Fluid Dynamics: LED Video Wall at Salesforce Corporate Headquarters


An LED video wall within the lobby of Salesforce corporate headquarters in San Francisco creates one of the most visually dynamic and stimulating commercial real estate spaces in the city.

Nominating Company: Salesforce, San Francisco, California
Venue: Salesforce West Lobby Video Screen, San Francisco, California
Project: Salesforce West Lobby Video Screen
Category: Business & Government Services

Transforming a sterile area of beige travertine, limestone and glass, a 100-foot-long LED screen was installed  to liven up and bring  an uber-dynamic sensory experience  to a quite ordinary commercial office tower lobby. Since the options for visually magnetic motion content are endless within such a vast canvas, the Brand Innovation Group at Salesforce partnered with Obscura Digital to create an innovative optical animation. The Water Wall is a hyper-realistic cascade of water – essentially and literally a fluid visual simulation. The concept is in direct harmony with the huge screen’s shape, with the added visual riddle of splash ebbs and flows around edges of the elevator bank openings. A synchronous sound design further captures the energy of a bustling and, at times, bursting active lobby space at Salesforce.

(1)  Fluid Dynamics Challenge: True-to-life fluid dynamics using only computer-generated graphics was a major challenge.
(2) Motion Challenge: Because of the powerful intensity and the rapid, dense visual texture of rushing water, it was important to create a realistic eye-catching experience but not one so ferocious that it would create vertigo or motion-adverse feelings  in viewers.
(3) Rendering Challenge: The massive template (12K resolution) for the Water Wall created a huge challenge for rendering the final video.

(1) Real-time physics engines were created to perfect the natural movement of water. This produced such realistic-looking water that it even fooled many people on social media, who believed it was a waste of water. In fact, no water was used in the creation of the piece.
(2) The actual speed of the Water Wall had to be slowed down to be both soothing and believable.
(3) For the massive render, a render farm was used, running more than 70 servers for three weeks to complete the project.

Salesforce Lobby LED Video Wall pic2RESULTS
The Water Wall creates a sensation of pure energy as the visual and aural rush of water generates a feeling of fresh anticipation and carefree exuberance. Every day, people walk through the doors of the lobby only to snap a photo on their smartphones. It’s definitely something the passersby and visitors haven’t seen before, as evidenced by the numerous uploads on video websites, the abundance of articles on local and regional Internet blogs and the hundreds of hashtags released within the social media universe.

Salesforce won the DSE 2017 Gold APEX Award in the Business & Government Services Category.

Salesforce Team
John Zissimos – Chief Creative Officer
Beau Bouverat – Film Director
J.D. Swartz – VP, General Manager Creative and Digital
Mike Mazza – Lead Designer
Katie Rinki – Director, Executive Producer, Broadcast and Film
Taylor Hilficker- Business Manager, Salesforce Brand

Obscura Team
Peter Sapienza – VP of Strategy Nick Lynch – Executive Producer Marc Melzer – Director of Media Arts
Ari Ali – Senior Media Producer
J. Sayaka- Creative Services Producer Vlad Spears – Director of Interactive Harvey Moon – Interactive Engineer Matthew Ragan- Interactive Engineer Mike Walczyk- Interactive Engineer Anton Heestand – Interactive Engineer Emmett Feldman – Senior Art Director Tim Digulla- Senior Art Director
Jim Ellis- Technical Director/3D Animation
Alexi Alexaieff- Technical Artis

Ethan lndorf- Director of Photography
joshua  Brott- Photographer/Director of Photography

Fusion IC Studios – Fluid Simulation
Co-Founder /Executive Creative – Lauren Millar
Co-Founder/VFX Supervisor- Mark V. Stasiuk

Mission Film and Design
Ayumi Ashley – Colorist

Sansi North America (SNA) – LED Display Manufacturer
Jason Helton – Vice President/Operations
Pat Green – Systems Architect
Carl Hubben, P.E. – Project Manager


1 Comment

  1. For a case study regarding how the water simulation & rendering portion of the installation was designed and created by Fusion CI Studios for Obscura Digital, see: fusioncis.com/press/SalesForceWaterfall.pdf

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