sketch Moving Wallpaper

Martin Creed Gallery has changed the way projection is now used at sketch, previously we had a 360 panoramic display. The focus for the restaurant is now on the dining experience inside Martin Creed's art installation, and as a diner you may notice the projectors are covered over. These covers havce now had lens holes cut and will allow you to host an event with a unique projection experience unlike any venue in London.

The four walls have very distinct paintings by Martin Creed and of course it is always possible to build a set with projection screens for large events but we have mapped out the structure in our video servers so we can project animations throughout the space that complement the existing paintings. It is true that traditional screenings playing a standard 16:9 or 4:3 are not such an obvious use of the space, though this has been used before in events in rather powerful ways. there are demonstrations of this further down this document.

Video and motion graphics are best created bespoke for the space, templates have been made for the server software and editing software to speed up your production workflow.

Design Considerations

The new Gallery has been designed around the existing architecture so the space is not square, also each wall has been painted in a very specific design by Martin Creed and covers the entire projection surface, this all leads to some careful design challenges when making video footage.
Below are full-res (i.e. 1:1 pixel size) design masks for each wall. Click on the wall name to reveal images.

North Wall ...

East Wall ...

South Wall ...

West Wall ...

Note, due to the fact we use WMV for video files we often perform one of two things to the rendering of video.  We either scale the video down to 2000px wide and scale up in Watchout, or we split the video into two files, one 2000px wide and one 1262px wide (if we were rendering for the north wall).  This is purely down to the rendering engine in After Effects that will not allow for a WMV file larger than 2K wide.  We have successfully used WMV files brought in from other studios that are larger.

When designing footage it is worth considering the event in terms of lighting environment.  If you were to create white background footage the whole room will light up and feel quite clinical so we strongly encourage you to have your footage on dark, preferably black, backgrounds and have all detail in the lighter colours.

Of course, it is worthwhile testing some ideas in the room to ensure they work.  One feature that often catches people out is movement; fast movement across the frame is exaggerated when projecting across a 12m wall.  Another is contrast.  It is one thing to create footage that is to be focused on in a completely dark room but if the footage is to be shown as background ‘wallpaper’ the lights in the room may well be on so it is worth pushing the contrast of your footage and exaggerate detail as the house lights do change the way the projected image appears.

Re-editing existing video

As a demonstration of editing a 16:9 video to fit the north wall we used the promotional video of sketch found on our website, re-edited it for each wall to fit the painted surfaces.

Video Server Software

The 12 channel video server is run on Dataton’s Watchout software (version 4.5).  Watchout is a freely available application for PC only. (click here to  downloaded).
Watchout can read many filetypes:


Still Image (Raster):


If you have not used the software before, it has a similar interface to a simple linear video editor.  A time line window where your media assets can be dragged and manipulated on various layers, and a stage window to preview your composition of the timeline. 

Watchout Timeline Watchout Stage

Media placed on the timeline can then be manipulated in a variety of ways; the most common approach is with the tween menu.  This will allow you to animate position, opacity, volume, colour change and even colour keying to name only a few.

Watchout Tween

Further manipulation of the image can be achieved by double clicking on the media file in the timeline and applying layer blends or mask properties (such as in the illustration below)

Watchout Media Cue

Finally, video and audio files can be looped automatically from the double click dialogue box.  An added feature is the free running box that will keep the media playing even when the timeline has been paused.  This is ideal to ready up the next live cue and keep video or audio playing.

Watchout Video Cue

When you have created your show you will need to Consolidate your show. This can be found in the File menu and select Consolidate To... At this point you will be prompted to Copy or Move your files to a new empty folder on your drive. Select copy. You will then be able to bring this new folder on a drive or Zip it and FTP or send to us online via a service such as YouSendIt or LiveDrive. It is important that a Consolidation is made or when we open your show file at sketch the reference to your media may not be correct.

For further in-depth and very straight forward guidance there are training videos on Dataton’s website.

You can download a blank Watchout show file here which has all the projectors in position on the stage window.

Further Templates

We have created an After Effects (version CS6) aep file to speed up your motion graphic workflow. Within it are comps for each wall with the paint pre-comped to be used as a mask or guide

We have also created a PowerPoint template file for those who have to use PowerPoint. This is only for the North wall and will be used to create seperate static slides to be inserted directly into Watchout. This does mean you will lose any animations created in PowerPoint. Remember though, that these animations can be created directly in Watchout.


Please call Joel Bondoux on 0207 659 4560 if you require any advice.