Installation Video Wall Control with QLab

In the summer of 2015, Left Coast Mac was contracted by Martin Christofel of Scenografique to design and program a dual display installation video wall for Axon’s corporate office lobby in Seattle. The media design took the form of a space station bridge, looking out onto a star field, with multiple sprites moving in and out of frame, and a heads up display that prompted a visual shift. All of the media had to run during business hours, without the need for the staff to turn it on and off daily. For this, we used QLab, as it would give us the most flexibility in setting event timings, transitioning between “scenes,” as it were, and because of its AppleScript and OSC integration.

Since I knew this would be a big programming job, I broke out the media and events into discrete cue lists within the larger workspace, allowing me to focus only on certain elements at the time, which could be cross-referenced from a master list of GO commands.

To automate the process, I created simple AppleScript applets that were triggered by the Mac Pro’s internal clock (via Calendar events) to halt playback at the end of the work day (18:00 hours, Monday-Thursday) and reboot the machine the following morning at 06:45 hours to clear the RAM cache. At 07:05 hours, another applet launches the workspace, which then auto-loads and begins playback. At 20:00 hours on Fridays, the machine shuts down for the weekend, then via another automated action, starts up Monday morning.

The media has been playing uninterrupted since July of 2015.

You can read articles about the office and its themed environment here and here (yes, it won “Geekiest Office of the Year”).