Pushing Through Thin Air: Setting High Goals

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Deliberately placing each foot in front of the other, Greg waits between steps and breathes in and out. Mountaineering is not a fast paced activity. On really hard climbs, where the atmosphere is thinner, he spends quite a bit of time focusing on his breathing. It’s hard to believe, but that’s the really hard part. The walking is easy; it’s the breathing at high altitudes that slows you down.

The first time Greg attempted mountaineering, he set the goal of climbing Mt. Cotopaxi outside of Quito, Ecuador. At 19,374 feet, it’s a decent sized volcanic mountain and a lofty sized mountaineering goal. He’d been building his skill as a hiker and backpacker for many years and now he was ready for a goal that would truly challenge him: Mt. Cotopaxi.

Radar Creative Mt. Cotopaxi

When preparing for a mountaineering expedition, there are many variants to consider. In the Dreaming of Everest post, we reflected on the collaborative role the Sherpa plays in helping people to reach the mountain top. Likewise on this trail, Greg contracted a guide to help him plan and complete his ascent. So with all the elements in place: guide, equipment, and a clear path, he set out to conquer Cotopaxi in the early morning darkness.

Climbing a mountain can fill you with such joy and accomplishment. The energy and effort required to summit a mountain is great. But greater still is the reward, the rush of endorphins, and the sense of achievement. The reward of reaching a mountain top, no matter the size, is the vista that spread out before your eyes when you reach your goal.

That’s why at Radar, we value setting the bar so high, every time. There’s nothing like the joy of dreaming big and then seeing it come to life, particularly when the mountain has been scaled.

For example, in Radar’s recent project with Universal Studies, we managed to squeeze over 100 interviews into 3 days in order to keep the budget manageable. Prior to that, for the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Radar joined RabCup and Green Hippo as a team of 30 to create an incredible  80 foot horizontal projection-mapped experience of the city of Houston in the Wiess Energy Hall.  This project features a 2500 square foot 3-D model of the city, along with a 24-hour time-lapse utilizing 32 projectors and over 4 miles (miles!!) of fiber optic line.

Radar Creative Top of the Mountain

Setting the highest goals is by no means easy, though. Along the way, there are always complications, like the thinning air of high of Mt. Cotopaxi. But the push, the digging deeper it takes to overcome those difficulties makes the victory even sweeter. We’ve seen this time and time again with our clients; with the right strategy and vision, any peak is achievable.

This post is the fiftteenth of a multi-part blog series, “The Camping Creative,” tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity. Read the first post here.

Snow-Shoeing Out of the Comfort Zone

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Greg is out of breath. He stops for a moment to catch his breath and watches it condense into fog midair. The altitude certainly isn’t helping, but the real culprits here are the unwieldy contraptions attached to his feet. Greg is snowshoeing the Mount Tallac trail near Lake Tahoe. It’s his first time snowshoeing and it’s a very new sensation he’s experiencing. The deep snow beneath his feet barely yield a crunch as he steps upon it, seemingly defying gravity. This magic is not without effort though, and he struggles to keep his balance with the new dimensions his feet have taken on.

But Greg relishes the opportunity to step out of his normal (no pun intended.) He understands that there is insight and fresh outlooks to be gained by approaching a hike differently. As someone once said, “If you want something to change… try something different.”

Basic, yes, but true. The reward of deliberately choosing change is instant perspective shift. Greg’s snowshoeing adventure granted him access to terrain and inspiration that he could never have seen if he hadn’t been willing to try something new. Trying something new is rarely effortless, because it requires the use of muscles different from the ones we’re used to exercising. But the effort always pays off in new growth and strength.

As he goes, Greg feels his equilibrium beginning to recalibrate, and he marvels at the incredible mountain scape before him. A view that could never have been possible without his new snowshoes.

Snow-shoeing Radar Creative

The same is true with the creative process. It can be so easy to get stuck in the mud of formulas and routines. Inspiration dries up without intentional change ups. We can never hope to grow within our comfort zone.

Playing off the rule book is key to Radar’s philosophy. We aren’t afraid to go off the beaten track and try on some “new shoes” so to speak. The goal is always to deliver exactly what our clients are needing and we know sometimes that requires stepping off the beaten path.

This post is the fourteenth of a multi-part blog series, “The Camping Creative,” tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity. Read the first post here.

The Forest and the Trees

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This last year was the first time Greg had ever been to Yosemite National Park. It was a wonder to behold. Ever since he was a child, the forest has provided a sense of wonder. Magic, even. The natural breeze and chirping of the birds have always been like an elixir for his anxious mind.

For Greg and for Radar – the forest is a powerful metaphor and a guide:

1. The Forest Cleanses (and Brings Freedom)

Being “freed up” (as we like to call it) is an extremely pivotal tool in the creative process. Think of going out into the wild as a cleanse for your mind. When you purposefully do a wellness cleanse of foods, the body is cleansed of toxins and is able to operate at a much higher level.  Just as our physical bodies need concentrated times of fasting and wellness cleansing, so do our minds.

We’re not saying that all creativity comes from lack of stimulation, but at Radar we do believe we need cycles of tranquility to reset the scales.

2. The Forest Breathes Wonder

Just like Greg, we can’t help but feel awe and curiosity as we stroll through the vastness of the outdoors. The forest helps breathe wonder into our very lungs.

At Radar, we believe child-like wonder is vital to a vibrantly creative life.

What do we mean by wonder? We mean having the ability to speculate curiously, to be filled with awe and to get inspired for strategic thinking. Sometimes creative wonder is sparked by what is strange and surprising. The forest lends itself to this: with each strange insect, creature, and the immensity of the trees themselves.

Without being curious, how can we learn? And if we are not willing to learn, how are we able to see in new ways? Isn’t creativity all about seeing ordinary things in fresh new ways?

There are times when a single phrase during a conference call with a client can spark our wonder–and lead us into surprising new ideas. We’re so grateful for times like these “in the forest” of our work. It truly is an adventure.

This post is the thirteenth of a multi-part blog series, “The Camping Creative,” tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity. Read the first post here.

New Discoveries, Almost Ancient Histories

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Summer is a perfect time to explore a new part of the country, and canoeing and camping in Northern Michigan is beyond amazing. Wildlife sightings. Picturesque landscape. Water for miles.

Bound in the North by Lake Superior and by Lake Michigan in the East, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan looks spectacular in July.

Lake Superior is gnarly. The world’s largest fresh water lake, Superior is clean and clear and deep. So clean, in fact, that Greg bends down to the water and cups his hand till it fills with clear water. He drinks from his hand, because he can. It’s impossible not to feel like a kid again.

The only drawback of Northern Michigan are the pesky flies that bite, and the no-see-ums…the little black dots that also peck and bite.

“This place is truly pristine, but everything seems to bite up here,” Greg says to himself.

At this moment Greg decides to take a break from the water bugs and investigate an old Finnish settlement he happened upon when hiking. The historical plaque outside a rustic old log cabin intrigued and disrupted him.

The rusty historical sign-post told Greg that rich deposits of copper and iron once attracted large numbers of European immigrants to the peninsula in the 1840s. The log cabin he was standing in front of was once constructed by Finnish immigrants nearly 180 years prior. Insane.

He walks into the preserved log cabin, now a historical site open to the public, and finds a small library archive. He opens a book and starts thumbing through its delicate pages.


At Radar, we are convinced that before we can make new discoveries with clients, we first have to remember where we came from. Taking the time to thumb through the annals of our history is extremely significant: it widens possibility for where we can then go in the future.

We are in a time as a company where we’re intentionally revisiting the old foundations of the foundations of Radar’s legacy. It’s like investigating an old log cabin from a bygone era.

That’s why the Radar “Roost” (our tree-house like office) is filled with small mementos from the 1930s and 1940s.

These tiny items are more than what they seem. They are each loaded stories and symbols for Drew, our CEO and CMO, Chief Memory Officer. They speak of the days when his grandfather Richard was fighting fires as a Battalion Chief in the California Forestry Division.

Grandpa Richard’s legacy of bringing peace to chaos lives on in how we approach our work with clients. We put out fires and we find solutions when there are none. It all started somewhere.

This post is the twelfth of a multi-part blog series, “The Camping Creative,” tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity. Read the first post here.

What Fly Fishing Has to Do with a LA Creative Agency

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Walking into the designated campsite at Glacier National Park, Greg surveyed his surroundings with anticipation. He pitched camp by a large lakeside in the middle of the park.

“Just get me away from these tourists by the perimeter.” he thought to himself.

He found a relatively flat spot for his tent and began to pull out all the gear from his pack. Greg was prepared for a great time of beauty, peace, and quiet.

As he set up his campsite, he noticed a few men camping in the spot below him. He watched as they divvied up gear and fishing poles among themselves and set up their campsite. He began to hope they wouldn’t be too loud that evening.

While it was still light, Greg began to boil water for dinner and pulled out his quick dried meal. It was beef stroganoff. Not a bad meal for the woods.

He ate his meal alone in silence. When his neighbors returned, he noticed the smell of their meal of fish with butter, and roasted potatoes and carrots. It was enticing, and he immediately became envious of their sumptuous meal.

Looking down at his freeze dried noodles, he thought to himself:

“I really need to learn how to fish…then maybe I…”

Interrupting him mid-thought, Greg’s neighbors had travelled up the little trail between their sites and offered him some of their fish. He gratefully accepted and struck up a conversation.

He learned that two of the men were brothers and the young men were their sons. They were visiting the park from Canada on a father-son fishing trip.

The next morning, his neighbors invited Greg to join them on a fly-fishing expedition at the lake. Honestly, he struggled to cast the reel, but enjoyed learning something new.

He realized his trip to this campsite was made so much better by the friendship and adventures he now shared with these five men. He appreciated their kindness, and took delight in the new skills he had gained. Greg began his camping adventure alone, but ended up building lasting relationships.

Adventures beg for companions. At Radar, we care about people and building lasting partnerships. Our clients aren’t just business to us, they become friends. Some of our clients have become like family!

When we’re able to make the transition to go beyond seeing people as strangers (or…cogs in wheels of capitalism), that’s where the magic happens. Adventures are meant to be shared. That’s why at Radar we approach every single project like a new camping adventure with new friends.

Let’s grab the fly fishing pole and see what we can find together…

This post is the twelfth of a multi-part blog series, “The Camping Creative,” tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity. Read the first post here.

What’s In Your Pack?

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Backpack set out before him, Greg lists out the items in his mind that are essential to his upcoming trip to Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada Range outside Fresno, California.

Matches. Check.

Stove and gas. Check.

Rain gear, headlamp, compass and map. Check.

Greg walks with anticipation to his newly organized garage. It’s kind of a sacred space…it’s the ultimate space for any pro-level camper.

All across America, garages have been dedicated to storing all sorts of gear, whether athletic, camping, or otherwise. Greg decided a while ago that his camping gear would have its own place of honor in his garage so he can easily make a quick get away on weekend camping trips.

Opening the door leading to the garage, Greg admires his prep work. Sleeping mats are rolled and tied, and the tent is carefully wrapped in its case and placed on its shelf. Smaller items are housed in clear tupperware marked with labels of “food prep,” “maps,” and “water purifier.” A large white peg-board with metal hooks hold trowels, trekking poles, a headlamp and water bottle.

Preparation is such an important part of camping, hiking, and mountaineering. The right tools can make a huge difference to your experience–just like a perfectly stashed raincoat can shelter you in an unexpected storm.

Having the right things in your pack can even save your life! For instance: having a safety beacon in the midst of an avalanche, or having the right water purification tablets if you’re stranded out in back-country.

As camping and mountaineering became more of a mainstay in Greg’s life, he began to take more frequent trips and decided he’d always be ready at a moment’s notice for…just about any scenario possible.

At Radar, we are ready at a moments’ notice to curate and customize the most essential “pack” possible for your project.  We pride ourselves on our ninja-like ability to pull together just the right team to perfectly fit your needs (and budget), each one a specialist in their own right.

We live by the wisdom of Louis Pasteur when he said “chance favors the prepared mind.” In other words, being ready involves having systems in place that will enable us to act fast, with very little lead-time.  It’s part of what makes Radar so nimble and light on our feet.

You’ll find us pack-ready for our next adventure with clients, long before we may have even met them. You could say this makes us “adventure-ready” at any moment.

What’s in your pack? Could you use some help making sure you have all that you need?

This post is the eleventh of a multi-part blog series, “The Camping Creative,” tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity. Read the first post here.

The Power of Rituals – part 1: Coffee

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Holding the piping hot mug of coffee in his gloved hands, Greg is instantly warmed. He watches the steam rising from the cup and is reminded of the beauty of this moment. Away from the regular distractions of home, he is surrounded by a cathedral of trees.

Looking through the layered branches towards the light blue sky, this simple habit of resting and savoring a cup of coffee brings both peace and a sense of rootedness to his mind and body.

Some may think that having coffee while camping is an unnecessary luxury. At Radar, all of us (yes, all of us) disagree! Why? We’re so glad you asked.

There is an almost ceremonial quality in the preparation, and eventual consumption of the magic bean. It requires a few things that carry a strong connection to the creative process:

1. Just like the creative process, the best coffee prep requires acuity and an eye to detail.

Whether it’s a chemex, french press, pour-over, or espresso machine, the preparation of coffee requries an eye to detail. While camping, you might be suprised how good a cup you can brew with a french press or an old-world Italian-style stovetop over a fire.

2. Coffee fuels ideas, because it helps to animate and awaken our minds.

Coffee helps stimulates new connections as it helps our brains awaken. Additionally, the pause that we take to rest and think (often done over coffee!) allows us to gather our thoughts and organize our vision. In fact, in Italy, the coffee break is referred to as la pausa. It is meant to be a ritual of togetherness and pause. This is why it is very difficult to find take-away/to-go coffees in most of Southern Europe.

3. Coffee draws people together.

There are few daily rituals more common place than a morning cup of coffee. Across the globe, people are rising and preparing their morning joe according to their personal preferences.

In Naples, Italy, you’ll find it as espresso mixed with sugar. In Turkey, it’s thick and strong. In Portugal, it’s a bica at breaktime, or a meia de leite (half of milk) cup in the afternoon. Each cup emerges slightly different; beans harvested in Vietnam, Brazil, Indonesia, Ethiopia (our favorite) and Guatemala are transported to new locations, and are then roasted and packaged with care and delivered to a store for purchase.

While sipping his warm beverage in the middle of a forested grove of trees, Greg is reminded of the importance of ritual, and the beauty of of habits harnessed through the creative process.

This post is the tenth of a multi-part blog series, “The Camping Creative,” tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity. Read the first post here.

“Bagging a Peak”; Considering Strategic Partners and Solo-Climbs

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Deliberately placing each foot in front of the other, Greg waits between steps and breathes in and out. Mountaineering is not a terribly fast paced activity. On really hard climbs, where the atmosphere is thinner, he spends quite a bit of time focusing on his breathing.

The walking is actually quite simple. It’s the other parts, like intentionally zoning in breathing correctly, that can slow you down.

The first time Greg attempted mountaineering, he set the lofty goal of climbing Mt. Cotopaxi outside of Quito, Ecuador. At 19,374 feet, it’s a decent sized volcanic mountain, and a fairly hefty mountaineering goal. He has been an avid hiker and backpacker for many years, but was ready for something much larger, a goal that would challenge and inspire him: Mt. Cotopaxi.

Climbing a mountain can fill you with such joy and a great sense of accomplishment. The energy and effort required to summit a mountain, or to “bag a peak,” is unreal.

Yet, greater still is the reward, the rush of endorphins, and the sense that you did something super challenging. No matter how big or small, whether it’s a 6000 foot goal, or a 19,000 foot goal, getting to the top of a mountain means being rewarded with the large vista spanning before your eyes.

In mountaineering, there are tons of things to consider. In the Dreaming of Everest post, we reflected on the collaborative role the Sherpa plays in helping people to reach their goals. Likewise, on this trail, Greg contracted a professional company and guide to help him plan and complete his ascent in the most efficient way possible.

So, with a guide, equipment, and a clear path, he set out to conquer the mountain in the early morning darkness.

At Radar, we have been in both Greg’s shoes and the guide-company’s shoes. We know what it means to scale a “creative mountain” with the help of strategic partners, and there are some mountains that we know like the back of our hand, and we gladly lead our clients up those craggy cliffs.

We’re in it for the adventure, together.

This post is the ninth of a multi-part blog series, “The Camping Creative,” tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity. Read the first post here.

[ Mt. Cotaxapi image from the Creative Commons by Dallas Krentzel ]

Bears? On Overcoming Obstacles & the Pricelessness of Danger

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Deep in the lush green of the back-country, Greg is living his best life replete with a simple backpack, a water-bottle, and his map. He thinks to himself that this is where he truly belongs: on this hike, out in this wonderful wild, far away from cell-phone signal and the endless list of emails.

As he approaches a new trail up ahead, he hesitates a moment and starts to slow down.  Startled, he stops suddenly. Greg senses something ahead of him.

“What is that?” he whispers to himself, cautiously.  It was as if he could sense and hear something before he could actually see it.

Squinting into the sunlight, he strains to see what is up ahead.  His heart beat pounding now in his ears, his eyes make out the outlines of a fairly huge bear feasting on a carcass. It was maybe forty or fifty feet in the distance.

All in an instant, Greg’s moment of hiking-zen is interrupted by mental images of the horrific bear scene in The Revenant.

“Snap out of it, bro,” he whispers to himself.  “That’s a huge bear, but it doesn’t look like a grizzly.”

Slowly, he backs away quietly, keeping his eyes glued on the bear, grateful that he wasn’t noticed by the beast in the midst of its carcass-feasting.  He waits until the bear is completely out of view and then starts jogging back to his tent.

“New plan,” he breathes aloud, grateful for the wild encounter.

“I’ve learnt it’s not really an adventure until something goes wrong.” – Bear Grylls, Adventurer

Overcoming unexpected obstacles is a key part of the creative process. At Radar, we’ve learned that sometimes encountering “the bear” is a gift: it means turning around and retreating on a route that we originally thought was ideal. Sometimes it even means going back to the Roost to rest and re-group, much like Greg had to return to his campsite.

While hindsight is always 20/20, in the midst of a stressful project that encounters obstacles, we try to remind ourselves that having to pivot on a dime forces us to think in new, creative ways.

Sometimes the encounter with the bear is exactly the “dangerous moment” we needed. Pivoting on our plan forces to think strategically and creatively on new levels.

It reminds us that this is the adventure that we signed up for.


The Camping Creative is the eighth of a multi-part blog series, tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity.  Read the first post here.

[Camping image from Creative Commons by Jakob Walter]

Official Press Release for Energy City Launch







Houston, TX— RabCup, hired by Paul Bernhard Exhibit Design and Consulting (PBE) to bring the famed “Energy City” to life are now unveiling the details of this epic installation which took over two years to develop.


Energy City is one of the highlight installations in the new Wiess Energy Hall, the most comprehensive energy exhibit in the world. “Energy City,” a 2,500-square-foot 3D landscape designed and fabricated by PBE, represents Houston, the surrounding Gulf coastal waters, and the terrain of southeast and central Texas. This vibrant 1/150th-scale “white model” will use bleeding-edge projection mapping technology to bring to life the energy value chain with dynamic animation as the entire tableau cycles from day to night.


PBE, the design company selected to create the Wiess Energy Hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, chose to work with RabCup (www.RabCup.com) on “Energy City” for their extensive projection mapping experience, inventive video solutions, and project management expertise.  Assessing the task at hand, RabCup founders AJ Freysteinson and Justin Fortier immediately got to work on assembling the best possible group of field experts to help create this masterpiece installation.


Enlisting Green Hippo (www.green-hippo.com) to move over 128 megapixels of content in a model that is over 13 million vertices wasn’t the only thing RabCup would need the media server manufacturer for. They also tapped Cory Froke, SuperTech at Green Hippo, to join the endeavor.  With a rock solid team in place, the projection study, preliminary system design and projection design complete, it became apparent that existing automated alignment systems were not going to be feasible, technically or financially.  Due to the complexity of the model, this would have required a minimum of one camera per projector, likely even more.  So the R&D began on an alternative, affordable alignment system that can stand on its own, completely independent of the projection system. With a formidable task at hand, Green Hippo created SHAPE Auto-Alignment, a camera-less, affordable, automated alignment system that can align and blend all 32 projectors at the touch of a button in minutes. 168 fiber optic light sensors embedded into the model, using over 7 kilometers of plastic sensor fiber routed back to custom-built SHAPE Processing Nodes make this possible.  Green Hippo’s component-based structure allowed the team to remove any unnecessary features, giving the render engine more resources to deal with playing that much video seamlessly.  The 128 Megapixel content delivery resolution is one of the most intricate projection mapping projects ever done (with over 13 million polygons in the model!).  60fps playback is accomplished with ease by a system of (9) Green Hippo Hippotizer Taiga DP, with (2) Hippotizer Amba serving as management machines for the system.


Equally as important to this project was content.  Rabcup selected Radar (www.radarla.com) to produce the animated media for Energy City.  With a team of over 30 people, including 12 animators, 4 producers, and 4 content writers, Radar created custom content for this installation bringing Houston into focus on the model.  Over the course of the project, Radar rendered over 30 TERABYTES worth of content.  Final animations show 8 different energy systems and stories as well as a 24 hour time-lapse of the city itself.  A fun tidbit to note, if you look hard enough, there are various “easter eggs” built into the city scenes.  Viewers can search for such things as a T-Rex, an alien abduction, and then more normal city occurrences like a police chase, and other exciting minutiae.


For two and a half years, RabCup worked with PBE to create “Energy City”, recruiting the expertise of Green Hippo and Radar.  Together, this team of experts have created a one of a kind exhibit, showcasing new technologies in a fun, educational manner.


“Collaborating with PBE on this project for the last two and a half years has truly been an honor.  They created an astonishing canvas,” said RabCup co-founder Justin Fortier.  “It’s an incredible feeling to have your work showcased in such an admired museum, it calls for all of us to bring our best. And having our work centered on education is something we’re are all proud of.”


“Working on a museum floor going from concrete to a fully built out tech heavy space, over the course of two years, while engaging some of the most creative people we have ever had the pleasure to be around, has made this experience one of the most exciting projects we’ve ever been a part of,” added RabCup co-founder AJ Freysteinson.


The exhibit features 30 minutes of custom content, a five-minute day to night sequence and 8 Science modules.  The 6.1 channel audio system with speakers spread across the 80’-wide model create amazing immersive effects.  The model features environmental sounds specific to a certain area so that no matter where a viewer is standing, that area will have its own distinct sound.  The end result is a stunning visual and audio tour de force, with a new experience every time you walk into the room.


For more information on the exhibit please visit www.RabCup.com or www.hmns.org.


# # #



Based in Los Angeles, RabCup Corp. is a full-service, tech-driven production company specializes in 3D projection mapping, holographic art, and other unique visual solutions. With over 20 years of production & live event experience, RabCup’s team has spent their professional careers conceptualizing, designing and executing unique and breathtaking experiences. Working in theatre, broadcast, film, live event, music touring, festivals, corporate events and production design.  www.RabCup.com


ABOUT Green Hippo

Formed in 2000, Green Hippo has grown from a specialist manufacturer of bespoke solutions to one of the leading players in the ever-growing field of scenic video. The company’s award winning Hippotizer™ range is now in its fourth generation and can be found providing real-time video playback for television sets including Eurovision, The Academy Awards, the Super Bowl halftime shows. Theatre spectaculars such as Love Never Dies in the West End and American Idiot on Broadway utilise the system due to its flexibility during production periods and concert tours for artists such as Beyonce, Depeche Mode, and Madonna have proven its reliability out on the road.

As a result of the boom in video as an integral part of all high-profile events from opening ceremonies to corporate shows, Hippotizer™ media servers now reside in the inventory of most of the major rental companies worldwide alongside an ever-growing set of owner operators worldwide.

Based in London, UK and Glendale, CA Green Hippo provides innovative solutions and support to users, distributors and installers worldwide.  www.green-hippo.com



Radar amplifies experiences through excellent video production & post, large-scale projection-mapping, and digital installations. Drawing from over 13 years of experience in video production, content creation, and digital design, Radar’s clients include: Boeing, DIRECTV, Toyota, Universal Studios Hollywood, Natural History Museum, Saucony, Zillow, and UNICEF.  www.radarla.com



The Houston Museum of Natural Science—one of the nation’s most heavily attended museums—is a centerpiece of the Houston Museum District. With four floors of permanent exhibit halls, and the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium, and George Observatory, and as host to world-class and ever-changing touring exhibitions, the Museum has something to delight every age group. With such diverse and extraordinary offerings, a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, located at 5555 Hermann Park Drive in the heart of the Museum District, is always an adventure. www.hmns.org



PBE creates museum exhibitions. PBE is a diverse team of designers, content specialists, writers, programmers, engineers, graphic artists, fabricators, technicians, administrators—and other hard-working go-getters, all collaborating to produce a vast variety of projects across a multitude of media. PBE’s work reflects the team’s diversity: whether the task is creating exhibit halls, immersive environments, digital media, or movie sets, PBE realizes a vision that meets the goals of the organizations it serves.  www.pbexhibits.com

Behind the Scenes at the Houston Museum of Natural Science: First Look at Wiess Energy Hall 3.0

Watch Wiess Energy Hall 3.0 come to life. In this first sneak peek, you’ll see Energy City, the Eagle Ford Shale Experience and the new and improved Geovator!  The NEW Wiess Energy Hall 3.0 opens November 20.

#RadarLA #RabCup #HMNSPartner #WiessEnergyHall #PBExhibits #EnergyCity #GreenHippo #ContentCreators #RuleTheRoost

A Fly Through of the Wiess Energy Hall


We are so proud to unveil a behind-the-scenes “fly through” of one of the projects that we’ve been working on for nearly 2 full years: ENERGY CITY! Energy City is located in the Wiess Energy Hall exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Energy City is a first of its kind, 2500 sq. ft., three dimensional miniature landscape representing the city of Houston, Texas. Using cutting edge projection mapping technology, Radar’s custom content is synced with physical animations to bring the city to life. This exhibit shows all the ways we use energy to power our world in an engaging and educational way.

#RabCup #HMNSPartner #WiessEnergyHall #PBExhibits #EnergyCity #GreenHippo #ContentCreators #RuleTheRoost

Houston Chronicle Covers “Wiess Energy Hall 3.0” Launch

As we move closer to the launch of Energy City, the 2-year project Radar completed with PBERab Cup and Green Hippo, we’re thrilled to see such awesome press coverage of our work.

Check out these excerpts from The Houston Chronicle:

“We take the science and education piece of it very seriously, but we have to make it fun and find a way to spark people’s imagination and hope that they want to learn more after they leave the museum,” Bartsch said. “It’s all incredibly cool.”

Also new is “Energy City” a 2,500-square-foot, 3-D landscape representing Houston, the surrounding Gulf coastal waters, and the terrain of southeast Texas.

The milk-white model city is eye-catching. But the magic really happens when the museum staffers turn on a series of projectors that cast images on the models, simulating windows on buildings, turning day to night, and making cars and trains “move” throughout the city.”

-Excerpts from “Museum of Natural Science to unveil new energy exhibit in the fall” By Kim McGuire

Read full article here

Dreaming of Everest: the Collaborative Climb

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While Greg is out on the trail alone, he starts dreaming of higher peaks to climb.  As his mind wanders, he thinks back to a TEDX talk he watched recently on Mountaineering. In it, Dawa Steven talked about what it is like to be a sherpa, leading people up Mount Everest.

“How rad it would be to climb Everest one day, ” he thought to himself.

As he let his thoughts imagine the climb of that exceptionally dangerous mountain, he was thinking of the intricate work of a sherpa — and how important they are when climbing a mountain like Everest.

“A sherpa is great metaphor for collaboration,” Greg thinks to himself, musing on how mountaineering relates to his work.

“It’s interesting to think about how a sherpa is one person who holds the responsibility to ‘get us there.'”

We think Greg is onto something with this metaphor for mountaineering. The collaborative “climb” is so fundamental to Radar’s creative process with our clients.  Yes, we act as a sherpa who holds the pack, knows the way, and is protective of the vision to get to the project’s end goal.

But our clients still move with us — they aren’t just chilling back at Basecamp with a cup of hot coffee while the sherpa makes the trek up the mountain. We actually rely on our clients having the momentum to follow us in this collaborative process, and to participate actively. This is a dynamic trek, and we do it together.

The reality is that there are times when we need the client to move ahead of us on the trail, to give feedback, to clarify vision or goals. It is definitely an adventure, and no creative relationship is the same.

Here’s the TEDx talk that Greg was musing on:


The Camping Creative is the seventh of a multi-part blog series, tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity.  Read the first post here.

[Everest image from Creative Commons by Gunther Hagleitner]

Throwing Away the Map

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Waking up to the cool, crisp morning air, Greg is ready to go for a hike.  Even before making breakfast, before the sacred morning coffee, Greg is ready for an adventure.

As he peeks over the green horizon, he remembers the trail map that the National Park guide gave him when he entered the park.  Rummaging through his backpack, he finds the map, and then suddenly tears it in two.

“I don’t want anyone else’s directions this morning,” he thinks to himself.

Without a moment’s hesitation, he ties on his trail shoes and takes off on a slow jog up the trail.  His only guide is the road.  His only intention is to discover something.

As he feels the air in his lungs, and looks across the vastness of the scene, it seems the blueness of the sky cools his very mind.  What he will find — only the trail knows.

The creative process can’t be reduced to a road map.  There are no short-cuts, or easy ways to get there.

Much like Greg’s decision to “just go,” a great deal of the creative tangles and problems that we face for our clients requires us to take risks, and learn as we go. We believe this is both a science and an art.

This part of the creative process *does* require immediacy, though. Oftentimes, clients come to us with a problem that needs solving…yesterday. Lead time is a luxury that we aren’t always given. And that’s ok with us. (Here’s just one example of many…from back in our event producing days!)

Fortunately, at Radar we know better than anyone how to meet a deadline and how to finish well (and under budget!) – by just grabbing our trail shoes and GOING. The creative discoveries we make along the way are part of the collaborative process that we enjoy with our clients.

We’ll talk more about that collaboration in our next post.


The Camping Creative is the sixth of a multi-part blog series, tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity.  Read the first post here.

[Creative commons image by Douglas Scortegagna]

Essential Items: Packing Your Flashlight

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It’s the middle of the night. The stars are a silent canopy above. The quiet is lulling and Greg is starting to fall asleep.

Suddenly, he hears a rustling outside his tent. An animal? A person? Without thinking, he grabs his flashlight and jumps out of the tent. There’s no time to waste.

The creative process can sometimes feel like being awoken in the middle of the night. Cultivating alertness and readiness doesn’t come by accident. What you’ve put by “your bedside” or “in your tent” will be what you’re able to take with you, when the moment beckons.

Here at Radar, we believe that learning how to make space for creative insight is much like having a flashlight ready in the dark. Turn on the light in a moment’s notice: shine the beams on something you might have missed, otherwise.

Yes, “chance favors the prepared mind” (Louis Pasteur) so perhaps being prepared for bursts of ideation means cultivating an ability to stay present. But how do we do that, exactly?

Getting outdoors, breathing in fresh air, going on a run, taking a long walk, (and to bring it back full-circle) perhaps even camping itself can teach us how to stay present and remain in the moment. Sometimes we just need a reset.

Do you need a reset? What can you do this week to make sure you’re “packing your flashlight”?

For us at Radar, sometimes just having a moleskine in our back pocket reminds us stay present. Never under estimate the ability to take notes on mundane things. The creative process demands that we have the tools ready to shine a light on new ideas.

Remembering to “pack your flashlight” won’t happen overnight. It takes practice. Here’s to practicing the habits that truly matter.


The Camping Creative is the fifth of a multi-part blog series, tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity.  Read the first post here.

[image of flashlight from Creative commons by Cezary Borysiuk]

Momentum & Movement: Keeping the Fire Going

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Greg stares up at the sky as the fire crackles. He exhales. Glancing back at the dancing light, he realizes he’ll need to find three or four more logs to keep the heat going. The job of building the fire is never completely done.

As he gets up to chop a few more thick branches for kindle, Greg smiles to himself. The hardest work is done, now he gets to just add to it. With each swing of the ax, the stress of the previous week oozes out of his back. Not only that, but on the walk back to the campfire, Greg even starts to get new ideas for the project he’s designing.

Taking the long road plays out in the adventure of building a fire: it forces us to move our bodies, which super-charges our creative minds.

Current research in experimental psychology suggests that physical movement directly influences the brain’s ability to process information and problem solve. It turns out, we’re not just brains on stilt-legs walking about, we are embodied. All of our processes are interconnected. Never is that more clear than in the creative process.

That is why one of our core values at Radar is to favor walking meetings over sitting meetings. Harnessing kinetic energy leads to “a-ha!” moments in the creative process.

You can’t make a fire without movement – this kinetic energy creates space for your mind to kick into high gear. At Radar, we love when this moment happens — when the body and mind coalesce toward a breakthrough idea for our clients.


The Camping Creative is the fourth of a multi-part blog series, tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity.  Read the first post here.

[ Thanks to Tony Webster for the Creative Commons image, and Google for the definition ]

Waiting for the Drop; or, the Beauty of the Dreaded Cell-Service Drop

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Greg is pleased with the campfire he just created. As he sits, staring into the embers, he daydreams that the fire itself was somehow his invention. The restfulness is palpable.

Then, like an ambulance siren breaking in around the corner, Greg’s thoughts careen back toward work deadlines. He reaches for his phone, and walks away from the fire.


In the midst of his downloading an extensive and “important” email, cell-phone service drops out. Dropping an eft-bomb simultaneously with the cellular drop, Greg walks around like a rabid animal trying to find satellite reconnection.

The whole act is infuriatingly futile. At no point in the campsite can he seem to reconnect. It’s almost like the universe is enforcing some boundary line of quieting.

Greg pours some bourbon into a blue camping mug as consolation, and sulks by the fire for a moment. With a conciliatory sigh, he reaches for the tent pegs to put together his tent.

Stretching the flat tent out over the ground, Greg imagines the boundary lines of the tent as if seeing the earth from space. He imagines how the tent almost looks like the outline of Australia.

As he pushes each tent peg into the ground with his bare hands, Greg quickly transcends the cell phone debacle. Touching the bare earth does something to him. He makes a promise to himself.

For the rest of my time at this campground, I won’t let my mind wander at all around work deadlines. This space is mine.


Greg’s cell phone service circus is a familiar one. For all of us, creatives especially, finding space to literally “un-plug” is often crucial to make space for creative ideation.

The decision to say “no” to good things for a time is an act of the will, to protect for something better. Getting outside of our normal environment is an excellent way to create those boundary lines, but sometimes that isn’t enough.

The creative process demands that we learn how to disengage from our daily habits that might interfere with making our best work.

Here at Radar, we have a few different corporate practices that help us spread out the tent pegs to create space for great ideas. One of those practices is to take walking meetings, whenever possible. In our next post, we’ll talk about what current research has to say about the kinetic connection between creativity and movement.


The Camping Creative is the third of a multi-part blog series, tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity.  Read the first post here.

Have you put into practice any sort of disciplines that help you draw boundary lines around your creative work? What are they? We’d love to start a conversation around this.

[iPhone image by Jacob Munk-Stander; Camping image by Rob Malouf]

Burn, Baby, Burn: How to Build a Campfire

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The day before arriving at the campsite, in the midst of all of the wonderful chaos of family and work responsibilities, Greg starts daydreaming. His mind wanders to the apex of the camping experience: the campfire.

He can practically smell the familiar scent of the smoky brilliance as he sees the light dancing in his mind’s eye.

Then his practical side swiftly kicks in, snapping him out of the moment. He asks himself:

Ahh, the campfire, yes.
How will I build that sucker?


Let’s talk about short-cuts.

When you’re out in the wilderness, you really have two options to build a fire. The route you take depends a great deal on the plans you’ve made ahead of time. The creative process is no different.

Option 1 – You pre-purchase a bundle of wood from Home Depot.

Home Depot Wood

Yes, it is faster and easier to just buy a bundle of wood on the way to the campsite. Yes, it will allow you to “skip to the end” and start enjoying the campfire, pronto. But a fire built with pre-fab bundles from the store will be sufficiently less memorable than a campfire that you build with your own hands.

The creative process is no different. There are no shortcuts to memorable work. There are no shortcuts to a creative product that endures.

We’re going with option #2, and so is Greg. (It’s amazing how Greg follows our lead so well!)

Option 2 – You find the wood on your own, because you are owning this fire.

You are a real man, (or a fearlessly bad-ass woman), so you grab an ax and head toward the nearest tree, feeling unstoppable. You use your strength to chop the low-hanging tree branches into a pile of substantial fuel, where you will carry it over to the circle you’ve envisioned for your fire. Maybe you’ve even outlined that area with stones.

This entire process takes hours. You are tired at the end. You are also a shade covered in sweat. But it was also incredibly interesting how much your mind was cleared with each swing of the ax.

At Radar, we believe that the path of least resistance is not always the best option, particularly in our space: creating vibrant media for our clients.

Staying prepared means knowing the outcomes of what might be a more difficult set of creative decisions, versus the outcomes of the “quick and easy” route. In our world of short attention spans, chance discoveries favors the prepared mind.


Known as the “father of microbiology,” Louis Pasteur’s (1822-1895) landmark discoveries led to modern vaccinations that have saved innumerable lives. His experiments in germ theory were wildly creative, and we believe his maxim rings true for the creative process.

In our next post, we’ll talk more about how taking the long road plays out in the adventure of building a fire: it forces us to move our bodies, which super-charges our creative minds.


The Camping Creative is the second of a multi-part blog series, tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity.  Read the first post here.

Do you have anything to add about how taking shortcuts has led to less-than-memorable creative moments? Together we can find new connections between the creative process and your own unique experiences. 

[Images via GIPHY & Legalv1]

The Camping Creative


Gazing upward, Greg realizes that the Sequoia overgrowth is thinning out. Usually the perfect campsite is easy to find, but this evening it seems as though the forest has plans of its own. He can’t truly rely on technology either; cell service dropped out about a half-mile back. Greg passes another large family of trees, a thicket or two, and there it is: The clearing he has been looking for.

Quickly he sets his pack down. Holding a hand up he measures how much sun is left— about 1.5 hands away. He has an hour and a half to setup before dusk arrives. No problem. Determined, he starts on assembling his tent. The tent pops up quickly as Greg feels a very familiar feeling. He is home. He is where he belongs at this very moment. As long as he has his tent, he is comfortable mentally. The outside forest becomes the backdrop. Inside he is free.

Being a seasoned veteran of camping, as well as having his share of small manageable disasters, Greg knows what comes next. FIRE. And lots of it. He builds a robust fire, gathers additional wood that should sustain him for the next 12 hours and hunkers down for the night. Surrounding him is the fruit of his labor. In this alien land he has managed to setup the essentials and these in turn have become pillars for him: shelter, warmth, fuel, protection, freedom. Untethered from the outside world, Greg focuses on what matters most to him. In a small way, a different man will make the return trek. He is hoping for clarity and change.


Camping has always intrigued me. As a young boy I didn’t get to do much of it. My parents actually “glamp’d” quite a bit before the world created a meme out of it. We would drive around the Southwest with the family RV, occasionally setting up a small tent outside. True camping found me later in my young adult life. I have a lot to learn, but I feel I have found a zone of this planet that speaks to me. I cannot help but look inward. I can only compare it to one other factor in my life— the creative process.

Camping and Creativity are brothers. The simple setting-change of being in the wilderness, outside of our normal duties, can reignite the creative fire inside of us. One of Camping and Creativity’s primary adversaries is the cold. That complacent, chilly, stagnant feeling you get when you realize your current work, brand or campaign needs a complete revamp. It has lost its fire.

The cold seeks to steal our comfort, security and momentum. We need to clearly define what we are attempting to create in order to be in the right place at the right time for those unforeseen thoughts and ideas (sparks) to enter into play. If not, we will miss them. That process is our firewood (more to come on this soon). The ideas are the crackles and sparks…Then hopefully, if we get a fire hot enough, we can actually cook something.

We look forward to this creative exploration and are excited for you to join us. Here at The Roost [RADAR Creative], we are always looking for new and creative ways to tell your story using rich and vibrant media. Highlighting and exposing the modern creative process is paramount if we are to successfully collaborate with our partners and clients. We’d love to hear your story.



Do you have amazing memories sitting around the campfire or maybe an epic outdoor excursion? Together we can find new connections between the creative process and your own unique experiences.