Arts Council - Water Flows

A projection mapping project involving footage, 2D, 3D and AI generated imagery.


Agency/Creative Direction MESH

Director/Editor/Animator Wes Kennison

AI Imagery/Render Farming Tyler Durrett

3D Generalist/Modelling, Fluid Sims Taimoor Shafique



My friends at MESH booked me and the team to execute production on this concept for the Baton Rouge Arts Council. The Old State Capitol in Downtown BR has long been on many a bucketlist for a light art installation so needless to say we were thrilled to get started. We had a tight turnaround of 3 weeks to get it done but we threw the kitchen sink at it nonetheless. The brief from MESH revolved around water as a theme, specifically using the Mississippi river as a central feature in the story. 


In projection mapping, a little goes a long way. Our approach centered on using some simple 3D lighting tricks to create a sense of dimension and depth, and then layering various visual elements on top. The story was driven by a 3 Act edit that began with some classic "soaring epicness" and then got progressively quirkier as the visuals intensified. 


The "Post Production Pipeline" is where the story, process, and components must all come together in a holistic way to create a single deliverable. 

Building and running post pipelines is something I had to figure out on my toes during the pandemic, and those chops have done a lot for my ability to marry a big idea with it's inevitable execution. I don't talk much about this part of what I do, but on a project like this it's absolutely critical to get it right because the screen is a building in the real world that you can't remodel to fit your content and you only get one chance to get it right. * 

Our source material consisted of 3D Renders, 3D Transitions, 2D Animations, AI Generated Imagery, and various flavors of Treated Footage.

So, to break THIS pipeline down we can start with source material, created in a variety of ways, ordered from trickiest to create, to easiest. 

3D Renders
  • Liquid Animations
  • Facade Animations
  • Lighting Effects
  • Still for Cuts

3D Transitions
  • Facade Transitions
  • Lighting Transitions 0 - 100%

2D Animations
  • Echo Rig + Liquid Trails: Orb Sequence 1
  • Treated Ball Forced Perspective: Orb Sequence 2

AI Generated Imagery
  • Building Stills using ControlNet

Treated Footage
  • Ripple Treatments
  • Kaleida
  • Overlays
  • Ol Basic Aerials


1. We started with a video edit that established the story flow and general sense of timing through the movements. The arc was built around a series of "Pour Animations" that would fill the building structure with water in a variety of ways.
2. We took a picture of the building from the vantage point of the projector, then built a 3D model from that. From this we created lighting animations that intentionally created a ton of hard shadows. The shadows helped to sell the impression that the video content was "taking over the building".
3. We then chunked up the edit into it's blocks of scenes, numbered them, and went to work creating the content for each set of scenes. 


Aerials Montage, notable for this cool hyperlapse at the end.


River Textures Treatment
Stock Footage Treatment
Light Orb 

AI Imagery sequences
"Blue Meatball"
Grand Finale

4. From there it was a mad dash over the course of about 10 days or so to get everything done. 

The event that this played back during was Blues Fest in Downtown Baton Rouge and the 4 story project was a nice backdrop to the weekend's festvities.  

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