True Car Interactive Centerpiece - L.E.D.

Every summer the Santa Monica pier becomes a glowing nighttime venue for the Twilight Concert Series, where the ocean front comes alive with lights, music, and a beautiful sunset. During my internship at VT Production Design in 2015 in collaboration with Bradley Munkynutz (Gmunk) and Conor Grebel (Bedtimes) I was able to work on this interactive audio visual experience.

It is a multi-input reactive artistic installation, 15x15 feet wide and towering at 17 feet tall. Inspired by the flowing curve designs of church pipe organs and True Car's curved logo, the Centerpiece is made up of 355 mirrored spires, embedded with a total of 66,000 addressable LEDs.

This was the largest scale project I've ever had the pleasure of working on (literally) with amazing people. It exposed me to TouchDesigner, pixelmaps, 3D previz, interactive LEDs, and interactive animations.


The animation content was defined by 3 types of input: motion, audio, and linear. At times, the centerpiece stood as a passive art piece with our animated content and other times was a reactive life.

The linear content was what I mainly worked on to create a large library of animations through detailed 2D pixel map of the LEDs for a variety of intentional looks that highlighted the installation's form and mood.

For the Gesture Control, laser scanners tracked up to 37 points of multi-touch input per side of the sculpture. For example, using 4 sides of the sculpture we can utilize up to 148 points around it providing an instantaneous and fluid reaction. The scanners would live in small housings on the ground and emit a vertical and horizontal wave field that can cover a space of 25 feet wide by 20 feet tall.

For the audio control we created a live interactive 3D object to control the animation of the sculpture as well as multiple settings and animations for how the audio would drive the reactions. We took a left and right channel audio feed from the concerts main mix and then fed it into a audio interface where we were able to parse all the frequencies of the audio analysis and apply them to reactions to the 3D object.

Bedtimes created a look book of styles for each of the input methods as our guide that can be viewed here.

Behind the Scenes Video

Client: Truecar

Director: GMUNK

Executive Producers: Chris Neff, Dustin Callif

Senior Producer: Jennifer Baker

Production Design: VT Pro Design

Executive Producer: Vartan Tchekmedyian

Creative Director: Michael Fullman

Design Director: Conor Grebel

Centerpiece Designer: Conor Grebel

Centerpiece Touch Designer Lead: Matthew Wachtner

Centerpiece Content Animators: Conor Grebel, Ali Benter, Jordan Ariel, Akiko Yamashita

System Design/Engineering: Harry Souders

Crew Chief/Install lead: Nico Yernazian, Hayk Khanjian

Post Production Company: Digital Twigs

Executive Producer: Mark Cramer

Cinematographer: Andrew Tomayko

Photographer: Bradley G Munkowitz

Editor: Andrew Tomayko

Composer: Keith Ruggiero (SoundsRed)

Audio Mix: Keith Ruggiero (SoundsRed)

Let's shape the Digital Future. I am always up for chatting or collaborating with beautiful minds so feel free to contact me!

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