Reports to Director of Media Arts
Join the Obscura team in the creation of groundbreaking immersive, conceptual, and interactive experiences. As a Visual Designer at Obscura, you will help to concept, design, and communicate a wide variety experiences, ranging from passive to interactive, environmental to screen based, digital to physical.
We’re looking for senior level candidates who are able to quickly visualise interactive and experiential concepts to a high level of fidelity through advanced photoshop comping. In addition, we would like you to have strong graphic design skills - to understand color, composition and typography - to have the ability to ingest any brand or visual ID and then communicate back fluently in that language.
Skills & Experience:
• Visualize complex ideas in a simple, emotive and impactful manner.
• A knack for capturing the spirit of a concept with a single image.
• Able to work in varying degrees of fidelity (speed vs quality).
• Able to communicate the thinking behind your process
• Observes branding guidelines (when required)
• Familiarity with UI and interaction design
• Photographic manipulation
• Type savvy
• Concept sketching skills
• Photoshop, Illustrator, In Design, Keynote ... 3D and after effects a plus.
• Passionate about your craft.
• Imaginative - bringing the wonderfully unexpected.
• Detail oriented - thoughtful about capturing the nuances of an idea.
• Evangelizes best practices while pushing boundaries to explore new territory.
• Style agnostic - able to speak / invent different visual languages
• Able to distinguish between good and great work.
Located in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood, Obscura is an alliance of artists and technologists who are pioneering the future of multidimensional sensory experiences. Our team shares a passion for inventing the uninvented, for exploring ways that technology can enable awe-inspiring moments. We build our own solutions, which provide the platform for unprecedented expression. Our creative vision, whether to educate, inform, entertain, or amaze, determines the technology we need. And we build it from start to mind-blowing finish.
Obscura's ‘Flying on Water’ amongst the winners of CommArts 20th Annual Interactive Competition
Wednesday , November 27, 2013 / 16:06 PST
Communication Arts magazine has revealed the winners of the 2014 competition, the most prestigious design competition for interactive media. Thirty-eight projects were selected to be featured in the March/April 2014 issue of Communication Arts, among them, Obscura’s ‘Flying on Water’ exhibition, which won in the Environmental category for Interactive Installations and Exhibits. Obscura created an interactive projection experience for the public, installed on the waterfront of Pier 29 in San Francisco during the international sailing race in the summer of 2013. The exhibit offered millions of visitors the opportunity to explore the interplay of wind, water, and state-of-the-art yachting technology.
Obscura kicks off the holidays at the Westfield with the SF Ballet's Nutcracker Under the Dome
Wednesday , November 20, 2013 / 17:00 PST
Beginning this week, visitors to Westfield San Francisco Centre’s historic Dome will see it transformed by Obscura into a state-of-the-art surround theater, with an animated 3D light spectacular inspired by the San Francisco Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker. Free nightly shows: Thursday, Nov 21 - Tuesday, Dec 31, every half hour from 5pm until mall closing at 9pm, Level 4. Launch Event: Thursday, Nov 21, starting at 3.30pm - Gather your friends and family to celebrate the debut of Nutcracker Under The Dome with the artists of SF Ballet!
Obscura's PixelTree wins at the Internationalist Awards for Innovative Digital Solutions
Friday , November 15, 2013 / 15:14 PST
The Internationalist is a trusted source for international best practices, connecting the people and ideas in international advertising, marketing and media. To showcase the latest touch screen and retina display features of Google’s Chromebook Pixel, Obscura created an interactive experience that activated users’ touch, sound, and sight. This innovative art installation provides a unique approach for brands to display and launch new products.
Obscura wins BEST PUBLIC ART-CHITECTS for the SF Guardian’s ‘Best of the Bay 2013’
Tuesday , October 15, 2013 / 12:52 PST
The SF Bay Guardian recognized Obscura Digital for several recent projects they created in their hometown of San Francisco: “Emergence” - real life visualizations projected onto the facade of the Exploratorium for their Grand Opening at Pier 15; “Under the Dome” - a seasonal architectural projection show at the Westfield San Francisco Centre’s historic dome; and the “Digital Arts Panorama Wall” - a permanent interactive educational installation at the new San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Building.
Beats Antique teams with Kickstarter to Help Build Live Stage Production with Obscura Digital
Wednesday , August 21, 2013 / 10:22 PST
Beats Antique has launched their campaign with Kickstarter to build a state-of-the art stage production for their upcoming “A Thousand Faces” tour this fall. Beats Antique is collaborating with Obscura to create a musical journey constructed note for note that weaves together music, choreography, and state-of-the-art video projection. Obscura is fast at work creating custom technologies and content for the live stage production for the tour. The Kickstarter campaign runs through September 15th, so please consider backing the project - your contribution will go toward supporting the artists turning the vision for “A Thousand Faces” into a reality.
10th Annual Architecture and the City Festival Opening Night Party to be hosted at Obscura Digital
Wednesday , August 14, 2013 / 9:27 PST
AIA San Francisco and the Center for Architecture + Design kick off the festival with its Opening Night Party at Obscura’s headquarters in San Francisco, designed by IwamotoScott Architecture. Come meet and mingle with members of the architecture and design community, sample bites from the city’s latest food trucks, and share your favorite buildings that make San Francisco the best city in the world. A benefit for the Center for Architecture + Design.
Friday, August 30th, 6:00 - 9:00pm
$15 General Admission
WQXR in NYC interviews Obscura Digital for story on Orchestras Using New Video Technology
Wednesday , August 14, 2013 / 9:22 PST
New York’s classical music radio station, WQXR, featured Obscura in its story on orchestras using new video technology to court younger crowds. Brian Wise interviewed Steve Mason, Obscura’s VP of Innovation, about the architectural projection mapping experiences Obscura created for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House and the San Francisco Symphony’s 100th Anniversary Gala at Davies Symphony Hall.
“It’s important for designers to understand the orchestra tradition before embarking on video-based projects” said Mason. “The tendency of contemporary media is to be based on fast cuts and dopamine-releasing spectacle. By contrast, symphonic performance is more contemplative, and thus any visual spectacle must not overwhelm the compositions. You don’t want to distract people from losing themselves in the music.”
BLUESCAPE wins Best of Competition and Gold for Workplace Technologies at NeoCon 2013
Wednesday , June 12, 2013 / 15:58 PST
The prestigious Best of NeoCon Competition (honoring new commercial interiors products that are introduced to the market during NeoCon) presented Haworth and Obscura Digital with the ‘Best of Competition Award’ for the team’s Bluescape solution. Bluescape is an infinite, collaborative workspace designed to accelerate decision-making by enabling anyone to create, communicate, visualize, organize, and strategize virtually anything, anywhere, anytime. The Bluescape solution was also the Gold Award winner for ‘Workplace Technologies’. Bluescape is a jointly owned collaboration between Haworth and Obscura Digital.
OBSCURA Wins Silver EX Award for Best Press/Media Event
Friday , May 10, 2013 / 10:50 PST
Yesterday the editors of Event Marketer magazine announced the winners of the 2013 Ex Awards, the world’s largest recognition program for event marketing professionals and experiential marketing excellence, judged entirely by brand-side marketers. Obscura won a Sliver Ex Award for the Nike Hyper Elite Platinum Uniform Launch press event, which those in attendance called “basketball performance art”, featuring an augmented reality basketball court with a 3D game where live players interacted with eight fantasy worlds.
THE CREATORS PROJECT PREMIERES OBSCURA'S 'EMERGENCE' VIDEO
Monday , April 29, 2013 / 10:49 PST
Founded by a revolutionary partnership between Intel and VICE, The Creators Project celebrates and supports visionary artists across multiple disciplines who are using technology in innovative ways to push the boundaries of creative expression.
Today, The Creators Project is premiering Obscura’s video “Architecture as a Technicolor Canvas” showcasing the making of Emergence, a dynamic visual journey that transforms the façade of Pier 15, the Exploratorium in San Francisco, into a luminous portal revealing unseen dimensions of complex micro and macro phenomena.
OBSCURA TO TRANSFORM PIER 15 IN SAN FRANCISCO ON APRIL 17 & 18 AT NIGHTFALL
Wednesday , April 10, 2013 / 9:35 PST
For the Exploratorium’s Grand Opening at Pier 15 in San Francisco, Obscura Digital will rouse the public’s imagination with ‘Emergence’, a live show using architectural projections and creative technologies to transform the façade of the historic building into a luminous portal, revealing complex micro and macro phenomena. Obscura will unveil the first-of-its-kind real-life visualizations involving fluid dynamics, microorganisms, particle interactions, living systems, crystallization, and plant growth accompanied by original sound compositions to evoke a sense of wonder and awe about the nature of order in our universe. To accompany ‘Emergence’, Obscura will present an interactive thermal imaging wall (in cooperation with Flir) on the side of the Exploratorium’s main entrance, where visitors can see their heat signature projected in real-time, at large scale, with brilliant color. Program starts approx 8:30pm both nights; free to the public.
For Spotify’s SXSW 2013 event, Obscura created real-time audio-reactive visuals to amplify the live performances of Kendrick Lamar, Youngblood Hawke and Cazzette. With 136 ft of projections and high-resolution imagery, Obscura pushed this SXSW event into a new type of dynamic concert immersion.
Obscura Wins 2 Golds and 1 Silver at the DSE Apex Awards
Wednesday , February 27, 2013 / 11:37 PST
GOLD: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation for the Westfield San Francisco Centre
GOLD (Apex) + SILVER (Content): Business, Industry & Government for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Digital Signage Expo (DSE) presented Obscura Digital with three awards at this year’s Apex and Content award for digital signage deployments and digital signage content. The annual DSE Apex Awards honor innovation in the development and deployment of technology in the global digital out-of-home industry. The annual DSE Content Awards recognize originality in content applications tailored specifically for the many and varied global DOOH audiences. Obscura’s “Digital Arts Panorama Wall” is a permanent installation in the lobby of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission building. Obscura’s “Under the Dome” experience is an ongoing seasonal show at the Westfield San Francisco Centre.
Best Orchestral Performance for John Adams “Short Ride in a Fast Machine”
Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) and the San Francisco Symphony capped their Centennial Season Opening Gala program with a Grammy winning orchestral and multimedia performance of Short Ride in a Fast Machine. Obscura collaborated with MTT to surprise guests with an encore that transformed the interior of the Davies Symphony Hall into a spectacular architectural projection experience. The audience was taken on a high-speed visual journey through San Francisco’s past, present, and future, with an abstract collage of the city’s rich cultural history portrayed through its landmark architecture. Obscura’s team created an immersive show using historical footage, newly captured shots, and 3D animation. These iconic visual elements were then strategically coordinated with the John Adams musical score, and performed live along with the San Francisco Symphony as conducted by MTT. This performance is featured on the San Francisco Symphony at 100 DVD.
Obscura received the Gold Prize for the “Creative Use of Production Technology” with their work on the architectural mapping of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi for the United Arab Emirates 40th Anniversary Celebration.
On Friday the 30th of November at the Eventia Awards ceremony, held at the Hilton Park Lane in London, over 700 top events industry professionals celebrated a night of awards honoring outstanding business-to-business and business-to-consumer events of all sizes and formats both overseas and in the UK.
This is the second gold Obscura has received for the Grand Mosque project. Last month, Obscura won the Gold Prize for the “Best Use of Exterior Media/AV” at the 2012 Event Design Awards held in New York.
ILLUMINIQUE & ARTS IN DIALOGUE AT THE WESTFIELD DOME
Wednesday , November 14, 2012 / 16:04 PST
Thursday, November 15, 2012, 5:00pm and 7:00pm
Westfield San Francisco Centre, 865 Market Street, 4th Floor, Under the Dome
At 5pm, kick off the holiday season with the launch of this season’s “Illuminique Under the Dome” show, an enchanting, animated story set in a 19th Century toymaker’s workshop. Old meets new, as Obscura transforms the Centre’s elegant 1908 glass dome into a state-of-the-art surround theater that exhibits the latest in projection mapping technology.
At 7pm, the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District (YBCBD) presents the next Arts In Dialogue session with a presentation by Obscura’s Barry Threw, Head of Software Development, as he gives a brief insight into the creative process of “Illuminique“. Don’t miss this talk by one of the leading cultural developers responsible for creating innovative and interactive works of art.
For this year’s Event Technology Awards, Obscura’s “Connections for Facebook” project won a silver prize for the Best Use Of A Single Technology. At the EventTech conference simultaneously happening in New York, Obscura’s Travis Threlkel gave a highly attended presentation about fully immersive technologies that enhance live event experiences.
Obscura’s experiential technology connects visitors to an exciting new era of NASA’s Human Space Exploration Program with an immersive 360-surround theater touring the country, showcasing a dynamic and entertaining journey for all ages. Obscura partnered with NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace to invite the public to virtually explore the new frontiers of deep space and the expansion of the space program through an immersive educational experience, set within a 50- foot geodesic dome. The multi-city tour premiered at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City in July, followed by a simultaneous showing at the California Science Museum in Los Angeles and the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, currently underway through November 4th.
Fortune celebrates it’s 2012 “40 Under 40” event at Obscura Digital’s headquarters in San Francisco, honoring Fortune’s list of the most influential young stars in business. Guests will share an entertaining night filled with interactive and immersive experiences, including a motion-reactive table generating imagery projected onto an canvas of white hors d’oeuvres, a large-scale multi-touch wall featuring Fortune’s 2012 honorees, a Dymaxion map art installation with vibrant visualizations, and a geodesic dome with a 360 surround theater experience. To see who made it onto Fortune’s 2012 “40 Under 40” list, please see the link below.
Obscura Digital won awards in three categories of the 2012 Event Design Awards, including “Best Use of Exterior Media/AV” for the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque; “Best Use of Interior Media/AV” for Westfield’s Illuminique; and “Best Use of Interactive Technology” for Connections for Facebook. The Event Design Awards are recognized as “the best among this industry’s change agents, and the award-winning projects reflect how the world’s top creative studios are reinventing experience design across all categories”.
Westfield San Francisco lights up with 3D animated historical review - Obscura featured in the “Into the Light” story, as published in Tactics Magazine, Issue III, 2012, by Mall Media Inc., all rights reserved.
Oceanic Preservation Society teams up with Obscura Digital for The Heist
Thursday , August 30, 2012 / 16:11 PST
Support our project on Kickstarter today! br>
Obscura Digital is teaming up with the Oceanic Preservation (OPS), producers of the Academy Award winning documentary movie, The Cove, as they launch a bold new mission called The Heist, which will serve as the climax of their next documentary about the thousands of species that are blinking out before our eyes. It’s estimated that half the species on the planet could disappear by the end of this century. But not if we can help it. Please support our project on Kickstarter today.
Obscura’s Show featured in the San Francisco Examiner
Tuesday , August 21, 2012 / 13:57 PST
“Corazon Under the Dome” at the San Francisco Westifled Center br>
“Westfield San Francisco Centre puts on a really big light show: San Francisco-
based Obscura, which has wrapped buildings with fluid blends of sound and
image, bathes the elegant three-story space in a seamless blend of era-spanning
imagery and music. Every half-hour this summer, Westfield San Francisco
Centre’s landmark dome comes alive with “Corazon Under the Dome,” a free
light spectacle saluting The City, created by Obscura Digital.
Travis Threlkel, CCO of Obscura, to present on Digital Projection Mapping at Event Innovation Forum
Thursday , August 09, 2012 / 14:14 PST
Javits Convention Center, New York, October 24, 2012 br>
Travis Threlkel, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Obscura Digital will be
delivering a presentation on digital projection mapping. “This is one of the coolest
new technologies to come along in years, and Travis is a true leader in this field,”
said Howard Givner, Executive Director of the Event Innovation Forum. “We’re
excited to have him show some examples of what it’s capable of, and to explain
to marketers what they need to know to implement this in their own events.”
Obscura appears on the cover of this months’ ZILLION Business Review Magazine
Wednesday , August 01, 2012 / 14:22 PST
“See things in a new way”
ZILLION Business Review, an international magazine providing business
news and in-depth reports on trends, strategy and technological developments
in the global business community, featured Obscura and some of it’s recent
groundbreaking creative visual spaces and displays including the Sheikh Zayed
Mosque, Guggenheim Museum, and Facebook Connections.
Obscura Digital is proud to be recognized as a Certified SF Green Business!
Obscura Digital is proud to be officially recognized as a Certified San Francisco Green Business! Obscura’s team of artists, technologists, and musicians have worked diligently to reduce the company’s electron consumption, re-engineer its solid waste stream to ensure effective recycling, eliminate all toxic cleaning products, and institute a strict environmental purchasing policy. Currently Obscura offers carbon offset packages for all of its live events and is working on similar programs for permanent installations. Obscura is dedicated to promoting a carbon neutral digital age.
Obscura’s SF headquarters wins Architizer global competition.
The results are in for the annual World’s Coolest Office competition. Co-sponsored by Architizer, Inc., and Autodesk. Obscura’s San Francisco headquarters, designed by IwamotoScott Architecture, was selected as the 2011 winner.
Physical social graph mapping project unveiled at F8.
Obscura Digital created a physical, social, augmented reality experience dubbed “Connections” at F8, Facebook’s developer’s conference. Attendees swipe in to the experience using their RFID enabled event badge. Multiple overhead projectors map visuals to the floor and an array of 3D cameras are used to reliably track any number of people within the space.
The tallest and brightest projection display to date.
Obscura Digital achieves the tallest and brightest projection display to date, for the Coca-Cola Company’s 125th Anniversary event on May 6, 2011. Obscura Digital beamed a high-resolution cinematic show reaching 26 stories high on all 4 sides of the Coca-Cola Tower at their headquarters in Atlanta, GA. For more information visit the project page.
On Sunday, March 20th at 8pm Sydney, Australia time (2am PST, 5am EST, 9am GMT), Obscura will unveil one of its most creative innovations to date, when it will fuse live experiential technology with a masterpiece of modernist architecture. The iconic Sydney Opera House will become an augmentation of a live symphonic performance, amplifying the artistry of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra event with real-time audio-reactive graphic projections that will simultaneously canvas the interior and exterior of the iconic building with parallel projection shows. Learn more and tune in live at http://www.youtube.com/symphony.
A sneak-peak of the external projection from this evening’s test run.
YouTube Play at the Guggenheim wins One Show Silver.
The One Club, the world’s foremost non-profit organization devoted to elevating creative work in the industry awards the best in branded entertainment. The One Show Entertainment Awards recognized our YouTube Play event at the Guggenheim Museum with a Silver Pencil Award. Obscura wrapped both the interior and exterior surfaces of the iconic building with real-time 3D graphics and processed event video for the inaugural YouTube Play awards event. See photos/videos and learn more about the event here.
The “Yahoo! Bus Stop Derby” is an integrated marketing campaign which challenges locals to play LCD touch-screen games at 20 high-traffic Muni shelters scattered around San Francisco. This innovative campaign boasts the first-ever interactive digital transit shelters in the U.S. From the early stages of the conception process, the Obscura Digital Team played a leadership role in the consultation, design, and creation of the system’s specialized digital content management system and real-time user-metrics collection system. Obscura Digital also developed and implemented the innovative process integrity service which dials in remote access control for each screen and monitors and updates critical content. The Obscura / Clear Channel Program is projected to grow to over 100 displays by Q2 2011.
At 8pm EST, YouTube will stream the event “Play” live from the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Obscura will wrap the inside and outside of the iconic space with mind-blowing 3D visuals, while YouTube shares the winning video submissions.
Nat Geo Amazing, National Geographic’s new show about all things unbelievably cool, features Obscura Digital in the episode entitled “Jesus Lizard and Ghost Science”. The show aired last Friday, the 3rd of September, but will rerun a few times this week. Check it out!
The respected magazine awards our Kodak work with design distinction.
“I have to believe the beauty and simplicity of the installation itself said at least as much to consumers about Kodak’s brand as the content it displayed.”—Judge Brian Williams
Our work for Kodak, with partner Mirror Show Management, won Design Distinction in this year’s I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review - one of the most prestigious awards in the design world. The traveling trade-show experience features the “Pipeline of Innovation”, a 24 foot long multi-user, multitouch table, plus numerous touch kiosks and Microsoft Surface tables. Next stop Germany for Photokina in late September 2010.
Another successful oversees install this month for the Obscura Digital team at the IPEX conference in London, England. Focusing on the theme of, “It’s Time for You AND Kodak,” the techs set-up a 24 ft multitouch table, Mitrix display, Microsoft Surface tables & information kiosks for an interactive experience. The technology helped the attendees grasp Kodak’s vision and goals for professional business use.
CEO Patrick Connolly featured in SF business magazine
A featured entrepreneur profile of CEO Patrick Connolly was published last week in the San Francisco Business Times. Check out the publication for the full article and to see what Pat says about says about the “Off the chain” craziness inside the office.
CEO Patrick Connolly speaks at visionary conference
CEO Patrick Connolly spoke at the Institute for the Future at their Future of Persuasion Conference. He participated in a panel focusing on three key areas of our Future of Persuasion research - Health, Advertising, and Learning. His time in the spotlight explored the evolving relationship between consumer, brand and all the middlemen in between. The main questions were used to reveal what technology and agents will be most trustworthy and useful.
At it again, Obscura showed off its own elegance at the concourse by highlighting the newest Rolls Royce Ghost models and Parmigiani watches on a 65” mFrame mutlitouch display. The private event was the second annual fundraiser for the nonprofit Hospice by the Bay. The VIP reception allowed donors to have a firsthand glimpse at rare Parmigiani timepieces and successfully support the cause.