Signal Festival; Lighting up Prague in October

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By Madison Mahrlig, PYT Intern, Autumn 2019 

If you’re not familiar with Signal Festival, you should definitely head to the centre of Prague and watch as the historical town you know gets transformed into a lighting, video mapping and art installation of its own.  Signal Festival is celebrating its seventh year taking the streets of Prague. Here is all you need to know to enjoy all the sights and make the most out of the festival.

The Festival takes place from the 10th-13th of October from 19.00- 24.00.  This year the theme of the Signal Festival is revolution taking a look back at some historical events including the fall of the Berlin wall, the Velvet revolution and the end of the Iron curtain.

There are three different routes or locations that these art installations are in including: Malá Strana, Old Town and Karlín.  You can even sign up to go on walking tours where you can learn more about the instillation and those who created them on Sunday 13.10 tickets can be bought here.

Most of the instillation are free but if you want to enjoy the whole experience you can buy a Signal pass. The Signal pass which gets you into 6 Gallery zones and the 3D video mapping exhibition costs 250 CZK. Be sure to take advantage of their 50 CZK discount for kids ages 6-15 and seniors.  Kids 6 and under are free. Tickets can be bought here.

Photo Via: HannahP_92

If you’re curious as to how video mapping and these lights work to create these marvellous instillation worry no more!  Projections are used to turn objects into displays. Seems easy right? The process is a lot more complicated than you would think. There are many different techniques and methods of program mapping but here is just one way to do it for a better insight when you’re out enjoying the sights.

In order to program and create the projections you need to spatially map out the object you are projecting on into a software program.  So in order to project on the astronomical clock you need to digitally create the building in the software will all of its dimensions. The hardest part of getting the projections to look just right is to map out the corners of the video to the surface.  This meaning, to make sure the video covers the full surface of the image and exactly how much you want it to cover. There are many factors that go into this to determine the outlook including the positioning and coordinates of the projector. Once you’ve done this you can work in the software to create illusions and displays that you can then bring to life.

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The very first projection to ever appear on a 3D object in public was in 1969 on The Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. Since then video and projection mapping has come a long way.  If you don’t believe me go check it out for yourself.

Signal Festival

Thursday 10th – Saturday 13th October 2019

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