Dubai - Protec, the one of Dubai's largest event rental companies used its BlackTrax real-time motion tracking system and its d3 Technologies' 4x4pro media servers to deliver some complex projection mapping for the grand opening ceremony for the World Air Games 2015 held at Sky Dive Dubai.

Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) ushered in the 4th FAI World Air Games (WAG) at an impressive and colourful opening ceremony on December 3, 2015 in front of an appreciative audience of nearly 5,000 spectators, which included officials and contestants from over 50 countries.

"It was great," said Polish microlight team member Kajetan Ruks. "I've never seen anything like it before. And now, I want to see it again." Joao Franciso, who came from Portugal to compete in the air navigation race said, "On a scale of one to 10, I give it 20!"

Protec was appointed by Dynamic Motion to provide all the required projection for the event. 8 Barco 30k and 10 Christie Roadster 20k projectors where used for the main screen & stage with a further 6 Barco 30k projectors used for the 6m diameter inflatable moving sphere. Being an outdoor event and along the beach front, wind was always going to be Protec's biggest challenge. An earlier decision to build a hard set backdrop to overcome the wind factor was upended and a fabric screen was to be used instead as the backdrop projection surface. True to form, the wind did play its part in blowing the screen which didn't help, but Protec battled on to deliver some impressive projection mapping.

The opening ceremony started off with a fusion dance act that sought to embrace the heritage of the UAE with the ultra-modern focus on development. Next were a series of zip-line performances that included a narration of the history of the nation coupled with the vision set by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Dropping in on the stage, aerial performers dressed as skydivers and paramotor pilots flew over the audience suspended on cable lines taking the astounded audience on a theatrical flight over Dubai.

The sphere which was housed under the stage for the first part of the show was raised to 30mts in the air as part of the spectacle while being projected on. 16 beacons were attached to the sphere which gave the coverage needed to track the entire sphere and 8 BlackTrax cameras were used to track the sphere's movement.

There was another challenge that had to be overcome. The aerial performers had rigged their cable lines from the same towers the BlackTrax cameras were attached to. This meant realigning the cameras fairly regularly. The sphere tracking with BlackTrax was integrated with d3 Technologies 4x4 pro servers, which visualised and handled the 3D mapping in real-time. BlackTrax streamed realtime positional information via high-speed protocol (RTTrPM) to the d3 media server. d3 was able to construct a virtual version of the sphere in the media server design tool, that behaved and moved like the real sphere in realtime by using the positional information received.

For the 72m x 31m stage, 10 Christie 20k j projectors were flown from the two rigging arches to project on to the central 20m x 20m area of the stage and a further 8 Barco 30k projectors flown from two towers for the main backdrop 54m x 21m screen blend, all of which were controlled from the FOH with all signals run over fibre.

With the challenges met head on by the production team, the show was seen as a resounding success with great reactions from the audience.

Terming the opening ceremony as truly unforgettable, Dr Grubbstrom, FAI President said, "Dubai has shown that we are together capable of staging such a wide variety of sport on one platform. I am convinced that this common goal will bring us closer to the Olympic dream."

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