Laurier West neighborhood is a perfect microcosm of what the city of Montreal has to offer; a diverse mix of food, shopping, culture and language. Residential streets serving vibrant communities thread together the major streets which intersect with each other to create a local and international commercial marketplace. With an active website and social media presence, the community is connected all the way from the sidewalk to the screen. It is an area of the city where information is readily available. However, when road construction threatened the prosperous community culture, the City of Montreal sought to help people in the neighborhood understand what was going on, while encouraging them to enjoy the area nonetheless with a playful and informative addition on the streets.
SESQUI is one of the cornerstone celebrations in honor of Canada's 150th anniversary. SESQUI brings together technical innovation and art in a multi-faceted celebration of Canada’s heritage, landscape and people. Réalisations is proud to have been a part of SESQUI’s 360 Technical Innovation Team, providing expertise and support for their 360° film, HORIZON.
HORIZON embarks on a nationwide tour, visiting planetariums throughout the country before launching a “pop-up” tour in June 2017. During this mobile tour, the SESQUI inflatable dome theatre will bring HORIZON to the doorsteps of seven Ontario communities.
Réalisations provided expertise and created fundamental equipment to help bring the concept of a travelling 360° film into reality. The result is the HORIZON 360° Cinematic Dome Tour. HORIZON is shot using a variety of cameras, mounted on custom rigs. The film is then projected inside the SESQUI dome from eight projectors, using the newest cutting-edge technology to enable a standardized viewing experience for each stop along the mobile tour.
FILMING: Realizing Canada in 360°
Réalisations provided support for the filming of HORIZON by designing, testing and constructing two separate camera rigs along with the help of our fellow collaborators, without which the end result would not have been possible. The first rig holds five SLR Canon cameras which shoot time-lapse; the second rig holds 3 RED Dragon 6K video cameras. Because the film is projected in a 360° dome, the film needed to be shot in extremely high resolution, otherwise the image quality would deteriorate when blown up for viewing.
Furthermore, the placement of the individual cameras on the rigs needed to be painstakingly calculated since any discrepancies in alignment would be detrimental to the success of the film’s projections inside the dome.
Finally, this project required that the rigs be road-ready; lightweight enough to be mounted to a variety of vehicles for land and aerial shots, yet durable. The rigs were used to shoot footage from ninety different locations across all thirteen provinces and territories, and needed to be able to withstand every extreme of these climates. These custom-built rigs help bring the film’s mandate to life; “a 360° cinematic journey across Canada, and a visual symphony that celebrates the people, landscapes and freedoms that make Canada home”.
Réalisations, and five other Montreal interactive multimedia and lighting companies were brought together under the leadership of Moment Factory, to help realize “Living Connections”- the lighting of the Jacques Cartier Bridge. Réalisations came up with the idea of using big data as a modulator of the lighting system, as well as creating the programming and software- “SENS.ei Data”- and support thereof to make this a reality.
The custom software behind the world’s smartest bridge
For every particle of light on the bridge, there is a specific piece of data determining how it is expressed (what color it is, how bright it is, what direction it moves in, where it appears on the structure etc). The lighting patterns on the Jacques Cartier Bridge are meticulously informed by big data gathered by Réalisations' software SENS.ei Data in real time, and will never be random.
Réalisations is responsible for developing SENS.ei Data specifically for this project- a custom software that collects, monitors and harmonizes data from various sources; sensors, weather station, microphones, radars, press reports, social media and cameras pointed to the sky. The data is then broken into various categories and subcategories, all of which feed the lighting of the Jacques Cartier Bridge. SENS.ei Data sustains the spirit of Montrealers within “Living Connections”, to ensure that over the next ten years, no two days on the bridge are the same.
The Observatoire de la circulation de l'information (OCI) is participating in this innovative project.
How data from SENS.ei Data is expressed in light
The interior lighting network is predetermined; it expresses color based on the season. The hue changes slightly each day, so that over the course of a year the interior lighting of the bridge serves as a 365-colour chromatic calendar; whereas the exterior lighting network beats to the pulse of Montreal’s data stream. The external side lighting reflects Montreal’s day-to-day energy based on a multitude of data collected from SENS.ei Data. Various types of big data inform the speed, intensity and arrangement of lighting over the course of the day. The collection and integration of media data is what makes each day on the bridge completely unique.
SENS.ei Data collects information from traffic radars, bike sensors, microphones plus cameras monitoring the color of the sky, and integrates reports from OCI sourced across social media and online news through the tracking of various keywords and hashtags. There are two main components of how this vast range of data is expressed; during the “Hourly Show” and in the “Ambient” phase of the bridge’s day.
Lasting approximately five minutes, every hour (between sunset and 3 am) the bridge will perform a recap of data collected throughout the day. The show consists of four main acts; weather, traffic, media and mood bookended with a brief intro and outro. Particles of light express data from each category in a unique way.
* media categories: environment (green), technology (light blue), business (yellow), society (red), art (purple), institutions (pink), sports (dark blue)
Ambient Show (Pulse of #Montreal)
The ambient show serves as the foundation for the lighting on the Jacques Cartier Bridge, this is what Montrealers will be seeing for most the time that the bridge is “awake”. In this phase, the vitality of Montreal is monitored on social media. For each Tweet using one of the preselected hashtags (#MTL, #MTLMoments, #IlluminationMTL, #Montréal, #Montreal, #375MTL) a particle of light will descend from the turrets atop the bridge. The characteristics of these light particles will depend on various engagement with the tweet; color is determined by which hashtag is used and can reflect the sky color of the day, the amount of likes the tweet receives will inform the length of the particle, and the amount of retweets will determine how fast it moves. On a day when the city is abuzz with local news such as a Habs victory, a public event, bizarre weather or a big piece of news, these pulses of light will create an excited energy on the bridge. A quieter day will show less activity, and reflect the calm of the city.