interview by Judith Rubin
Tram cars are virtually swamped by dinosaurs in Bottrop-Kirchhellen, where Movie Park Germany has just launched “The Lost Temple.” This new, immersive media-based, stereo 3D motion simulation attraction exemplifies how today’s sophisticated digital tools are advancing the art, shortening the production timeline and bringing higher-end attractions within reach of regional parks’ budgets.
“The Lost Temple” takes guests on a simulated journey through a forgotten, unexplored world with prehistoric animals, temples and dinosaurs. The backstory is that the world was discovered below the Movie Park site. Part of the preshow is an elevator simulation that takes guests far underground.
Movie Park Germany tapped Riva Digital and sister company Riva Creative to develop the “Lost Temple” story, script and graphics and produce the media, scenic installation and queue areas. Riva Digital co-owns the film with the park, and Riva’s senior producer on the project was John Kokum. Brent Young of Riva Digital was contracted in the role of media creative director, and Super 78 provided editorial, technical previsualization and development support while Tau Studios did the creative pre-visulization and the CG animation on the project and Yessian did the audio.
Interview with Brent Young
“The Lost Temple” took slightly less than a year from concept to completion. How did digital tools help streamline its production?
We used digital pre-visualization instead of building a physical mockup, which saved both time and money. The client and all the creatives were able to experience the ride in development by viewing it in 360 on Oculus Rift headsets. Super 78 developed software along with the help of David Sliviak from Riva Digital to create a virtual mockup that was extraordinarily accurate and incorporated all the CAD designs for the building.
What is the technical configuration for the motion simulation?
It uses tram vehicles on a rail, and on that rail is a motion simulation platform that takes you down into a locked position and then lifts you up to be surrounded by the near-wraparound screen. There are 7 pairs of Christie projectors. The audio system was designed with sixteen channel audio, each capable of being controlled individually for discreet audio mapping.
What else is in the attraction?
There are about a dozen themed spaces including 7 preshow rooms, an elevator experience and many special and unexpected effects such as fireballs in the queue.
Tell us about the show control.
Movie Park brought in the company Night Life, who are excellent programmers, to create a really slick, intuitive, Medialon-based control system. Movie Park general manager Wouter Dekkers can control the fireballs in the preshow, and even run through full show programs using his custom-programmed iPhone.
How did the installation process go?
The World Cup was going on during installation, so that added a unique background element to our experience – and an especially intense moment of celebration when Germany won. It was great to be on the spot for that.
S78 reveals their Oculus-based attraction visualization tool: Mushroom™
“The Lost Temple” Creative Director Brent Young developed the attraction’s storyboards, oversaw the media production, and harnessed Super 78 to provide technical solutions for the ride’s complex projection scheme. Young said, “The Lost Temple illustrates perfectly that exceptional creative and media paired with bold leadership, like Wouter Dekkers of Movie Park Germany, can produce an ‘E-ticket’ attraction that regional parks can afford. That’s what we want to deliver to parks everywhere.”
Super 78 contributed significant technological innovation to the pre-viz process with their new Mushroom™ attraction development tools. Using the Oculus Rift VR headset and proprietary software developed by Super 78, Mushroom virtually transports the viewer into a fully developed 3D space. They can then move through the space and experience every detail, including projected media, in realtime.
The Lost Temple’s projected 3D imagery is displayed on an enormous, curved screen that wraps almost completely around the ride vehicles. Normally, the only way to check the stereo, scale and perspective for every rider position would be to build a full-size mock-up, at huge expense in time and cost. “With Mushroom, we saved a significant amount of time and money by virtually putting everyone into The Lost Temple theater, allowing them to sit in any seat, in any row, and accurately experience the attraction from start to finish,” as Michael “Oz” Smith, Super 78’s Technical Director explained. “No matter where they were, anywhere in the world, every stakeholder could ride The Lost Temple before any construction began.”
Dina Benadon, Super 78’s CEO, added, “We are thrilled that the promise of virtual reality is finally being realized and that Mushroom is at the forefront of this revolution in the themed entertainment industry. We look forward to sharing Mushroom with all our clients. And wait until Oculus releases its consumer product; we have some big things planned!”
Credits (provided by Riva Digital)
Wiebe Damstra – Project Manager Movie Park Germany
John Kokum – Attraction Sr. Producer – Riva Digital
Brent Young – Attraction Creative Director / Film Director – Riva Digital
Steve Rosolio – Project Coordinator – Riva Digital
Riva Digital – Motion Graphics and Pre Show
Riva Digital / Riva Creative – Script
Riva Creative – Graphics and Story
Creative Design Services – Attraction Layout and Concept art
Super 78 – Animatics, technical previsualisation, Editorial, Media Installation
Yessian – Attraction Music and Sound
Tau Films- CGI/Animation and creative previsualisation
Rocas – Theming and Scenic
Simworx- Ride and A/V
Lost Temple Graphic Logo: By Riva Creative
Photos by Brent Young
• • •