Vioso supports Tuwaiq Mountains projection
Tuesday, 26 May 2020
saudi84 Barco UDX-W40s projectors were used to light up the Tuwaiq Mountains
Saudi Arabia - Commissioned by the Qiddiya Investment Company (Q.I.C.) and with phase one planned to open in 2023, the ambitious Qiddiya project is destined to be the upcoming capital for arts, entertainment and sports in Saudi Arabia. The 334sq.km site will be built from a focus on the tourism and recreation industries, as highlighted in the Saudi Vision 2030 expansion plan.
The destination includes plans for expansive water and theme parks as well as a community of 5,000 residents, all within a 40-minute journey of the Riyadh capital. The destination, currently an expansive, vast land with hundreds of miles of potential, will be surrounded by 200m cliffs. Phase one of the project will feature Six Flags Qiddiya as a family attraction, providing visitors with entertainment and attractions to explore which take into consideration the cultural and natural aspects of the area, including the mountains.
This megaproject was officially announced at the closing ceremony of the Dakar 2020 rally in Saudi Arabia, where 84 Barco UDX-W40s projectors were used to light up the Tuwaiq Mountains with the evolutionary story of the summit, up until the expansive Qiddiya metropolis.
The projection showed 150m tall logos of Qiddiya, Dakar, GSA and SAMF, which were visible for miles around, which progressed into an eye-catching three-minute video that told the story of the genesis of the Tuwaiq Mountains, from its volcanic beginnings, through the Ice Age and right up to the modern-day entertainment metropolis that Qiddiya will become. This was a feat accomplished in just 60 days with the assistance of German projection magicians, Vioso.
An onsite recreation using two Barco UDX projectors was used to demonstrate the potential of the project, and this influenced the decision to expand the projection coverage to 440m wide. After this decision, the project became the largest permanent projection installation in the world.
Martin Professional ME asked Vioso to handle the calibration, along with playback and onsite service. “Part of the project was creating two different ways of mapping content for the images projected on to the mountain face,” said Emanuel Züger, managing director of Vioso. “The first was a billboard like projection on the side of the mountain for the motorists passing by. The second was mapping to create the illusion of a flat surface on the corner of the mountain, when watched from a specific point of view at the Qiddiya opening event.”
Vioso provided 16 Vioso Anystation Media Hexa servers for displaying the content, which they designed in collaboration with Austrian software provider and partner AV Stumpfl. To handle all the show related tasks, AV Stumpfl also provided Avio Ultimate, running on Vioso’s Anystation Micro.
“We’ve collaborated with AV Stumpfl on many events now, and the quality of their products and services were always impressive,” Züger commented.
In order to play higher quality content and to easily switch between the two viewpoints required - the point of view illusion display for the Qiddiya event, and the billboard display for motorists - Vioso chose Pixera, a 64-bit system for real-time media processing, compositing and management, built around the key theme of usability. Two Pixera director licenses, in addition to 15 PIixera player licences were used for content output, combined with Vioso’s Anyblend projector alignment software.
“The sheer scale of the projected surface proved challenging, with the corner of the mountain proving especially difficult,” continued Züger. “We had to scale everything precisely down to a manageable size, and even then, where the point of view needs to be for the illusion isn’t something we could model, we had to learn that on site.”
(Jim Evans)

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