Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Mega Domo projection mapping handled by VIOSO for Christmas spectacular

VIOSO has lent its projection expertise on a Christmas show, helping to bring to life the Mega Domo — a 60-meter-diameter (197-foot-diameter), 30-meter-high (98-foot-high), 2,000-capacity inflatable immersive theater which has transformed the Brazilian town of Canela for the festive season.

Inaugurated on October 6, the Mega Domo is the venue for the immersive Christmas show, Viagem de Natal (Christmas Voyage), which combines projection mapping, theatre and music to tell the story of Miguel, a young photographer spending Christmas away from his family for the first time. Created by Edson Erdmann of Histórias Incríveis, the hour-and-20-minute show is made possible thanks to VIOSO’s projection technology, which is used to create a seamless 360º projection onto the interior walls of the dome.

Taking on the challenge of mapping the dome — which stands as high as a ten-story building, has an internal space of 57,000 square meters (613,500 square feet) and is kept inflated by fans blowing air at up to 100 km/h (62 mph) — was VIOSO’s local partner, Hoffmann Technology, which used 20 Panasonic projectors paired with VIOSO Anystation Media servers and software to produce the visuals for Viagem de Natal, which follows Miguel as he takes a fantastical journey aboard his childhood toy train.

Alan Leitão, technical manager for Hoffmann Technology, specified four VIOSO Anystation Media 12, configured in two systems (hot spare master/client) for full redundancy, for the installation, which took around a week to complete. While the media servers, which come with Pixera VIOSO Edition software, handled the demanding high-resolution timecode based playback for the Viagem de Natal show, VIOSO’s software took care of the complex calibration (camera-based warp and blend) needed for perfect projection over the dome’s more than 5,600-square-meter (60,000-square-foot) surface.

“We opted for VIOSO because they are very experienced in projections like the one we are working with now,” explains Leitão, who looks for AV and IT projects, implementation and training for the Hoffmann team.

Each playback system consists of two VIOSO Anystation Media 12 head servers to run all the projectors, while a secondary system runs parallel, using precise timecode synchronization to provide a fully redundant back-up solution that can be switched during the show by a programmable video matrix.

In addition to the servers, the Mega Domo is equipped with 20 Panasonic PT-DZ21K projectors, installed at various heights between 2.5 meters and 5.5 meters from the floor following the projector placement and lens design provided by VIOSO, connected to the video signal with nearly 3 kilometers of fiber-optic cables and an HDMI matrix. A Dolby Atmos-equipped sound system, meanwhile, provides the soundtrack in spatial audio for maximum immersion.

“We are beyond thrilled to be a part of the Viagem de Natal experience in Canela,” says VIOSO’s sales director, Raul Vandenberg. “Our advanced projection technology and camera-based calibration method, combined with the expert installation by Hoffmann Technology, has created a truly mesmerizing holiday attraction. We are grateful for the opportunity to work on this project and look forward to continued collaboration with Hoffmann Technology.”

As well as breaking new ground in terms of scale, the Mega Domo adheres to strict environmental standards, with a novel water treatment system able to purify wastewater up to 93% on site and the dome’s design optimizing drainage into the land on which it’s built.

Complementing the main Mega Domo, a secondary dome (11.5 meters × 22 meters) houses the ticket office and lobby, while another 115-meter-long area is home to a pizzeria, café and several other spaces.

“Canela is hosting one of the biggest innovations in Brazil in terms of entertainment: An incredible immersive show, with gigantic projection and [surround] sound used for the first time in Brazil,” says Edson Erdmann, who thanks the “great people from all over the world involved in this project.”

“With a level of technology never done at this scale, [Viagem de Natal] is guaranteed to thrill,” he adds.

“Emanuel [Züger, VIOSO CEO/CTO] and Raul [Vandenberg, sales director] gave us a fantastic support, not only at the beginning of the project, but also in the pre-sale, which solidified our decision to make a deal with VIOSO,” concludes Leitão. “And after this, during the planning of the project, their support received was excellent. They stayed in Brazil during the install, set-up and training for our team, and even when they returned to Germany they continued to provide fast support. So we are delighted with the partnership.”

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