[This is a reposting of the original blog post on Better Letters.]
Since 1996 Las Vegas’ Neon Museum has put the city’s decommissioned signage on display in its ‘bone yard’ exhibit. It was already a ‘must visit’ lettering location but has now been boosted by an innovative treatment of the historic pieces found there. Craig Winslow, the man behind the Light Capsules approach to restoring ghost signs, has been at work recreating the iconic signs, bulb by bulb, to develop Brilliant, a new immersive audio-visual installation.
To create the projections, Winslow took a combination of flat photography, drone video, and 3-D photogrammetry, all used as references to recreate each sign in Adobe Illustrator. He then used a process called structured light scanning to obtain a precise view of the projectors’ output, before fine-tune warping the content to perfectly align to the actual surfaces — the bulbs, bent metal and broken neon tubes of the signs in the gallery. This process, known as projection mapping, aligns digital animations to the physical world, allowing signs that have not been illuminated for decades to shine once again.
The approach is vastly cost-efficient versus full-scale restorations of the signs and is yet another innovative application of projection mapping by Craig Winslow. Tours of Brilliant can be booked every day except Tuesday at the alloted times of 6, 7, 8 and 9pm. Visit the website to book.