Project Description

ILUMA at the National Museum of History, Sofia

Studio Phormatik immersed visitors in vibrant digital installations throughout Bulgaria’s National Museum of History, adding new dimensions to the space.

Recently, DNA Creative Agency asked Studio Phormatik to temporarily transform the National Museum of History in Sofia, Bulgaria into a space for new media art installations. With plenty of freedom, the creative team proposed reinventing what a museum could be by converting it from a collection of artefacts to a centre of digital expression.

Studio Phormatik sought to make the museum’s structure feel alive, as if it not only existed but breathed life in the surrounding forest six miles from downtown Sofia. By intertwining nature (through the greenery), history (through the building), and technology (through their content), they could prime each visitor’s imagination.

While some of the team’s workflow involved traditional 3D rendering and compositing, much of the installations required vast experimentation. For instance, in creating the “Totem” installation, they used Notch and Spark AR to create a filter that tracked the totem based on texture, creating the illusion of a hidden space inside. With the Screen Projection node, they could turn the four sides of the totem into a single wrap-around video source for the LED panel hardware.

The studio also used Notch for particle simulations and surface displacement designs. For the “Light” installation, they used Notch to previsualise and program the dynamics of 120 individual lights. As Notch Designer & Animator Mihail Iliev noted, “It was fascinating to see the audience’s interaction with the AR features. The feedback we received greatly surpassed expectations.”

“Notch made it easy to quickly recreate, offset, randomise, and resize the client’s designs for every kind of screen.”

Mihail Iliev, Notch Designer & Animator, Studio Phormatik

Client: Philip Morris Bulgaria / IQOS Bulgaria
Production Company: DNA Agency
Production Design: Studio Phormatik
Creative Direction: Studio Phormatik & DNA Agency

Notch Designer: Mihail Iliev
Video Director: Vladislav Iliev
Lighting Designer: Simeon Ianchev
Screen Producer: Vladislav Iliev
Animators: Mihail Iliev, Stefan Bedelev & Vladislav Iliev