Lightborne Communications

Audi e-Tron Global Debut Live Event

For the global debut of their groundbreaking all-electric and highly anticipated e-Tron vehicle, Audi made a big splash on The Bay.

There had been feverish speculation since 2015 on what Audi’s just then announced all electric vehicle would look like and what new twist Audi’s vaunted engineering expertise would bring to the category. The debut of the new vehicle called for dramatics that were a match for the anticipation among the automotive and technical press and the public.

So Seed Marketing & Design, Gail + Rice Experiential, and Silent Partners Studios came up with a great idea: with the event scheduled for the mammoth and historic Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, CA across the bay from San Francisco, instead of loading up and discharging our guests in buses, let’s put all 1500 of them on a boat, and have the boat led across the bay by a flock (gaggle, armada?) of Intel drones to the Pavilion, and be greeted by a dazzling audio, light and video show culminating in several hundred of  the drones forming the famous “four rings” Audi logo over the bay.

Silent House Creative Director Baz Halpin turned to us to create the exterior video that was projection mapped onto the 400 foot wide face of the building, “electrifying” the architecture and creating a memorable entrance experience for the automotive press and Audi dealers from all over the world. Famed DJ and Producer “Natural” created the original score that pulsated with energy and beats that was a match for the excitement of the evening.

Ryan McAllister, Creative Director

We have created content for numerous projection-mapped  events and shows, but this was a first for us in that the audience was on a boat moving across the San Francisco Bay with Intel drones leading the way! It was a great challenge to attempt to have our design and animation match the energy and excitement of this global debut.

Neil Smith, Senior Animator

It was great to work with such a rhythmic and dynamic music track and figure out how to manage the pace of the animation from the beginning, synchronizing with the drones hovering over the bay, to when the enormous ball of energy starts pulsing inside the building, to the finale when the drones form the huge four rings logo.

Kevin Gautraud, Head of 3D

We worked with a 3D model of the structure to accurately map our design to the contours and textures of this very large, 400 foot wide waterfront structure to create the illusion of the building pulsating with energy outside, and also within the interior space where the e-Tron emerges for the very first time.

Facts and Figures


The Craneway Pavilion is a 45,000 square-foot facility in an award-winning, architecturally significant former Ford Assembly Plant building dating back to 1931, located on the San Francisco Bay in Richmond, California.


The side of the Craneway Pavilion facing the water is 401 feet wide, with the adjacent side 180 feet wide.  The projections covered both of these surfaces in their entirety, with the deliverable files being 13,000 wide x 780 pixels high. It was a big one!


Over 1500 automotive press and Audi dealers from all over the world, plus a global audience viewing the live stream.


Check Out The Video!

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