WORK IN PROGRESS – IMAGES AND VIDEOS COMING SOON
There’s a new museum in Italy!
The new venue for the Collezione Salce archive recently opened in Treviso.
It’s a huge collection of more than 50000 vintage posters and billboards, coming from the end of the 1800 and up to the 70s, stored both physically and in a digital archive.
Visiting the newly renewed Santa Margherita former church, you can find three installations that me and my colleagues designed for this institution. All three of them are built with, or strongly rely on, TouchDesigner to work, and the same software is used to coordinate and manage all the different hardware and software solutions.
Davide Santini – TouchDesigner programming, graphics
Andrea Spontoni – Max programming, audio
En&COM in the person of Gregorio Mastrangelo – Project manager, concept design, final supervisor
LaserEntertainment in the persons of Mattia Diomedi and David Todaro – Hardware setup
The first installation is right at the entrance of the museum.
Facing the main door, the wall of the reception has become the perfect canvas for a 5 meters wide projection. Here we wanted to showcase the full digitalized archive and give the audience a way to select some categories to filter the results.
Using TouchDesigner we created 12 columns of posters, that continuously rotating show the different images taken from the digital archive. Four separate touchscreens allow the audience to pick a category and filter the results for each column, so that they can choose what posters to show on the wall.
In the whole entrance area and corridors, you can also hear a spatialized soundtrack.
The whole system relies on a main server running TouchDesigner, and 4 NUCs running a simple user interface based on MAX. Every communication happens over the network and is managed by TouchDesigner itself, including wake-on-lan for the PCs and the 4 projectors, audio over Dante, and of course the digital archive management and all the graphics elements and transitions.
There is also a laser, that draws logos and texts above the entrance door.
The second installation is designed as a way of bringing the poster experience to visually impaired people.
We duplicated on a touchscreen a famous poster made by the Italian artist Renato Casaro, from the movie “Sheltering Sky”. The silhouettes of the characters and the lines of the background are actual different physical surfaces applied on the surface of the monitor. Through the audio, people are invited to touch these surfaces and to follow the lines with their hands. Touching the different areas of the poster, these get highlighted, and the voice of Renato Casaro, the artist that draw the poster, is played, telling a short anecdote about that particular graphic element.
The whole experience is created and managed in TouchDesigner from a Windows NUC hidden behind the screen. The system starts when an ultrasonic proximity sensor detects a presence, so that instructions are shown on screen and played on the audio system, and everything goes back to stand-by mode when no one is in this area of the museum.
The third and last installation we created is conceived as a medium for schools, children and anyone who wants to have fun with drawing boards.
Five different graphic tablets allow students and aspiring artists to import images from a restricted website, modify them and, of course, draw over them. When happy with the result, people can then share their works on the 5 screens in front of them, and also receive the digital file via email.
Since we had this 5 screens setup, we decided to also add some other functionalities to them. We created two additional operating modes for them: the first one allows a “primary” graphic tablet (ideally for used by a teacher or a guide explaining something) to use them all as a single very wide board, sharing what is being painted; the second mode allows to use all of the screen as a simple wide format screen, and show single images, play slideshows or even movies.
This whole system is a mix of MAX running on the 5 NUCs for the drawing boards (and email) part, TouchDesigner in the background for downloading the desired images from a restricted website, and a separate TouchDesigner server for all communications and to manage the output on the screens and the different screen modes. Communications were quite tricky to setup in this scenario, because of the need of different signals and connections to be passed around the local network and on the internet, but once again TouchDesigner proved its best!
The museum opened on June 12th, you can find the opening hours and more information on the official website: