s famous National Portrait Gallery, which tells the history of America through individuals who have shaped its culture. With its impressive architecture, it was the perfect backdrop to portray innovation and tradition coming together in a celebration of dazzling lights and 3D imagery depicting the evolution of medical technology.

Pixel Density, the show’s video consultant and design engineer, selected Barco’s HDF-W26 large-venue projectors as the ideal solution because of their precise luminosity, high reliability and fast deployment. “We knew that we could get more and larger pixels with the Barco projectors to create ultra-realistic imagery on this giant, multi-faceted canvas,” comments Justin Sykes, Principal at Pixel Density Design, Inc.  “They also fit perfectly into our workflow, integrating with our custom software and media servers so we could seamlessly transform the walls of the courtyard from every angle. The other great thing about Barco projectors is their ability to work flawlessly in portrait mode!” 

With just two days for installation, the company knew they could rely on Barco to meet their tight turnaround for the show, a situation that Pixel Density frequently faces with live events. “We know all the tips and tricks to do it fast, and do it right,” continued Sykes. Fourteen projectors were hung in an array, strategically avoiding trees, support columns and vertical vents that could disrupt the image area with some creative masking. “The technology has to be so good that you don’t see it!”

The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery tells the history of America through individuals who have shaped its culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists whose lives tell the American story.