Protec, the Dubai-based event rental company, delivered at the opening ceremony of World Air Games (WAG) 2015. Using its BlackTrax real-time motion tracking system and its d3 Technologies’ 4x4pro media servers, the company provided complex projection mapping for the grand opening ceremony for the event held at Sky Dive Dubai.
Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, president of the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) ushered in the fourth World Air Games (WAG) at an impressive and colourful opening ceremony, in front of an audience of nearly 5,000 spectators, which included officials and contestants from more than 50 countries.
Protec was appointed by Dynamic Motion to provide all the required projection for the event. The company used eight Barco 30k and 10 Christie Roadster 20k projectors for the main screen and stage, with a further six Barco 30k projectors used for the six-metre diameter inflatable moving sphere. Being an outdoor event and along the beach front, wind was always going to be Protec’s biggest challenge. An earlier decision to build a hard set backdrop to overcome the wind factor was upended and a fabric screen was used instead as the backdrop projection surface.
The opening ceremony started off with a fusion dance act that sought to embrace the heritage of the UAE with the ultra-modern focus on development. Next were a series of zip-line performances that included a narration of the history of the nation coupled with the vision set by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Dropping in on the stage, aerial performers dressed as skydivers and paramotor pilots flew over the audience suspended on cable lines taking the astounded audience on a theatrical flight over Dubai.
The sphere that was housed under the stage for the first part of the show was raised to 30-metres in the air as part of the spectacle while being projected on. In addition, 16 beacons were attached to the sphere, which gave the coverage needed to track the entire sphere and eight BlackTrax cameras were used to track the sphere’s movement.
The aerial performers had rigged their cable lines from the same towers the BlackTrax cameras were attached to. This meant realigning the cameras fairly regularly. The sphere tracking with BlackTrax was integrated with d3 Technologies 4×4 pro servers, which visualised and handled the 3D mapping in real-time. BlackTrax streamed real-time positional information via high-speed protocol (RTTrPM) to the d3 media server. D3 was able to construct a virtual version of the sphere in the media server design tool, which behaved and moved like the real sphere in real-time by using the positional information received.
For the 72 metres x 31 metres stage, 10 Christie 20k j projectors were flown from the two rigging arches to project on to the central 20 metres x 20 metres area of the stage and a further eight Barco 30k projectors flown from two towers for the main backdrop 54 metres x 21 metres screen blend, all of which were controlled from the FOH with all signals run over fibre.
With the challenges met head on by the production team, the show was seen as a resounding success with great reactions from the audience.
Terming the opening ceremony as truly unforgettable, Dr Grubbstrom, FAI president, said: “Dubai has shown that we are together capable of staging such a wide variety of sport on one platform. I am convinced that this common goal will bring us closer to the Olympic dream.”