Digital Projection, a specialist in LED laser projectors, was chosen by project:syntropy, creator of technology and display solutions for dome cinemas and immersive attractions, to provide the projection solutions for its latest Flying Theatre project. 16 of Digital Projection’s HIGHlite laser II projectors are now in use at the attraction in Hengdian World Studios.
The Flying Theatre is the newest addition to China’s Hengdian World Studios, the largest film studio in the world. The studio covers more than 370 hectares and has been visited by 150 million people since 2011. To date, over 1,200 movies and TV shows have been filmed there.
New Flying Theatre for Hengdian World Studios
The cutting-edge Flying Theatre attraction can be found inside the Qin Palace set, and project:syntropy was behind the concept, system design, delivery and installation. In order to make its vision a reality and to provide the best possible projection, the company chose Digital Projection’s HIGHlite Laser II.
“The theatre is a mix between a theme park ride and a cinema,” says Christoph Bode, CTO of project:syntropy. “Users are suspended in ride seats in front of a 25m domed screen. The seats then lurch and move as though the users are in the film, creating a fully immersive experience for the user.
“We needed a projector that could provide a state-of-the-art visual result without needing maintenance frequently, which seemed an impossible feat,” adds Bode. “The HIGHlite Laser ticked all our requirements.”
The 13,000 lumens HIGHlite Laser II provides sharp colours, thanks to its 10,000:1 dynamic contrast. With a solid-state illumination system, no lamp replacements are needed in the projector’s 20,000 hour illumination lifetime.
Digital Projection meets project’s needs
“The visual result is magnificent, with an impressive uniformity for the full 4K dome screen master playback. Brightness values were vital to the size of the dome screen, and the HIGHlite met them with ease,” says Bode.
“We also needed a company that was in close proximity, allowing for capable technicians at the site within a day’s notice – something Digital Projection China could provide.”
Lars Steffens, projection expert at project:syntropy, tells how the projectors and calibration cameras were installed around the opening of the dome screen, to make sure that there is full coverage for the visuals. There is also a 20-plus multi-channel surround sound system behind the screen, for a fully immersive experience.
“We calibrated the projectors using the well renowned camera-based auto-calibration system by domeprojection.com – it calibrates in less than 20 minutes for all 16 projectors, which is important for the nature of the ride,” says engineer Juliane Neumann, who did the initial calibration of the system and set up the automated procedures.
AV Stumpfl, an award-winning creator of mobile and installation projection screens, multi-display and show control systems, also provided its PIXERA 64-bit media control interface software, to control and calibrate the projectors. With the user-friendly interface, any team member is able to manage the system without needing a huge amount of projection or calibration experience.
“The end result matched what Hengdian Studios asked for perfectly, and we were really pleased with the result. One of my colleagues went on the ride and said it was an incredible experience,” says Tobias Kubacki, site manager at project:syntropy.
Last festive season, Digital Projection’s technology was used for the projection mapping of the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte’s façade, helping to create the annual “Vaux-le-Vicomte’s illuminations” Christmas show at the castle.
All images © project:syntropy