PWL colours the Popcorn Revenge
Friday, 7 June 2019
painting-with-light-popcorn-revenge-walibi-belgium-128The Popcorn Revenge dark ride at the Walibi Belgium theme park
Belgium - Lighting and visual design practice Painting with Light (PWL) was commissioned by interactive media and attractions specialist Alterface to light the new Popcorn Revenge dark ride at the Walibi Belgium theme park.
This showcases Alterface’s new innovative ‘erratic ride’ concept, an environment combining multiple projection techniques, spectacular HD video, 3D mapping and 3D shooting plus special effects in a ride that follows a non-linear path. Wireless-controlled ride cars are routed ‘randomly’ through a selection of different rooms over their three-minute journey, allowing guests to return to Popcorn Revenge multiple times and receive a completely different and equally exciting visual and sensory experience each time.
Luc Peumans and the PWL team including principal designer Iiris Roskou and project managers Peter Vandenbosh and Céline Cuypers collaborated with Alterface, theme park show and ride creators Jora Vision and engineers ETF to produce this hi-energy phenomenon in Walibi which is owned and operated by French entertainment group, Compagnie des Alpes.
PWL designed, purchased, installed and delivered the complete lighting package for this ride, in the process illustrating the diverse skill sets and experiences offered by its experts working on both entertainment and architectural lighting projects.
This brought a dynamic ‘crossover’ theatrical-environmental approach to lighting the different ride areas and adding to the atmosphere, fun and animated buzz.
The core action in each of the ride theatre spaces involves a range of popcorn characters - Popcorn Revenge is an IP entity created by Alterface that can be tailored to suit the theme of the park - who come to life on screen having ‘invaded’ the environment - and guests battle to contain them.
Luc was the principal LD and creative director for lighting the project. He completed the initial design based on discussions with Alterface’s ride designers Benjamin Walravens and Laurence Beckers and their project manager François Danhaive.
Eleven areas in total needed imaginative lighting, including the individual theatre spaces through which the ride cars pass plus the queuing area and car loading station where up 6 people are allocated to each wagon.
Luc and the team chose a mix of architectural and show lighting fixtures for their work which were combined across all the different areas. Most of the architectural units highlight the many highly detailed decor aspects of the ride. In the theatres, effects lights are instrumental in building a sense of anticipation throughout the all-action ride.
Over 100 Gantom LED fixtures light the primary architectural areas, chosen for their tiny size and because they are easy to conceal. Eighty Gantom DMX RGBW Floods are deployed ride-wide for highlighting and accenting props, curtains and other set pieces.
Six Gantom Precision Z Spots are picking out the graveyard theatre space spiders webs, bringing their intricacy alive with crisp bluish tints.
Gantom One Pinspots are used in all the theatre spaces, ‘crowning’ the tops of the stages, and six Gantom Precision Z Floods are deployed lighting the popcorn machine outlets in the queuing areas.
The effects / show lighting units include products from Robe-Anolis, Chauvet and Prolights.
The dispatch area itself features four different moods – black light / UV denotes the ‘darkness’ and suspense; ‘angry’ is evoked with blue chasing lights; ‘happy’ sees the space lit with bright and positive colours and then there is ‘melodrama’ when the lighting descends into a gawdy, chaotic atmosphere with flashing and clashing colours, all of which are created with the help of the Robe-Anolis Divine 60 UVs and other lights.
The Divines were picked as they produce the best UV effects (on a high 365nm wavelength) as well as additional looks, and they are positioned in the central space with a centrepiece comprising multiple TV sets, fake projectors and film rolls.
Three different Chauvet units are used across the installation, including five COLORado 1 Solo RGBW washes, integrated into the centrepiece’s faux projectors.
A Laserworld PRO-800 RGB colour laser is installed in the theatre. Seven Prolights GALLERYECLIPSE FCs are utilised in the central space to highlight the names of the different theatres above the entrances. These are run via WDMX wireless control.
All the lighting cues were created and programmed by PWL’s team during some intensive sessions at their studio in Genk, Belgium, onto an MA system, and a grandMA onPC in the ride control area is triggered by the overall Salto show and ride controller.
(Jim Evans)

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