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Guitar hotel

Guitar-Shaped Hotel Comes to Life with Visuals Powered by a RealMotion


RealMotion™, designer of content management and creation software and hardware, recently brought its expertise to the launch of the world’s first guitar-shaped hotel, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Powered by a single RealMotion 4 Karat Gold Series server, the entire facade of the 400-foot-tall, $1.5 billion hotel is now one of the world’s most unique digital sculptures, capable of presenting a multitude of dazzling visual effects and presentations that utilize 2.3 million LED lights, video mapping and lasers - a project that was managed, directed, engineered and installed by Boston-based custom fabricator DCL (Design Communications LTD).

At the hotel’s recent grand opening celebration, the capabilities of its LED facade were on full display, with generative and sound reactive content created by Float4 delivering hours of vibrant visuals. The event featured a grand reveal of what the guitar can do, establishing the guitar as the static architecture icon.

As the crowd ambiance built through the early evening, the official guitar SMASH experience marked the beginning of a custom drum sequence, triggering the guitar activation. The show then journeyed through different decades, musical styles and energies, presenting audio-driven dynamics, intricate line compositions, cascading waterfalls of light and energy as transitions, and a full 3D guitar effect, complete with lasers extending into the sky to represent guitar strings. Managing all of this content and pixel mapping for 2.3 million individual LEDs put the RealMotion server to the test.

The 4 Karat server plays a role in the technical management of the show itself, according to Geoff Platt, Director of RealMotion. The company used ISAAC, an integrated scheduling and automation control platform created by Smart Monkeys, to develop a system to ingest content into the 4 Karat Server to manage and synchronize the millions of content elements of the show.

The facade has five core elements that can each be used for specific effects. The Front & Back are the main sections on which dynamic content can be video mapped. The Outline delineates the edges of the guitar shape, and content plays with this aspect by hiding and revealing the guitar’s contours. The Sides enhance the illusion of depth for visual effects, while The Strings, which utilize lasers instead of LEDs, are used to show vertical motion and effects such as fountains, chord strums and string plucks. Lastly, The Spandrel Glass section is ideal for expanding content from the face and body to create the illusion of another level of content.

While the grand opening was indeed a major celebration, the full goal of this project was to enable a long-term digital sculpture installation that can display new content and themes as the owners’ desire.

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