Wednesday, September 22, 2021

AV Stumpfl’s PIXERA makes new Belgian immersive experiences possible

Studio 100 and CityCubes have joined forces to launch an innovative new experience, Studio 100 Story Studio, which uses a combination of spectacular, life-size projections and an audio story told through headphones to immerse the audience in each adventure.

The Studio, which is based on the Meir in Antwerp, will be one of the first times an immersive AV attraction of this kind has been available in Belgium.

One of the main stories brought to life at the Studio 100 Story Studio takes place aboard an archaeology ship trying to discover the mythical city of Atlantis. During the experience, visitors are guided through different times, locations, and dimensions to the supposed current location of Atlantis. Each of the six rooms at Studio 100 Story Studio houses a part of the story and, as the visitors progress, more pieces of the puzzle are revealed.

Photo courtesy of CityCubes.

An additional story focusses on the world of “Maya the Bee,” originally a classic children’s book that became an international phenomenon in the form of an acclaimed animated series. The Maya story arc is even more interactive than Atlantis, with visitors of all ages being asked to dance, fly and shake like the world famous bee. The general narrative follows Maya, who is looking for a hugely important beehive party. Visitors can assist the adventurous bee during her travels through a number of different immersive worlds.

A total of 52 Panasonic projectors were required to provide the immersive visuals for this attraction; all of which were simultaneously controlled and driven by AV Stumpfl PIXERA servers and software — one master and five render engines. A show starts every 15 minutes and takes about one hour, meaning that up to six shows are being run in parallel from the single PIXERA master.

One PIXERA RAW server is also able to take care of all floor projections — 15 outputs split by Datapath FX4 and routed through an IDK FDX-32 Modular Matrix Switcher– while all of the wall projections in every single room have their dedicated PIXERA server, playing backup to 12K wide uncompressed content per server.

The portable wireless headsets, which are perfectly synced by timecode, are also controlled by the same PIXERA master server. Additional audio outputs play back commercials and effects in some of the rooms, on top of the timecode driven headsets.

Photo courtesy of CityCubes.

CityCubes’ creative partner Dieter Veulemans underlined the importance of a reliable system setup. “What we created here in Belgium was a ‘never-been-seen-before’ technology project for which we put all our trust in our partners and PIXERA. It’s crucial that our shows stay on for several hours each day and this for several months and that we feel assured by all the AV equipment in use. Everything depends on the systems and the hardware and I can assure you we fully trust in these systems and that I sleep well during the night.”

The programming of the PIXERA system was taken care of by Sander de Schrijver, while all of the technical equipment was supplied by AED Display. All of the visual content was created by Prismax and formatted as uncompressed TIFF sequences.

Additional companies involved in the realisation of the ambitious project include The Production Box and Flex solutions.

The Studio has already stated that other stories and experiences will be added in the future to attract all ages to the story telling studio.

Studio 100 CEO Anja Van Mensel commented on the overall success of the project. “Studio 100 Story Studio is a beautiful addition to our current activities and represents a new step for Studio 100 at the same time. It is a new form of entertainment in which we put our full trust. Together with our partner CityCubes, I am convinced that we are making a mark when it comes to providing quality relaxation for the whole family.”

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