Lufthansa’s centennial celebration enhanced by Christie

A Boeing 747-800 was used by Lufthansa as the canvas for a 20-minute light show to celebrate the German airline’s 100th anniversary. Making the 3D mapping content come alive during the event at Frankfurt Airport were 14 Christie Pandoras Box media servers.

Over 3,000 VIPs attended the gathering last year to witness the famous crane logo on the plane’s tail fin change from yellow to white as part of Lufthansa’s new branding.

Stein Communication GmbH produced the show and projected content consisting of 3D video mapping with corresponding light and sound effects, a 600 sqm (1,969 sqft) LED sky, soundscapes and various interactive elements.

Matthias Vogel, Stein Communication MD,said, “The content of the 20-minute video shown on the aircraft was produced completely in 3D. The video installation was designed completely from scratch for the architecture of the airplane hangar and it was certainly a highlight for the guests.”

Quick turnaround

For technical support, Stein Communication enlisted Christie partner pixl evolution, under the supervision of Director of Creative Media, Patrick Verhey. Since the hangar was flooded with light during the day, Verhey and his team had less than 10 hours to get the setup for the 3D mapping up and running. Furthermore, the Boeing was only on the ground for a short time and had to go back into service directly after the event.

“Thanks to the Pandoras Box V6 multi-user setup and new warping workflow, we were able to work on 3D mapping, warping settings and soft edge with three workstations in parallel,” says Verhey. “This generated time savings of 50 to 60 per cent compared with the previous Pandoras Box workflow. In this version of Pandoras Box, the whole thing is integrated into the user interface and we can cut out several work steps.”

Lufthansa-Christie-projection-in-hangar

How it was done

A 3D laser measuring device was used to determine the position of the aircraft in relation to the projectors and to measure the opening angle of the projectors. The fine tuning took place with the multi-user session on three laptops. This allowed the employees to move freely in front of the aircraft.

“Two people started in the middle of the plane at the same time and worked their way to the left and right,” explains Verhey. “The third person then set up the soft edge areas that had already been warped. The result could be checked immediately with the ready-programmed timeline.”

A total of 12 Pandoras Box Quad servers and two Pandoras Box Managers Unlimited were interconnected with a 10GB network for faster file transfer and fed all 24 projectors. Six quad servers provided 24 independent video streams to the projectors while six backup servers provided the same images, ensuring full redundancy. For the sound, several audio tracks were played over two RME audio cards on the two Pandoras Box Managers.

“Despite the extremely short preparation time, the event was a complete success,” says Matthias Vogel, managing director of Stein Communication.