disguise powers Al Wasl Plaza dome
disguise powers Al Wasl Plaza dome
System integrator Creative Technology Middle East (CTME) was responsible for the AV system in the Al Wasl Plaza dome, choosing disguise to power the 360° projection, while engaging Bild Studios to build the content workflows allowing artists to create the visuals.
Undoubtedly the centrepiece of Expo 2020, Al Wasl Plaza was a 65m high dome with Christie D4K40-RGB pure laser projectors, along with LED pixel displays and interactive content, all driven by disguise.
Creative Technology’s System integration team deployed 16 disguise gx 2 servers that integrated with disguise rx machines and disguise’s camera-based projector calibration system, OmniCal.
Bild used its extensive knowledge of disguise, real-time workflows, video engineering, and creative design to deliver the content pipeline used daily in the Al Wasl dome. It created a system that merged 2D and 3D content workflows and split the 27K x 6K canvas into 11 regions. Each region represented a video file which was played back by a corresponding disguise gx 2 Actor server. “As all servers played in perfect synchronisation, the regions blended together into one gigantic and seamless canvas. It was an extraordinary moment when we saw the Al Wasl projection canvas coming together as one joint surface for the first time,” explained Bild Studios co-Founder, David Bajt.
The dome had various elements coming together to form a spectacle, some of which included mapped LED pixels on the Plaza’s architecture delivered by SACO Technologies. It worked in collaboration with Bild Studios, who created a workflow that auto-mapped the projection content onto the LED pixels. The mapped pixels were made up of 2620 SACO V-Pix LED fixtures, integrated into the dome structure and powered by a disguise solo server. The solo server was integrated with the gx 2 servers to make the projection and LED pixel work as one canvas.
"We worked in close collaboration with Bild Studio and Creative Technologies to elaborate a workflow to have our LED pixels included in the video projection content and powered by disguise. Commissioning and integration have been successfully done remotely with our local partner 3S Lighting, who managed the installation phase," explained Benoit Soucy, video integrator lead at SACO.
The team at Bild deployed disguise systems to deliver these elements for both the Opening and Closing Ceremony at Expo. According to Bajt, “for the opening ceremony, we worked with Unreal Engine and used disguise rx and vx 2 servers to achieve photoreal content, which was more in line with Five Currents' creative ambitions. For the closing ceremony, our workflow included Notch and disguise gx 2 servers which allowed us to be incredibly agile and make changes in real-time during rehearsals, which was imperative for the limited timeframe we had before the dome was open to the public.”
Live experience creators Artists In Motion (AIM) with the support of Australian-based agency S1T2, delivered an interactive experience named “Become a Guardian of Al Wasl”, where visitors can have their photo taken in a booth and then, within seconds, see their photo entwined into the content being projected out onto the dome in real-time. Four disguise rx II rendering units powered this unique experience. To support AIM and S1T2, disguise and Bild Studios provided consultation for integrating the rx servers into the installed gx 2 server system responsible for the Al Wasl projection.
"The robustness of the rx units to synchronise the real-time application straight onto the dome proved the difference in being able to deliver such an ambitious idea. Together with the flexibility to interconnect live data from the booths and control of audio & lighting brought the whole experience together," said AIM technical director, Hai Tran.
During Expo 2020, disguise was used by a range of its partners on various elements in the following pavilions: United Kingdom, USA, Russia, Belgium, China and Hungary. Also utilising disguise products were the MasterCard pavilion, the ENOC pavilion, the Jubilee stage and the DMA stage.
“Working on the ground in Dubai and seeing these spectacular visions come to life has been incredibly rewarding. Expo 2020 is a testament to what we can achieve when we combine leading technology and technical skill with an ambitious creative vision. At disguise we want to empower our community of certified partners and users to create the impossible. What we have seen at Expo is a huge testament to that,” said disguise solutions director, Peter Kirkup.