French park Futuroscope has updated its 2015 attraction The Extraordinary Journey with Modulo Pi’s multi-projector auto-calibration solution.
Awarded “Top European Attraction 2017” at the Parksmania Awards, The Extraordinary Journey is an 84-seat flight motion simulator designed by Futuroscope. Installed in front of a 600m² toric screen, visitors are immersed in a journey in six stages passing by Egypt, Dubai, India, the Himalayas and the Yellowstone Park.
Integrator FMD designed and installed a complete multimedia system to provide the best immersive experience. On the visual level, the toric screen allows the audience to be enveloped in the projection of a 6K film mixing real and computer-generated images. The projection is based on 5 x Boxer 4K30 projectors from Christie, powered by the Modulo Kinetic media server solution from Modulo Pi. The kit installed includes 1 x Kinetic Designer workstation, and 2 x V-Node servers equipped with several 4K outputs. A 12.1 audio system completes the experience, as well as wind, mist and scent effects embedded in each seat.
In March 2023, the installation was completed with the multi-projector auto-calibration module developed by Modulo Pi to deal with the attraction’s very complex projection.
Unlike most flight simulators available in theme parks, The Extraordinary Journey features a screen that fully envelops the audience. “When visitors have their feet in the void, we wanted them to have no visual other than the screen. It was very important for us to stay in the picture all the time and not be disturbed by outside elements,” said Yannis Marchet, head of development and projects at FMD. “This is what is complex in this attraction. It is not a simple dome screen. Here, we have a double curve, one horizontal that follows the public’s gaze, and another curve that returns under the public’s feet”.
This shape of double-curved toric screen required the installation of 2 x vertical projectors for the sides, and 3 x stacked projectors for the center, causing numerous and particularly complex distortions and overlapping areas.
The initial setup of the projection was tricky, as was its maintenance. “The Boxer 4K30s have 6 lamps. As soon as a lamp needs to be replaced, we have to redo the setting to ensure uniform brightness between all the projectors” said Marchet.
To simplify set-up, maintenance, and offer the public a perfect projection, FMD chose to integrate the auto-calibration solution for multiple projectors designed by Modulo Pi. Based on the use of a PoE camera, the add-on software allows all video-projectors to be automatically aligned. The warping and overlaps are thus calculated directly by the Modulo Kinetic media server.
Marchet explained: “Before auto-calibration, we used to recommend a recalibration of the mapping every two weeks, which required 2 whole nights, even when starting from a healthy base”. The operation was then carried out manually using light meters to adjust all the values.
The implementation of the auto-calibration solution has resulted in a major time saving. “With autocalibration, it takes us a maximum of 1 hour, including the time to install the camera and connect it to the network”.
The result obtained with auto-calibration is also better than that of a manual calibration. “The camera is better than the eye, so the result is top-notch. We have scenes showing sky and it’s terrible for the overlaps. As soon as you see those, you lose a little magic. Now we no longer see any overlap. The magic is intact”.
The quality offered by the automatic calibration system has also reduced the need for corrective maintenance. “The calibration is so much better that fewer recalibration is needed. We’ve switched to a once-a-month intervention,” said Marchet.