Wonderwall

// Projects > Wonderwall (2017, PC / Bespoke Hardware)

The Brief

We were asked to produce a digital version of the pin impression art you often see in novelty shops with people's indented hands or faces for a large conference in Barcelona. Content was to include text, images and video playback.

The target resolution was 10944x1920 pixels at 50FPS to be displayed on a 30x6m 2.5mm LED display - ambitious! At this point we had the option of using multiple PCs to drive this display, or just one. Previous experience gave us confidence that one machine would be able to push enough pixels, especially with SLI and GPUs such as NVIDIA Titans being prevalent.

The Development

The uniform nature of the pins (or cylinders as we treated them) allowed us to consider several different rendering techniques including various forms of geometry instancing, but in the end by far the best results were achieved using real-time ray tracing.

Initially we didn't know if 10944x1920 at 50hz with a real-time ray tracing solution was obtainable but after investigation and considerable optimisation we achieved some results we were very happy with.

Wonderwall

The Results

Our real-time ray tracing solution meant that no actualy geometry was required to render the pin wall, it was all generated mathematically. This gave us the advantages of absolutly no polygon edges, per-pixel lighting, ambient occlusion and shadowing. Also, most of the rendering code was held in a single pixel shader (approaching 1000 lines!) allowing quick iteration of changes.

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