We were one of the first company in the world, who turned a car into an LED screen. Red Bull is known because of all kind of crazy projects. This one was no less crazy than the others and we’ve helped to make it happen.
This Camaro installation is actually one of my favorite stories I talk about when meeting new clients. The plan for the project was straightforward –
we’ll get older black Chevrolet Camaro, so we can drill holes into the metal and we’ll have 2 weeks for an installation. How it turned out? We’ve received white Camaro, one week before the show and we could not even scratch it since it was rented
… you can imagine, we were quite nervous back then 😀.
We’ve used more than 500m of individual RGB LED strips to cover the car with pixels. Back then the WS chips were not so good, that’s why we’ve used TM1809 LED strips produced by us. All were powered using two additional car batteries with a lot of power converters. We’ve used 4 LSS Ethernet 2 and 4 LSS Distributor boards to control the whole system from a laptop.
In the software, the Camaro was one of the most complicated mappings we’ve done. Back then the guys could not control the new LED Strip Studio 2 software so well. That’s why they called me from Saudi Arabia at 3:00 in the morning before the show and I did the mapping remotely over skype from Slovakia. They’ve always moved the camera and I added the strips I could see. It was quite fun although without good sleep :)…
We finished the installation and the mapping at about 6:00 in the morning before the show. I don’t know how it’s possible, but such crazy projects always end at the last possible moment 🙂 … maybe that one week was missing.
During the day, the organizer transported the car to the drift race. When it finally hit the track, the people were screaming like crazy. The car was drifting around the track while playing Red Bull presentation video on the “car-LED-screen”. It was really amazing!
We’ve used only about 20% of maximal intensity since it was impossible to shoot the video on full power. Not to mention, the battery would not last longer than few minutes. At full intensity, it would need about 3kW of power!
You can see the whole installation process in little “making-of” video by 3Apes:
We’ve done a lot of amazing projects in the past. But if you would ask me to pick one, which is the most interesting and most stressing, I would definitely pick this one.
The Camaro project was crazy, difficult, time-consuming and with a lot of nerves. But in the end, it was so amazing and so different from anything else we’ve done till then.
Anyway, I’m really proud we were able to finish such project on time and that it was received so well by the audience.