Bart Kresa, one of the world’s preeminent projection designers, is used to working with massive architecture and spaces. But this month, his team of international artists has transformed their 1,200-square-foot studio into an immersive augmented reality. The result is both a showcase for visiting international clients and a real-life working space for conference calls and story boarding between Kresa and his global design teams in the U.S., Poland and Japan.
With just the press of a computer button (plus seven Christie digital projectors producing up to 50,000 lumens), the offices of BARTKRESA design transform into an explosion of color and movement that envelops the viewer within a host of amazing 360-degree virtual environments, all painstakingly mapped to the specifications of the studio space.
From a sedate underwater world, the viewer is transported to inside a cavern, vibrant with color and texture. Just as one gets used to this space, the imagery suddenly changes to floating islands in the night sky until a Chinese dragon with nostrils flaring and eyes popping jolts one out of any sense of calm. And on it goes — world after world appears, one more fantastical than the next.
“To me, the studio is now a parallel world to my life,” Kresa says. “The real world runs down one track, and on the other, this virtual world. In this office space, the two come together; to create a creative mesh of augmented reality. When people enter, there are no helmets between them and the experience. They all share it. The fantasy becomes the reality.”
And reality for Kresa is creating fantasy. He and his team design and produce award-winning large-scale projection projects in India, Japan, Dubai, the United States and Canada. recent shows have included a seven-minute 3-D stereoscopic immersive experience in Mumbai at the PALM Expo; a dreamy, beautiful six-hour show mapped to the façade of India’s Umaid Bhawan Palace; and a fiery tribal world that included live-action animation, on the backlot of Warner Bros.