Marc Melzer, Director of Media Arts Obscura Digital
Mark Stasiuk, VFX Supervisor Fusion CI Studios
Mike Mazza, Lead Designer Salesforce
John Zissimos, Chief Creative Officer Salesforce
Beau Bouverat, Film Director Salesforce
J.D. Swartz, VP General Manager Creative and Digital Salesforce
Katie Rinki, Director, Executive Producer Broadcast and Film Salesforce
Taylor Hilficker, Business Manager Salesforce
Salesforce approached Obscura with the opportunity to collaborate and create imaginative media for the 108’-long LED video wall in the lobby of their San Francisco headquarters. The display is the longest continuous 4mm LED screen in America, with over 7 million pixels at 8,000x800 resolution — and there was no commercially-available camera able to shoot at that resolution at the time. And at that size, significant technical wizardry would be required to make the display feel like it was scaled properly, and truly feel like a window into the world rather than just a video.
Salesforce had a lobby that felt lifeless, with a 108'-long LED screen at the ready, and they came to Obscura to bring it to life. Our challenge was to envision and produce work that would transform an otherwise banal passageway into a mesmerizing hyperreal environment.
We wanted to do something artful that wouldn't overwhelm. We wanted to create a conversation starter with inspiring imagery. We utilized a combination of techniques including video, CG graphics, a practical miniature table-top shoot, even an algorithmically-generated animation component to create new non-looping patterns. We also developed specific scenes for morning and night viewing, conveying appropriate moods and energy, driven by a custom-built CMS.
From capturing California’s Redwood National Forest in stunning 12K resolution, to a designing a convincing CG waterwall and more, we held nothing back in striving to impart a sense of wonder to everyone that enters the building.
We worked closely with Salesforce Lead Designer Mike Mazza to develop the general concept and initial ideas, and then we went off to figure out how to execute on them. Obscura's Creative Directors Emmett Feldman and Tim Digulla headed our media team, bouncing ideas and figuring out how to execute them.
To create the waterfall effect, we collaborated with Fusion CI Studios, the LA-based experts in fluid dynamics simulations, and the result was one of highest resolution fluid dynamic renders ever created. The simulation stretched our technical resources employing 50 high-power render nodes over two months to get the job done — that's what you face when a single frame takes 8-12 hours to render.
Obscura has a very strong environmental conscience, and we're proud that this project features the highest resolution video capture of deep old growth redwoods ever shot. Our team took a ridiculous number of 6k red video cameras deep into the redwood forests of Oregon and Northern California to document this verdant ecosystem, and bring the majesty of these magnificent trees into people's day-to-day awareness.
On a humorous note, when the video of this project went viral, the main complaint we got was about how much water we were wasting — that's when we knew we'd done something really special.
Salesforce Video Wall
The Making of the Salesforce Lobby Video Wall
Ari Ali, Producer
Ayumi Ashley, Colorist
Clayton Worfolk, Editor
Ethan Indorf, Director of Photography
Joshua Brott, Director of Photography
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CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.