Neon Museum Brings Broken Signs Back to Life with “Brilliant!” – A New, Nighttime Immersive Experience Beginning Feb. 1

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The Neon Museum presents the largest shared augmented reality experience of its kind, with more than 40 signs “magically” re-electrified.

The Neon Museum's new immersive experience that uses technological advances to re-illuminate iconic neon signs.

"Brilliant!" The Neon Museum's new immersive experience that uses technological advances to re-illuminate iconic neon signs.

“This is truly a first. Nowhere on the planet has anyone attempted to create what we are about to launch at the Museum,” explained Rob McCoy, president and chief executive officer, Neon Museum.

Today, the Neon Museum will debut “Brilliant!”—an audiovisual immersion experience that uses technology advances to reanimate 40 monumental examples of the museum’s iconic vintage signs. Presented after dark in the Neon Museum’s North Gallery, “Brilliant!” was created by digital artist and designer Craig Winslow using projection mapping to arrive at a shared augmented reality experience. Earth Water Sky served as the system designer and integrator.

To guests immersed in the 30-minute experience, the unrestored, non-working and in some cases broken signs will appear to be suddenly re-electrified, as though by magic, before their eyes. Up to 50 guests at a time will be transported directly into Las Vegas’ history, where the static signs come to life while accompanied by music from some of the entertainment industry’s most storied performers.

“Brilliant!” utilizes 24 3D-sound speakers and eight projectors emitting a total of 80,000 lumens of light to create a 360-degree audiovisual experience. Two 20-foot climate-controlled towers, designed to resemble the classic Champagne-bubble cylinder from the old Flamingo Las Vegas hotel and casino, were constructed by noted sign company YESCO. They house the projectors, which are aligned at precise angles to cover the entirety of the North Gallery space. To create the projections used to give the impression the signs have been re-electrified, Winslow took a combination of flat photography, drone video, and 3-D photogrammetry, all used as references to recreate each sign, bulb by bulb, 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 addition of ‘Brilliant!’ to the Neon Museum’s roster of offerings further defines our role in sign collection, conservation, restoration, historic preservation, research and learning,” explained Rob McCoy, president and chief executive officer, Neon Museum. “This is truly a first. Nowhere on the planet has anyone attempted to create what we are about to launch at the Museum.”

Winslow, selected as one of Adobe’s 2016 – 2017’s Creative Residents, previously created a smaller-scale, one-night-only projection for the museum’s North Gallery last February. That work was part of a larger, site-specific series Winslow created called “Light Capsules,” where he uses projection mapping to revive “ghost signs”—unrestored, faded, no longer legible painted signs on buildings. After seeing his eye-catching artistry applied to its neon signs, the museum began discussions with Winslow about creating a permanent projection-mapping experience for visitors.

“Working with the Neon Museum’s collection has been a moving experience for me,” says Winslow. “Reilluminating these signs pays homage to their designers. It’s an honor to be able to give people a chance to see these signs exactly as they used to be.”

Performances of “Brilliant!” will take place at 6, 7, 8 and 9 p.m., Wednesday through Monday (the experience will be dark on Tuesdays). Tickets are $15 for locals and $23 for general admission and are available here. Images, b-roll and more video are available here

ABOUT THE NEON MUSEUM
Founded in 1996, the Neon Museum is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting iconic Las Vegas signs for educational, historic, arts and cultural enrichment. It has been ranked No. 1 in Las Vegas Weekly’s list of “Twenty Greatest Attractions in Las Vegas History,” one of “Sin City’s Best Retro Sites” by MSN, “No. 1 Las Vegas Museum Sure to Entertain and Educate” by USAToday’s 10best.com, “One of the Top 10 Coolest Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do” by Forbes.com, one of the “Top 10 Historic Spots in Las Vegas” by Vegas.com; one of “15 Most Fascinating Museums in the U.S.” by VacationIdea.com; and earns a consistent 4.5 out of 5 rating on TripAdvisor. On its 2.27-acre campus, the Neon Museum houses an outdoor exhibition space known as the Neon Boneyard (“boneyard” is traditionally the name for an area where items no longer in use are stored); the North Gallery, used mainly for education programs and special events; the new Boulevard Gallery outdoor exhibit and event space; and its visitors’ center, housed inside the former La Concha Motel lobby. The museum collection also includes nine restored signs installed as public art throughout downtown Las Vegas and one restored sign on view at the outdoor Fashion Show Plaza on the Las Vegas Strip. Public education, outreach, research, archival preservation and a grant-funded neon sign survey represent a selection of the museum’s ongoing projects. Both the Neon Boneyard and the La Concha Visitors’ Center are located at 770 Las Vegas Blvd. North in Las Vegas. For tour schedules and pricing information, visit neonmuseum.org. Follow us on Instagram at: @OfficialNeonMuseumLasVegas

ABOUT CRAIG WINSLOW
Craig Winslow has more than seven years of experience creating projects that blend the physical and digital world in meaningful ways. After graduating Cum Laude from Champlain college with a bachelor’s degree in multimedia and graphic design and a focus in 3D art and animation in 2010, Winslow worked as a 3D designer for JDK Design. There, he worked on digital design and production for Burton Snowboards and later became part of the Industrial Design team and worked on various projects for Chaco, Merrell, Xbox, Seventh Generation, Beats by Dr. Dre, Virgin Mobile and many others. In 2015, Winslow created a road trip adventure Kickstarter project called Projecting West, where he traveled for 15 days across the U.S. creating daily narrative light installations. More recently, he wrapped up a year-long job as Adobe Creative Resident, where he focused on a project called “Light Capsules,” creating a series of ghost sign projections that shine a light on history all around the world.

ABOUT EARTH WATER SKY
Earth Water Sky is a full-service audio-visual design group specializing in creative audio, video and lighting design solutions for entertainment and hospitality clients. Combining cutting-edge 3D audio, video mapping, lighting design, and show-control technologies to create dynamic immersive environments, Earth Water Sky is an authorized dealer and systems integrator for a wide range of leading audio-visual technology manufacturers.

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