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Multimedia and AV
Simulate to stimulate

Romance, thrills, flying, space exploration and David Bowie are among the subjects inspiring AV and multimedia installations

By Julie Cramer | Published in Attractions Management 2013 issue 4

Hobs pit

Digital media distributor Pixels has recently adapted 12 BrightSign solid state digital signage players at the Hobs Pit theme park ride at Pleasurewood Hills in Lowestoft, UK. The players are designed to control the special effects as well as play back HD video.

The Hobs Pit attraction, which was created by award-winning illusionist Sean Alexander with the help of Hollywood special effects artist Rob Ostir, was launched this summer and transports visitors to a scary, abandoned mine.

It combines a dark ride and walk through section with a host of visual and voice effects matched to scenes in HD on LCD screens, as well as holograms and physical effects like rattling doors, closing hatches and moving corpses.

Sean Alexander says: “Making an attraction like this work for the audience relies on split-second co-ordination. Each effect has to happen at exactly the right moment, and when it starts, the video playback, holographic projection and physical effects need to be totally in synch – otherwise the impact is lost.”

Using BrightScript, Pixels programmed the BrightSign players to replay HD video in response to triggers from sensors in the ride, and to control pneumatic valves and rams, lighting and motors for the special effects. Control was achieved through the GPIO port on the players, avoiding the need for expensive control systems.

The £500,000 ride, one of only two in the UK rated 12A by the British Board of Film Classification, is part of a £3.5m investment by owners, Looping Group.

 



Hobs Pit is a dark ride themed on a scary mine and has a 12A certificate
 


Hobs Pit was created by illusionist Sean Alexander and uses holographs and other effects to scare visitors
 
 


Hobs Pit was created by illusionist Sean Alexander and uses holographs and other effects to scare visitors
 
Urban futures

The multimedia Urban Futures exhibit at Siemens’ Crystal visitor attraction (see Leisure Management Q1 13, p62) in London’s Docklands was conceived and delivered by Event Communications, with hardware installed by Electrosonic.

The exhibition, which is dedicated to urban sustainability, uses interactive media in 10 zones to challenge and reinvent the way people think about city living.

Visitors receive a Crystal key RFID card at reception that enables them to ‘log in’ to displays and have their activities and areas of interest saved. They can then access a record of their experiments in the Future Life zone at end of the experience.

The journey starts with a powerful multimedia display in a glowing, egg-like structure on the mezzanine, entitled Forces of Change. Inside the egg, visitors experience an immersive image and sound environment that appears to hang in space, with images floating on the walls and floor.

Under the themes of Demographic Change, Urbanisation and Climate change, the films (all commissioned by Event) blend still images, film clips, graphics, sound and lighting to create an experience that balances drama and statistics. After this, visitors can wander round the exhibit in any order.
Understanding Cities is a bespoke interactive exhibit based on real data used by city managers at New York’s Regional Planning Authority (RPA). It uses real time information and snapshot monitoring to paint a picture of how cities work.

In the safe and sound zone, one of the most popular interactives is the Access Control test, putting visitors in the role of a person checking ID badges against live faces, to see if their facial recognition can better a computer.

One of the most exciting elements of the exhibition is the Tesla coil, which encourages visitors to think about energy supply by matching their physical movements to electricity demand. When demand is high, intense physical movement is required to trigger the Tesla coil.

 



The Urban Futures exhibit covers 10 zones, with some unique multimedia visitor experiences in each
 


The Urban Futures exhibit covers 10 zones, with some unique multimedia visitor experiences in each
 
 


The Urban Futures exhibit covers 10 zones, with some unique multimedia visitor experiences in each
 
Emirates aviation experience

As specialists in interactive technologies for branded environments, Engage Production has created some cutting-edge digital installations for the Emirates Aviation Experience in London.

The company was commissioned by projects managers, The Pulse Group, to design an aircraft turnaround simulation game and head-up the creative direction and coding of the finished simulation.

The game is played on three 42in multi-touch displays (MultiTaction MT420 from MultiTouch Ltd), taking the user through all of the stages of an Airbus A380 turnaround. Engage also wrote the software and provided the camera and boom for the Airbus A380 nose cone attraction, where visitors can take a photograph of themselves sitting in the cockpit.

Each user wears an RFID tag and taps this on the reader to trigger the live preview on the touch-screen. The user then takes the photograph, which is subsequently sent to a Facebook or email account, depending on the user’s preference.

Other software written by Engage is used in the flight attraction’s virtual wind tunnel application, which demonstrates how influences such as airflow, weight, drag, thrust, lift and air pressure affect flight.
Engage also provided a holographic display (with content provided by a PC that drives a Samsung screen) to vividly depict an Airbus A380 in full flight.

 



The Emirates attraction covers a 300 sq m site in Greenwich, and is said to be the first of its kind in the world
Atlantis

Two major interactive display systems at the new Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction have been delivered by AV technology experts MultiTouch.

The exhibit at the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex in Florida, pays tribute to Atlantis, the last shuttle to enter space, and provides guests with more than 60 interactive touchscreen experiences and high-tech simulators. The $100m, 90,000 sq ft space is designed to engage visitors with an out-of-this-world experience.

The new International Space Station (ISS) wall is an interactive display wall comprised of seven 55in MultiTaction Cells. To tell the ISS story, the wall offers a look into the past and provides a real-time snapshot of the present. The wall includes interactive 3D models and shows the assembly process of the space station, while animations depict a ‘day in the life’ of an ISS crew member.

Visitors can also experience scientific experiments and expeditions, receive live feeds from space and find out when the space station will be passing over their house, by entering their postcode.MultiTaction Cells were also used in the Shuttle Transportation System Timeline, integrated into one tilted table that engages guests with fun facts and graphics about the 30-year shuttle program.

The timeline features key dates and milestones, mission highlights, ‘edge of your seat’ moments, as well as facts on the crews, expeditions, payloads, spacewalks, experiments, launches, landings and astronomy. The system is designed to handle hundreds of concurrent visitors.

 



The International Space Station wall includes interactive 3D models, as well as live feeds from space
 


The International Space Station wall includes interactive 3D models, as well as live feeds from space
 
David Bowie is

The ‘David Bowie is’ multimedia exhibition that featured at The Victoria and Albert museum, London, earlier this year drew on 300 objects from the artist’s archive, and was one of the most successful and complex shows to have featured at the UK museum.

Dataton’s award-winning Watchout™ technology was used to power the multi-image display and presentation software in two areas of the galleries, including a 7m (23ft)-high video wall display and tv displays throughout the exhibition. The Watchout™ software enables the orchestration of stills, animations, graphics, video, sound and live feeds across multiple display areas. Technology is scalable and available on the Windows platform.

For ‘David Bowie is’, video projections were juxtaposed with mannequins dressed in costumes from the archive and showed footage of the artist’s live performances, recreating the impact of the musician throughout his career.

Watchout™ was also used to show various performances of Bowie’s 1977 song Heroes in retrofitted displays. Systems integrator, Sysco AV, configured the museum’s existing inventory of technology for ‘David Bowie is’.

The exhibition is now touring internationally and started at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada in September 2013.

 



Around 300 objects from the David Bowie archive were displayed using high-tech, multimedia techniques
 


Around 300 objects from the David Bowie archive were displayed using high-tech, multimedia techniques
 
Romanticum

Romanticum, which opened in June in Koblenz, is a new visitor experience for Germany’s Rhine Valley. Visitors can embark on a journey through the region’s history, culture and arts, with the state-of-the-art technology supplied by Iosono 3D bringing tales of the river and legends to life.
The exhibition covers 800sq m (8,600sq ft) and is divided into several areas, letting visitors enjoy a virtual voyage by ship, explore the deck of a steamboat and experience the salon and the storage rooms.

Next to the video displays and interactive touchpoints, the visitor experience is rounded off by a special sound concept created by scenographers Taucher Sound Environments. The goal was to recreate the environment of a romantic boat trip – with seagulls crying, church bells ringing or a sudden cloudburst on deck.

Iosono’s audio processor renders playback for the 64 speakers used in the exhibition. All rooms are equipped with hidden ceiling speakers, guaranteeing a realistic sound experience.
“The challenge was to create a spatial and emotional sound concept that goes hand in hand with the visual information the visitors are taking in. With Iosono’s audio processing and positioning technology we were able to create a detailed and authentic sound space,” says Aleesa Savtchenko, creative director and CEO of Taucher Sound Environments.

 



The exhibition, designed by studio klv, uses the latest sound technology to recreate the Rhine experience
 


The exhibition, designed by studio klv, uses the latest sound technology to recreate the Rhine experience
 
The real Mary King’s close

To mark its recent 10th anniversary as a visitor attraction, The Real Mary King’s Close in Edinburgh introduced a new interactive AV exhibit into its collection earlier this year.

When visitors now walk into the Gallery Room, the static paintings that once hung on the walls have been magically brought to life, thanks to BrightSign media players installed by Saville Audio Visual, as well as creative input from Heehaw Digital.

When the guide walks into the room they press a hidden switch, and after a timed delay their guided tour is ‘interrupted’ by the talking paintings. These paintings comprise three white canvasses and three Gobo projectors. They display an authentic static image of three character portraits until the switch is activated, and then the characters start to interact with each other in an audiovisual sequence.

The show reel is on a loop and once it plays through each character’s piece, it reverts back to the static projection of the characters, ready to be triggered again.

Head of technical development for the Continuum Group (which runs The Real Mary King’s Close attraction), Richard Briggs, says: “We’d already been using BrightSign media players for an exhibit at our chocolate attraction in York [York’s Chocolate Story], so we knew what good workhorses they were and how easy they were for the staff at the attractions to use. For relatively little cost, we’ve been able to create a new and exciting attraction using this simple technology.”

 



The new, atmospheric installation brings Mary King to life for the first time at the Close
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Jobs . News . Products . Magazine
Multimedia and AV
Simulate to stimulate

Romance, thrills, flying, space exploration and David Bowie are among the subjects inspiring AV and multimedia installations

By Julie Cramer | Published in Attractions Management 2013 issue 4

Hobs pit

Digital media distributor Pixels has recently adapted 12 BrightSign solid state digital signage players at the Hobs Pit theme park ride at Pleasurewood Hills in Lowestoft, UK. The players are designed to control the special effects as well as play back HD video.

The Hobs Pit attraction, which was created by award-winning illusionist Sean Alexander with the help of Hollywood special effects artist Rob Ostir, was launched this summer and transports visitors to a scary, abandoned mine.

It combines a dark ride and walk through section with a host of visual and voice effects matched to scenes in HD on LCD screens, as well as holograms and physical effects like rattling doors, closing hatches and moving corpses.

Sean Alexander says: “Making an attraction like this work for the audience relies on split-second co-ordination. Each effect has to happen at exactly the right moment, and when it starts, the video playback, holographic projection and physical effects need to be totally in synch – otherwise the impact is lost.”

Using BrightScript, Pixels programmed the BrightSign players to replay HD video in response to triggers from sensors in the ride, and to control pneumatic valves and rams, lighting and motors for the special effects. Control was achieved through the GPIO port on the players, avoiding the need for expensive control systems.

The £500,000 ride, one of only two in the UK rated 12A by the British Board of Film Classification, is part of a £3.5m investment by owners, Looping Group.

 



Hobs Pit is a dark ride themed on a scary mine and has a 12A certificate
 


Hobs Pit was created by illusionist Sean Alexander and uses holographs and other effects to scare visitors
 
 


Hobs Pit was created by illusionist Sean Alexander and uses holographs and other effects to scare visitors
 
Urban futures

The multimedia Urban Futures exhibit at Siemens’ Crystal visitor attraction (see Leisure Management Q1 13, p62) in London’s Docklands was conceived and delivered by Event Communications, with hardware installed by Electrosonic.

The exhibition, which is dedicated to urban sustainability, uses interactive media in 10 zones to challenge and reinvent the way people think about city living.

Visitors receive a Crystal key RFID card at reception that enables them to ‘log in’ to displays and have their activities and areas of interest saved. They can then access a record of their experiments in the Future Life zone at end of the experience.

The journey starts with a powerful multimedia display in a glowing, egg-like structure on the mezzanine, entitled Forces of Change. Inside the egg, visitors experience an immersive image and sound environment that appears to hang in space, with images floating on the walls and floor.

Under the themes of Demographic Change, Urbanisation and Climate change, the films (all commissioned by Event) blend still images, film clips, graphics, sound and lighting to create an experience that balances drama and statistics. After this, visitors can wander round the exhibit in any order.
Understanding Cities is a bespoke interactive exhibit based on real data used by city managers at New York’s Regional Planning Authority (RPA). It uses real time information and snapshot monitoring to paint a picture of how cities work.

In the safe and sound zone, one of the most popular interactives is the Access Control test, putting visitors in the role of a person checking ID badges against live faces, to see if their facial recognition can better a computer.

One of the most exciting elements of the exhibition is the Tesla coil, which encourages visitors to think about energy supply by matching their physical movements to electricity demand. When demand is high, intense physical movement is required to trigger the Tesla coil.

 



The Urban Futures exhibit covers 10 zones, with some unique multimedia visitor experiences in each
 


The Urban Futures exhibit covers 10 zones, with some unique multimedia visitor experiences in each
 
 


The Urban Futures exhibit covers 10 zones, with some unique multimedia visitor experiences in each
 
Emirates aviation experience

As specialists in interactive technologies for branded environments, Engage Production has created some cutting-edge digital installations for the Emirates Aviation Experience in London.

The company was commissioned by projects managers, The Pulse Group, to design an aircraft turnaround simulation game and head-up the creative direction and coding of the finished simulation.

The game is played on three 42in multi-touch displays (MultiTaction MT420 from MultiTouch Ltd), taking the user through all of the stages of an Airbus A380 turnaround. Engage also wrote the software and provided the camera and boom for the Airbus A380 nose cone attraction, where visitors can take a photograph of themselves sitting in the cockpit.

Each user wears an RFID tag and taps this on the reader to trigger the live preview on the touch-screen. The user then takes the photograph, which is subsequently sent to a Facebook or email account, depending on the user’s preference.

Other software written by Engage is used in the flight attraction’s virtual wind tunnel application, which demonstrates how influences such as airflow, weight, drag, thrust, lift and air pressure affect flight.
Engage also provided a holographic display (with content provided by a PC that drives a Samsung screen) to vividly depict an Airbus A380 in full flight.

 



The Emirates attraction covers a 300 sq m site in Greenwich, and is said to be the first of its kind in the world
Atlantis

Two major interactive display systems at the new Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction have been delivered by AV technology experts MultiTouch.

The exhibit at the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex in Florida, pays tribute to Atlantis, the last shuttle to enter space, and provides guests with more than 60 interactive touchscreen experiences and high-tech simulators. The $100m, 90,000 sq ft space is designed to engage visitors with an out-of-this-world experience.

The new International Space Station (ISS) wall is an interactive display wall comprised of seven 55in MultiTaction Cells. To tell the ISS story, the wall offers a look into the past and provides a real-time snapshot of the present. The wall includes interactive 3D models and shows the assembly process of the space station, while animations depict a ‘day in the life’ of an ISS crew member.

Visitors can also experience scientific experiments and expeditions, receive live feeds from space and find out when the space station will be passing over their house, by entering their postcode.MultiTaction Cells were also used in the Shuttle Transportation System Timeline, integrated into one tilted table that engages guests with fun facts and graphics about the 30-year shuttle program.

The timeline features key dates and milestones, mission highlights, ‘edge of your seat’ moments, as well as facts on the crews, expeditions, payloads, spacewalks, experiments, launches, landings and astronomy. The system is designed to handle hundreds of concurrent visitors.

 



The International Space Station wall includes interactive 3D models, as well as live feeds from space
 


The International Space Station wall includes interactive 3D models, as well as live feeds from space
 
David Bowie is

The ‘David Bowie is’ multimedia exhibition that featured at The Victoria and Albert museum, London, earlier this year drew on 300 objects from the artist’s archive, and was one of the most successful and complex shows to have featured at the UK museum.

Dataton’s award-winning Watchout™ technology was used to power the multi-image display and presentation software in two areas of the galleries, including a 7m (23ft)-high video wall display and tv displays throughout the exhibition. The Watchout™ software enables the orchestration of stills, animations, graphics, video, sound and live feeds across multiple display areas. Technology is scalable and available on the Windows platform.

For ‘David Bowie is’, video projections were juxtaposed with mannequins dressed in costumes from the archive and showed footage of the artist’s live performances, recreating the impact of the musician throughout his career.

Watchout™ was also used to show various performances of Bowie’s 1977 song Heroes in retrofitted displays. Systems integrator, Sysco AV, configured the museum’s existing inventory of technology for ‘David Bowie is’.

The exhibition is now touring internationally and started at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada in September 2013.

 



Around 300 objects from the David Bowie archive were displayed using high-tech, multimedia techniques
 


Around 300 objects from the David Bowie archive were displayed using high-tech, multimedia techniques
 
Romanticum

Romanticum, which opened in June in Koblenz, is a new visitor experience for Germany’s Rhine Valley. Visitors can embark on a journey through the region’s history, culture and arts, with the state-of-the-art technology supplied by Iosono 3D bringing tales of the river and legends to life.
The exhibition covers 800sq m (8,600sq ft) and is divided into several areas, letting visitors enjoy a virtual voyage by ship, explore the deck of a steamboat and experience the salon and the storage rooms.

Next to the video displays and interactive touchpoints, the visitor experience is rounded off by a special sound concept created by scenographers Taucher Sound Environments. The goal was to recreate the environment of a romantic boat trip – with seagulls crying, church bells ringing or a sudden cloudburst on deck.

Iosono’s audio processor renders playback for the 64 speakers used in the exhibition. All rooms are equipped with hidden ceiling speakers, guaranteeing a realistic sound experience.
“The challenge was to create a spatial and emotional sound concept that goes hand in hand with the visual information the visitors are taking in. With Iosono’s audio processing and positioning technology we were able to create a detailed and authentic sound space,” says Aleesa Savtchenko, creative director and CEO of Taucher Sound Environments.

 



The exhibition, designed by studio klv, uses the latest sound technology to recreate the Rhine experience
 


The exhibition, designed by studio klv, uses the latest sound technology to recreate the Rhine experience
 
The real Mary King’s close

To mark its recent 10th anniversary as a visitor attraction, The Real Mary King’s Close in Edinburgh introduced a new interactive AV exhibit into its collection earlier this year.

When visitors now walk into the Gallery Room, the static paintings that once hung on the walls have been magically brought to life, thanks to BrightSign media players installed by Saville Audio Visual, as well as creative input from Heehaw Digital.

When the guide walks into the room they press a hidden switch, and after a timed delay their guided tour is ‘interrupted’ by the talking paintings. These paintings comprise three white canvasses and three Gobo projectors. They display an authentic static image of three character portraits until the switch is activated, and then the characters start to interact with each other in an audiovisual sequence.

The show reel is on a loop and once it plays through each character’s piece, it reverts back to the static projection of the characters, ready to be triggered again.

Head of technical development for the Continuum Group (which runs The Real Mary King’s Close attraction), Richard Briggs, says: “We’d already been using BrightSign media players for an exhibit at our chocolate attraction in York [York’s Chocolate Story], so we knew what good workhorses they were and how easy they were for the staff at the attractions to use. For relatively little cost, we’ve been able to create a new and exciting attraction using this simple technology.”

 



The new, atmospheric installation brings Mary King to life for the first time at the Close
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2019

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
ATTRACTIONS MANAGEMENT NEWS
ATTRACTIONS HANDBOOK
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
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