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V Squared Labs Awes With Groundbreaking StarCraft II Projection Mapped Stage for the World Champion Series at BlizzCon 2014

V Squared Labs, the Los Angeles based leading visual arts studio was recently commissioned by Blizzard Entertainment to produce the larger-than-life eSports stage for the World Championship of StarCraft II at this year's BlizzCon Conference. Standing at an incredible 130ft wide x 40ft tall the V Squared Labs team completed an astounding 3-D projection mapped stage creation at the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. Twenty-four 26K projectors running over 624,000 lumens helped make this the second largest projection mapped stage of its kind in the e-sports field with the number one highest pixel count.

The goal of the animation was to immerse the audience in new worlds inspired by the existing lore from the maps and races. The illusion created by re-projecting these virtual scenes onto the dynamic set were so convincing that the audience at moments became unable to distinguish the virtual from the physical reality. The set was built and installed by Stage House in Las Vegas whose team truly helped make this design a reality.

Projection geometry was designed to frame and highlight the stage elements as well as to reflect and incorporate the StarCraft II game aesthetic. The wrapping of two booth windows, two front stairs and three screens, made the structure completely continuous allowing for fluid animation transitions. To enhance the live experience, Every surface was rigorously kept at 45 degree angles for build convenience, projection purposes, and to mirror the isometric viewing style of the game itself. The set topology was inspired from StarCraft II user interface elements, in-game architecture, and the various animations that were projected onto the set. Several iterations and styles of set geometry were explored and finessed over a span of 6 weeks before settling on a final design for animation.

The stage was designed to enhance and amplify StarCraft II gameplay and architectural styles. The animation design incorporated game assets with original 3D models created by V Squared Labs. Each of these race looks also had a unique victory sequence that overtook the losing players side of the set. The player and display booths were positioned at a height that visually exemplified their epic reputations giving the arena audience an encompassing cinematic experience.

BLIZZCON – Starcraft 2 Stage
Client: Blizzard Entertainment
Blizzard Lead Producer: Steve Parker
Blizzard Game Producers: Elisha Cabrera, Tony Hsu, Tim Morten and Jennifer Owings
Blizzard Program Managers: Tyler Rosen and Adam Rosen
VSL Director: Vello Virkhaus
VSL Producer: Andi Perez
VSL Production Design: Amanda Hamilton
VSL System Programming and Live Visualist: Keith Lostracco
VSL Technical Production and Live Visual Support: Evan Pierre
VSL Lead Animators: Carlo Sa and Aaron Kaminar
VSL Animators: Benjamin Budzak, Ofer Zmora, Jordan Halsey, Steven Gagne, Jordan Montreuil, and Richard Powell
VSL Junior Animators: Art Perez, Alec Maassen, Jordan Montreuil and Sankara Souvignon
VSL 3D Modelers: Tyler Russo and Aaron Coleman-Hayes
Event Production: Yellow Light Live
YLL Technical Director: Pete Emminger
YLL Stage Director: Curtis Anderson
YLL Event Planner: Matt Hicks
Broadcast Production: ELS
Video and Lighting Creative Technologies
CT Project Manager Ethan Pico
Lighting Programmer: Cat West
Set Fabrication and Engineering: Stage House, Las Vegas
SHLV Director: Tony Lamecker
SHLV Project Manager: Robin Hayden
Rigging: Dan Morehouse
Decking: Accurate Staging
Photography: Carlos Gonzales
Video Documentation: Carlo Sa, Art Perez, Amanda Hamilton and Jessar Nygard (time lapse)