A birthday as big as a 325th demands a much larger-than-usual celebration. With that in mind, the Nolet Distillery – birthparents of Ketel One Vodka and Nolet Gin – decided to go as large as possible with a beautiful projection upon Holland’s tallest windmill.

The anniversary celebrations took place on the 14th May at the Nolet family’s leading distillery in the Netherlands. The 900 guests – consisting of numerous industry leaders, media outlets and the Nolet team – were entertained over two nights with the finale ending with a spectacular ten-minute long animation telling the story of Nolet throughout history, followed by a fireworks display.

Working with creative brand experience agency, TBA from concept to delivery, Creative Technology (CT) collaborated with its Netherlands business to provide the technical aspects of this celebration. The UK team headed up the mapping and projection – supplying 16 Panasonic DZ21K2 projectors and seven VYV Photon media servers, while CT’s Holland operation looked after the party by providing two high resolution Absen LED screens, cameras and playback.

Initially, CT laser scanned, modelled and produced the UV unwrap – a 2D representation of a 3D projection map. Aligning such a large object was no easy feat, using a two-man team with one acting as a spotter and the other operating the media servers.

“It was really a unique opportunity to map such a large, complex and beautiful structure,” said CT’s Senior Media Engineer, Will Harkin. Will’s team mate, CT’s Tom Burford, Project Engineer, said: “it took three nights of set up and rehearsals to get the whole thing aligned perfectly so that the content looked the best that it could.”

Working with Projection Artworks throughout the design process, it became evident that multiple 4K layers were necessary to make this projection as flexible as possible – allowing for easy updates, a smooth transition between frames and reduced render times.

With 16 projectors hitting the windmill with a total of 320,000 Lumens and 12 projectors overlapping at the windmill’s centre, this projection achieved a brightness and a clarity that is not often seen on something of this size.

CT’s Project Manager, Matt Hartfree, who oversaw the event, said: “the attention to detail from everyone involved in this project was totally worth it. Producer, Justine [Catterall], did a fantastic job of creating such a memorable experience for all. Even as a seasoned engineer who has been on multiple projection jobs, it took your breath away – it’s rare to work on such an amazing building and transform it into something even more amazing.”

Producer Justine Catterall, who handled the event from beginning to end said: “I have been lucky enough to work with the industry’s best over the last 28 years and have watched a lot of teams manage some great and complex content projects, but this team took it to a whole new level!

“Matt, Will and Tom displayed an unusual but amazing passion for this project that was clear from the moment I first met them. It was a total delight to have them share the vision and joy that the rest of the production team had for this 

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