Painting with Light provides smart light technology for Popcorn Revenge

Painting with Light, a lighting and multimedia expert, has announced that its smart light technology is being used to boost visual and sensory experiences at Walibi’s new interactive dark ride, Popcorn Revenge.

Painting with Light is pleased to announce that its technology is enhancing the experience of Walibi’s new dark ride, Popcorn Revenge. The Belgium-based company has used its light technology expertise to ensure the attraction provides an exciting visual and sensory experience for visitors to Walibi Belgium.

Painting with Light has created a lighting scheme that enhances the interactive attraction, thanks to its understanding of ride dynamics. The project takes into account visitor perspectives, angles and the overall story, using lighting to create impact at crucial moments.

The importance of light technology

David Younger, an expert in theme park design, explains, “A dark ride is a predominantly indoor tracked attraction through sets, taking its name not from being dark inside, but because of the use of artificial illumination throughout: without it, the attraction would be totally dark.” Therefore, the light used must be planned and executed in very particular ways – the lighting is a key part of the ride design.

For Popcorn Revenge, Painting with Light was responsible for designing and installing the complete lighting infrastructure of the ride. The dynamic lighting technology was key in creating the right atmosphere and buzz for the attraction.

A new type of ride

The company needed to take a close look at the whole experience and sensory journey in detail before deciding on lighting fixtures. “We really had to get our heads inside the psychology of the Popcorn Revenge characters and storyline,“ says Luc Peumans, CEO of Painting with Light. To add to the challenge, Popcorn Revenge is a new type of dark ride. It is the first non-linear Erratic Ride. The ride vehicles take a random journey through three of six scenes, themed as mini-movie theatres.

Alterface CEO & Founder Benoit Cornet adds, “The importance of lighting a dark ride is often underestimated, yet it’s a crucial element to enhance visitor experiences. It’s been a pleasure for Alterface to work with Painting with Light, infusing our interactive attractions with their valuable expertise.”

For this project, the lighting needed to enhance and supported the video action appearing on the screen in each space. It was also important that the lighting helped to escalate the gameplay while blending seamlessly with other visual elements.

Walibi-Belgium-Popcorn-Revenge-space-scene

Lighting for every mood

Eleven areas required imaginative lighting, including the individual theatre spaces through which the ride cars pass. Painting with Light also provided lighting for the queuing area and car loading station. Working from the technical drawings of the scenery and descriptions of the visual material in each space, the company created a technical lighting design. This included illustrations of how the lights would be used as well as explanations of practical aspects like cabling and maintenance.

Painting with Light created a flexible lighting design, which can be adapted for future ride updates. The project includes architectural lighting fixtures to highlight the ride’s decorative aspects. It also uses effects lights in the theatres, in order to build anticipation throughout the dark ride. “Every area needed a unique combination of fixtures. With the architectural and décor lighting being an essential element of the ‘show’, a fine balance of the two treatments was required” says Peumans.

“Finding this synergy was one of the main overall challenges and an area in which Painting with Light excels by adding luminescent magic!”

Setting the scene

Popcorn Revenge Just Pop ItLighting in the dispatch area is used to communicate four different moods. The darkness of black light and UV creates suspense while ‘angry’ is denoted with blue chasing lights. The other moods are; ‘happy’ – lit with bright and positive colours and ‘melodrama’ – a gaudy, chaotic atmosphere with flashing and clashing colours.

The lighting scheme includes more than 100 Gantom LED fixtures to light the primary architectural areas. Eighty Gantom DMX RGBW Floods are used throughout the ride, to highlight props, curtains and other set pieces. Six Gantom Precision Z Spots in cool whites showcase the graveyard theatre space spiders webs, making them convincing with crisp bluish tints. Gantom One Pinspots are used throughout the theatre spaces to ‘crown’ the tops of the stages, and six Gantom Precision Z Floods are light the popcorn machine outlets in the queuing areas.

Peumans says, “We have again enjoyed some great teamwork, creativity and fusion of ideas and skills with Alterface and the other expert partners! Together we collectively produced a world-class attraction that is a huge success and a whole lot of fun for the park visitors!”

Jean-Christophe Parent, Managing Director of Walibi Belgium says, “Popcorn Revenge is a ground-breaking world premiere, aligning image technology and erratic movements. The ride definitely provides new sensations, and we are very proud to be the first park in the world to offer this attraction. It stands out through its interactivity and accessibility; it is a place where young and old can have fun together, as a family or amongst friends.”

This project highlights the diverse skill sets and experiences offered by Painting with Light. The team which has expertise in both entertainment and architectural lighting projects and the company has previously worked on other Alterface dark rides. For example, Bazyliszek, which was recognised at the Thea Awards.