Published on Sunday, 01 January 2012
Thinkwell Group used Dell UltraSharp monitors to produce an accurate and consistent graphics
package supporting an immersive exhibit project for Fernbank Museum of Natural History in
|Thinkwell Group designs and develops immersive guest experiences in physical and digital environments for theme parks, museums, casinos, retail experiences and resorts. The company recently created Fernbank NatureQuest, a new children’s exhibit at Atlanta’s Fernbank Museum of Natural History. The exhibit engages the senses using sound, touch, and sight to immerse kids in an environment representing the ecosystems of the southeast. Fun and exploratory, the immersive experience combines detailed scenery, projected and interactive media, and theatrical effects.|
|To get this project started, Thinkwell first needed to develop and implement a substantial graphics package including over 300 separate graphic files to be printed on a variety of materials and surfaces. Critical to the project’s success was assurance that the colours the artists were seeing wouldn’t vary from monitor to monitor, or from monitor to printer. The team, working on Dell UltraSharp monitors, set up a shared colour language or bible in order to work more efficiently with limited interruptions for colour calibration.|
|Projects of this type, which Thinkwell specialises in, encompass a high level of detail, both from an artistic and an engineering or CAD perspective, and rely on precision and colour accuracy. The team often needs to create intricate designs in short work cycles against continuously adjusting deadlines. Monitors are essential tools. If an artist has to hand off a piece to another artist, designer, creative director or producer, the colour information, textures and precise designs from that file must translate accurately from monitor to monitor, and exactly match what comes out of the printer and into clients’ meeting rooms.|
|If the consistency can be maintained, a lot of time can be saved on retouching and colour correcting. In the case of the Fernbank NatureQuest project graphic artists were responsible for intricate large-scale production graphics that had to be visually impressive and attractive, and species-accurate to meet the Natural History museum’s educational standards. The team had to rely to a large degree on the high-res UltraSharp monitors.
Frequently extending from 70 employees to over 150, Thinkwell artists and IT staff regularly adapt their roles based on the support they have, and having good equipment helps maximize their time on their designs, and minimize time spent on IT support. A change that the Dell displays have made is reducing the amount of support dedicated to recalibrating monitors and adjusting colour profiles across the company. Formerly, the IT team had spent considerable time working with the artists to recalibrate their displays.
The monitors use the PremierColor system, which comes tuned with AdobeRGB and sRGB modes, grayscale tracking and a colour calibration factory report completed to help avoid subsequent measurement after the monitor is hooked up. The colour can then be adjusted using colour parameters such as RGB and CMYK saturation, RGB and CMYK hue, RGB gain and RGB offset. A colour gamut of at least CIE 1976 110% is used to preserve tones and hues and colour details. 12-bit internal processing can reach up to 1.07 billion colours distinguishing very low grayscale tones for detail in dark areas.
So that the monitors show uniform colour temperature across the panel, they are built with in-plane switching which maintains consistent colour and brightness across a 178° viewing angle from the side, above or below. They have on-screen controls and the artists have been able to adjust the monitors themselves.
Thinkwell’s IT Director Dennis Nieves said the Dell Monitors have also led to an unexpected cost reduction in printing. “With the old monitors, the artists were printing test pages to make sure what they were seeing on the screen was going to be the same as what came out of the printer. Since the UltraSharp monitors have proven to be more consistent, the artists have reduced printing by around 20 per cent, saving on printer resources and support.” www.dell.com/monitors www.thinkwellgroup.com