Salesforce Lobby Video Wall

Submitted by Obscura Digital

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Client: Salesforce

Location: San Francisco, CA, United States

Completion date: 2016

Project Team

Artist

Emmett Feldman, Senior Art Director

Obscura Digital

Artist

Marc Melzer, Director of Media Arts

Obscura Digital

Artist

Mark Stasiuk, VFX Supervisor

Fusion CI Studios

Client

Mike Mazza, Lead Designer

Salesforce

Artist

Lauren Millar, Executive Creative

Fusion CI Studios

Client

Beau Bouverat, Film Director

Salesforce

Client

J.D. Swartz, VP General Manager Creative and Digital

Salesforce

Client

Katie Rinki, Director, Executive Producer Broadcast and Film

Salesforce

Client

Taylor Hilficker, Business Manager

Salesforce

Overview

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 8,000×800 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.

Goals

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.

Process

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.

Additional Information

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.