The Swiss lakeside town of Montreux will once again host its famous Jazz festival. Over the past 50 years, the festival has seen some of the greatest acts in music history, including Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Prince and David Bowie, among others.
For this year’s festival, audioborn has developed a project allowing the festival to be captured through 360° / 3D video and sound recording technology for the first time. This content can later be rendered and used in virtual reality applications, permitting users to experience the selected acts in real-life quality.
Commissioned by the Metamedia Center of the University École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) together with the Montreux Jazz Festival, project lead and official technology partner audioborn is partnering with PRG Lab for the video expertise. audioborn is responsible for capturing and reproducing all concerts in 3D audio with its software real-time processor called Auratorium. The software system is designed for 3D audio and virtual reality applications. It uses a ray-tracing approach to calculate physically correct and 100% natural sound.
PRG Lab, a division of PRG XL Video, based in Germany, develops customized interactive and leading software solutions for the event and exhibition market. PRG Lab will be supporting the project with a 360° / 3D Nokia OZO camera system to capture a 360° spherical video of chosen acts at the festival.
The cooperation between audioborn and PRG Lab will be one of the first commercial uses of the OZO system in a production of this size. In addition to the standard multitrack recordings, audioborn will capture the sound in the form of a 3D recording, using the Sennheiser VR microphone prototype, and be able to reproduce highly realistic 3D audio for the recordings.
“The methods we use to capture sound – which is the most important part of Montreux’s Jazz Festival – will be pioneering for 3D audio sound recording as well as reproduction. Using our 3D software audio processor Auratorium, we will be able to achieve the highest possible degree of immersion for the jazz archive.” says Dr. Dirk Schröder, CEO of audioborn.
“We will have to determine how each instrument and sound will react depending on the position of the camera in the room. When sound and video are combined for VR playback, the virtual user should feel as if he or she is actually at the festival in person. Our goal is a total immersive playback experience in sound and vision. We are proud to work closely together with PRG Lab as our professional partner for 3D video capturing.”
“This project is outstanding in its dimensions. We are going to record a huge amount of data during the 16 festival days with the OZO system. This will be the most demanding challenge we have to face during the project.” commented Michael Ochs of PRG Lab. “This is very exciting, state-of-the-art technology being used at the Montreux Jazz Festival. It is the first project of its kind and we can’t draw from previous experiences. ”
One of the challenges of this project is the large amount of data collected through 3D recording. A concert of three hours would create approximately 2 TB of compressed data. Uncompressed it multiplies later in postproduction by factor 12.
PRG Lab is continuously expanding its 3D capabilities and will be using OZO production computers as well as the audioborn Auratorium software to create immersive experiences. The audio mixes can be rendered for multichannel 3D audio systems or binaural headphone reproduction.
Production Resource Group LLC (PRG) – leading supplier of entertainment and event technology solutions is working with global entertainment design software developer Vectorworks, Inc. to ensure a seamless Rock in Rio festival in Lisbon, Portugal. The Rock in Rio festival collaboration between PRG and Vectorworks will demonstrate the realization of workflows using ESP Vision software to previsualize each lighting designer's concept. As in previous years, PRG will be supplying lighting technology and all related rigging for the festival. The event technology specialist is now in its 13th year of working with Rock in Rio.
“We started working with Rock in Rio back in 2004; during this time, we were able to supply lighting and video technology at festivals in Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, Las Vegas and Lisbon,” said Christoph Hahnl, Senior Account Manager at PRG. “This year’s festival marks the 30th anniversary of Rock in Rio, and we are excited to be on board.”
Now owned by Vectorworks, Inc., Vision puts the power to previsualize and cue your show at your fingertips. The software enables entertainment designers to rehearse the look of a show before they arrive at the venue. Adaptations and changes can easily be made in advance, allowing for more efficient working.
"With the increasing need to simulate a lighting design before it's ever executed on a live stage, our collaboration with PRG at Rock in Rio Lisbon provides the perfect venue in which to demonstrate our commitment to empowering today's entertainment designers," said Stewart Rom, chief marketing officer for Vectorworks. "We look forward to showing the world how our two companies can contribute to the ultimate show experience in Lisbon this year and enable today's visionaries in lighting design to advance the way they work."
As part of their ongoing collaboration, PRG is working with Vectorworks' R&D department to create leading solutions and is among the first to use the companies latest software technologies. Vectorworks® Spotlight users are able to work with a catalog of PRG-owned gear in the software, making the design development and documentation process even faster for lighting, production and scenic designers. The close working proximity to designers allows PRG an active exchange of ideas to identify the latest requirements and be involved in leading the development of future technology. Spotlight is the industry-leading software for entertainment design that allows designers to work in 2D and 3D with integrated worksheet functionality and rendering capabilities.
“The collaboration with Vectorworks is well underway, and we have already identified ways to improve internal and external working processes,” said Götz Bauer, Special Operations Director at PRG. “By incorporating PRG’s gear into the Spotlight software library, users are able to work increasingly efficiently and improve working processes. Our close relationship with designers from around the world enables us to really make a difference by using their feedback, and our experience to create solutions from which the whole industry can gain.”
The festival will take place over two consecutive weekends starting on May 19, 2016. The lineup features acts like Queen + Adam Lambert, Maroon 5, Korn, Ariana Grande, Hollywood Vampires and Avicii. The lighting design for the festivals in Las Vegas, Rio de Janeiro and Lisbon was created by lighting designer Terry Cook for Woodroffe Bassett Design.
Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG), the world’s leading provider of entertainment and event technology solutions, announced today a new brand for their creative LED special projects team, formerly a subsidiary of XL Video.
Now known as PRG Projects, the team, led by Frederic Opsomer and Kristof Soreyn, is renowned for creating and providing innovative custom video solutions. The teams are based at PRG’s location in Ostend, Belgium and in China. The new PRG Projects team will also incorporate, and work more closely with, the former XL Video research and development team based in Shenzhen, China. The combined expertise of the team has already been responsible for realizing some of the most technology-forward designs and custom installations in concert touring, large-scale spectacles, television, and sporting events, including ceremonies in Athens, London, and Sochi over the last several years.
In addition to working with the team in Ostend, PRG Projects in Shenzhen will continue to focus on sourcing LED products in China for PRG and for PRG Alliance partners.
“PRG Projects’ goals are now positioned to fit PRG’s overall vision to create bespoke creative LED products for all of the different market segments in which we are active,” explains Opsomer. “The designers and project managers that we have on our team, in both Ostend and Shenzhen, have decades of experience in creating and producing the world’s most innovative solutions.”
“PRG Projects leads the entertainment technology industry in advancing the creative application of LED technology and are an incredible asset for PRG and our clients,” says Stephan Paridaen, President & Chief Operating Officer, Production Resource Group. “The team, which consists of a range of creative and innovative experts in the field of custom video solutions, has a strong focus on innovation, product development, and system packaging. The team also works closely with strategic manufacturing partners to help develop and refine technology and options that meets the needs of producers and creatives in all of our markets.”
Production Resource Group, L.L.C., (PRG) recently marked the two year anniversary of its global partner network program with the second PRG Alliance Summit. Under the theme ‘Gearing Up For Success’, the Summit took place during the Prolight + Sound 2016 trade fair at the Festhalle Messe Frankfurt.
Since its inception, the PRG Alliance has grown in both size and reputation, and now offers technology, services and support to event producers in a total of twenty five countries.
The PRG Alliance Summit is already a key date on the calendar for members, allowing them to meet face to face, share knowledge and best practices, and increase their collaboration. The location of the Summit at Prolight + Sound also enables them to meet at an event where the newest and most exiting technology is on display.
This year’s Summit included a presentation of the PRG Alliance’s future plans from Alliance Director, Tom Van Hemelryck, and Account Manager, Luciana Rosa, which include expansion into new regions, opportunities for training, and the aim to include a wider variety of service companies.
After the introduction, members of the Alliance shared their experiences and knowledge acquired during the past year, including a custom-shaped large-scale LED floor and wall for concert touring; special lighting for fashion shows; and the logistical issues facing shows located in unusual or remote locations.
Following this the PRG Projects team shared examples of their work with custom LED projects for major opening ceremonies including wireless hex panels and pixel tablets seen by millions around the world.
“Watching the presentations, we see the potential applications for these technologies in Italy – we are always eager to bring new services to our clients and we see the potential for customized LED solutions in our market,” commented Alessandro Rossani, CTO of STS Communications in Italy.
Members also enjoyed a presentation from Chris Reed of Restless Communications on the best ways for technical production companies to use social media to promote their brands; and this was followed by sessions from Minesh Pore, General Manager of Pico Europe on working with corporate clients and managing expectations, and Lee Charteris, VP Operations, Flash Entertainment on the challenges of producing concerts and events in emerging markets.
The Summit concluded with a dinner in the Festhalle which further enabled the members to network with each other.
“We see how the PRG Alliance is well established and continues growing through making personal connections between the members and with the market,” said Tom Van Hemelryck, Director of PRG Alliance. “We carefully select the members and I am happy to have such an unprecedented group of companies with high-quality technical production services working together on several events in the last year – success always comes from collaboration.”
PRG ProShop are hosting a mega sale of used equipment at the Prolight + Sound trade show in Frankfurt. We are operating pop-up warehouse close to the exhibition grounds for the five days Prolight + Sound is on. The sale will run from 4th to 8th April and will be open from 11:00 to 19:00. PRG XL Video are offering a huge selection of high-quality lighting, audio, video, rigging, LED and broadcast technology for sale, including moving lights, LED panels, audio consoles, overhead lights, speaker systems, lighting control consoles, microphones, conventional lighting, video cameras, network technology, followspots, trusses and much more.
A detailed list of the equipment available for sale in Frankfurt can be accessed through the PRG XL Video website. Further information with regards to the exact location will be provided on the site. All products are fully tested prior to being put up for sale, and are sold as seen without any warranty or option to exchange after the event. We will be accepting payment by debit or credit card as well as cash. For visitors to Prolight + Sound, PRG XL Video will have an information counter in the Festhalle where further details can be found, as well as information about the shuttle bus service we will be running from Prolight + Sound to the ProShop mega sale.
PRG XL Video, event services and event technology specialist, will be present at this year’s Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt and will be showcasing a broad program as well as various innovations. As in previous years, PRG will be located in the “Festhalle“ hall, which also hosts the PRG Live Entertainment Award on 4th April 2016, the evening before the exhibition officially opens.
For the first time, this year’s award ceremony will include acts from the entire German-speaking DACH region, consisting of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The awards will be presented in front of 1300 guests during a “carbon neutral“ event.
For the duration of the Prolight + Sound the “Festhalle“ will be the exclusive presentation and showroom area for PRG XL Video and their cooperation partners. During this time, visitors can expect a show that will be even bigger then last year's event, including more than 1,000 light fixtures, video mapping, lasers, special effects, sound systems as well as kinetic solutions. The show will demonstrate the latest event technology in action. Visitors can also look forward to a backstage tour that includes a look at the equipment used for the PRG LEA award ceremony and also the 3D projections of the “Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis“ and a virtual warehouse tour, which is brought to live by ten projectors in the “Festhalle“.
At this year‘s Prolight + Sound PRG Video XL will also focus on presenting its wide service range. The division PRG Alliance will be present and inform visitors about the company’s global network. The PRG Subrental Portal division (http://subrental.prg.de/en) will also be attending. The portal aims to connect with suppliers, who would like to offer their equipment for rent to PRG. Also at the exhibition will be the newly launched PRG Crew Portal (http://crew.prg.de/en), an online portal that makes connecting and working with PRG easier.
There will be demonstrations of PRG’s Ground Control System and a range of technology innovations by SGM and EAW. The development division of PRG, PRG Projects, will present the latest custom-build LED and control technology products.
One of the highlights of this year‘s PRG XL Video attendance will be a used equipment sale hosted in a 3,000 sqm hall outside the exhibition grounds. More information about this event can be obtained at the ProShop information counter located in the “Festhalle“. A shuttle service to and from the hall will be provided.
In addition to PRG XL Video‘s services and equipment, several sponsors and partners will also be present with stands in the “Festhalle“.
Please refer to our Prolight + Sound website for up to date information on our program at the exhibition.
PRG XL Video, event service and event technology specialist, has opened its new branch in Vienna, Austria. The new location allows for closer proximity to Austrian-based clients which include companies, agencies and institutions.
PRG XL Video in Austria will be managed by Christian Wymetal and René Rarrel. The experienced LED specialists join the company as directors of “Outdoor LED” and will be the main customer contact. Due to their extensive experience in the field of international sport, the main focus of the new branch will be Outdoor LED and sporting events.
The new branch allows Production Resource Group to be physically present in the Austrian market. “Austria is an attractive market for our company“ says Carsten Zwerg, member of the board at PRG, “With Christian Wymetal and René Rarrel we have found two very knowledgable specialists who complete the Austrian team and enable us to support our customers nationally and internationally. We are pleased to have them on board.“
Christian Wymetal and René Rarrel will be present at (the) PRG XL Video (area) in the “Festhalle“ at the Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt.
Following a recent client enquiry to Pierre-Guillaume Tomasso, Project Manager at PRG France, our team have prepared our LED trailers ready for travel to the Republic of Congo where they will be used for public viewings for the upcoming Presidential election.
The elections will take place on 20th March 2016.
In the capital city Brazzaville, a number of public events will take place in the run up to the election, and to enable a large-scale rally for 300,000 people on 18th March, two of PRG XL Video’s large truck screens, each with 50m2 of LED screen, have been shipped via a huge Antonov cargo plane to the African country.
“Our truck screens are used for a wide range of outdoor events from sports to public spectacles, beach parties and musical events,” said Jan Sören Eckert, Fleetmanager LED Trucks at PRG XL Video. “They travel to many locations across Europe throughout the year, but this is the first time we have shipped them to Africa."
PRG XL Video, the UK operation of Production Resource Group (PRG), is today celebrating winning Favourite Video Rental Company at the 2016 TPi Awards.
The event, which took place on Monday 22nd February at Battersea Evolution in London, is attended by a wide variety of companies from the entertainment and events industry both from the UK and worldwide.
The Favourite Video Rental Company award was presented to the PRG XL Video team by Sarah Cox, from category sponsor, d3 Technologies.
This win is the 12th time in the TPi Awards history that the UK video team have won this category, and brings the total number of TPi Award wins to eighteen for Production Resource Group companies.
“Winning this award yet again only goes to confirm that the coming together of PRG and XL Video is a winning combination!” said Lee Spencer, PRG XL Video Commercial Director. “I would also like to thank our teams at all the UK locations whose hard work won us this year’s award.”
PRG XL Video UK CEO Lucas Covers comments: “We are delighted with the recognition for our video services, and particularly honoured as this award is voted for by our colleagues and peers in the industry. We will continue to strive to supply the best possible video service in the market.”
Other winners on the night included some important PRG XL Video clients. Oli Metcalfe won two awards for Best Set Designer, and the Des Fallon Video Visionary category, for his work with Muse; and the Best Lighting Designer was Ed Warren for his work with Mumford & Sons.
The world’s leading supplier of entertainment and event technology solutions, Production Resource Group has increased its stock of 7.5mm LED within its Dubai operation to help support a growing demand for a high quality outdoor screen. The company recently took delivery of over 300 square metres of ROE MC-7 LED, which is a recognised touring product for large scale events.
Shortly after arriving in Dubai the screen was put to immediate use to support the opening ceremony of the 2016 Dubai Tour.
“The ROE was the perfect choice of screen for the event” said Bill Ainley, PRG Gearhouse’s Head of Video. “The client’s design and creative concept was based on a curved upstage screen and we had very little time to construct and then de-rig the screen given the location of the event.”
The event was held at the Westin Mina Seyahi Amphitheatre and included an intricate lighting design to make the stage an interactive area for choreographed live entertainment which including world famous cyclists performing stunts.
The lighting design included PRG’s proprietary ‘Best Boy HP’ moving lights. This sort after profile fixture is only available through PRG Gearhouse and uses a 1,500 watt HTI lamp to produce over 33,000 lumens.
Just two weeks later, more than 200sqm of the ROE MC-7 was used to support Dubai’s largest 2 day festival, Redfest DXB.
PRG Gearhouse were appointed to provide full lighting and video for the event which took place at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre and included performances from international artists including Rita Ora, The Vamps, Steve Aoki, Eva Simons and many more.
PRG Gearhouse’s Head of Lighting and project manager for the event, Damien Jackson commented; “It’s always a pleasure working with Done Events and their team. During the fit-up the ROE really shone through given the complex layered approach taken on the upstage screen design. It’s a fairly lightweight product, comes in and out quickly and its performance is rock solid”.
New PRG Lighting Library features growing repository of content that will enhance the user experience
As a part of their shared commitment to empower today's entertainment designers, Vectorworks, Inc. and Production Resource Group (PRG) announce that they will collaboratively develop and implement new features for Vectorworks® Spotlight software. More specifically, PRG will work with Vectorworks' research and development team to develop new tools and object libraries for Spotlight, the standard for CAD software in entertainment design, as well as drive efficient workflows that are crucial to the industry.
"Our goal is to provide state-of-the-art technology and tools that enable designers to explore their ideas so they can ultimately develop, document and communicate designs that create memorable entertainment experiences," said Dr. Biplab Sarkar, CTO of Vectorworks. "We gravitate toward strategic industry partners such as PRG because they are uniquely qualified to provide the resources and services required for our customers."
Vectorworks is a global leader in developing 3D design technologies for the AEC, landscape and entertainment industries, including Spotlight software, which helps professionals in the lighting, scenery, set, event, theatre and exhibit design space balance the need for individual creativity with the requirement for synchronized, accurate design information.
Contributing more than 25 years of experience to the partnership, PRG is the world's leading supplier of entertainment and event technology solutions, providing integrated services and equipment, including audio, video, lighting, rigging, staging and scenery for clients all over the world. With more than 40 offices worldwide, the company has relied on Spotlight software for many years.
"In conjunction with the announcement of this partnership comes our initial efforts with creating a large catalog of PRG gear as library content for Spotlight users," said PRG's Special Operations Director Götz Bauer. "The increased content resources will be a tremendous efficiency gain, making the design development and documentation process even faster for lighting, production and scenic designers."
Initial content that will be shared through this partnership includes PRG’s own line of production equipment including lighting instruments, consoles, LED panels, trusses, motors and media servers. PRG is also adding other content from vendors that it represents and supplies, such as Prolyte Truss and Vari-Lite.
The growing content library is available initially as a first-access benefit for Vectorworks Service Select members and can be downloaded here. To learn more about the growing content library, Vectorworks Service Select members can visit this link
There is one more pin in the map of PRG Alliance’s global reach – they are now present in Morocco with the addition of its new member Touareg Prod’.
Founded in 2001, Touareg Prod’ offers a range of sound, lighting, rigging, and backline solutions to entertainment industry customers as concerts, TV shows, sports, corporate and private events. The company has now about 70 technicians working full time, a head office in downtown Casablanca and a 2,000 square meter warehouse in the industrial zone of Casablanca.
“I am certain that being part of the PRG Alliance will help Touareg Prod’ to do even more amazing things,” says Squalli Farid, Partner/Owner of Touareg Prod’. “We have been in close collaboration with some of the PRG Alliance members already for a few years but now that we are officially in the group we can’t wait to partner with all the members and welcome international events in Morocco, as well as getting the support for our clients abroad.”
Touareg Prod’ is very eager to fully participate in all PRG Alliance activities and to bring as much technical knowledge and business opportunities as possible to Morocco. “We are very busy with several projects recently. It gives us confidence that now is a good time to invest in our business expansion and join PRG Alliance,” continues Farid.
“Morocco was a natural extension to our presence since it is an important destination for corporate events and concert touring in North Africa,” says Tom Van Hemelryck, Director of the PRG Alliance. “We are happy to welcome such a proficient player as Touareg Prod’ to our global team.”
With this new addition to its member’s pool, the PRG Alliance is present today in 25 countries in all continents. The complete list of participant companies and news are available on the PRG Alliance website: www.prgalliance.com.
Sound and Visual is ready to give support to the PRG Alliance with high quality services in audiovisual, lighting, rigging, and translation systems
Greece is a great destination for corporate events, with year-round favorable weather conditions, beautiful nature, and a large number of hotels and conference facilities. The company Sound and Visual - K. Papathanasiou S.A. was invited to join the PRG Alliance due to its wealth of experience in providing technical production services for corporate events and conferences in Greece, such as the EHRA 2013 (European Heart Rhythm Association) and the meetings during the Greek Presidency in the EU in the 1st semester of 2014, showing professionalism and attention to details in their integrated solutions for all technical needs. Sound and Visual also offers services for the live music and television markets, with large events as Mad Video Music Awards, Ermis Awards and others in their portfolio.
Sound and Visual is joining the PRG Alliance to be able to provide their clients with an even higher level of service taking advantage of new opportunities to access high-end technology equipment – following their commitment to focus on technology and new media.
“One of the major values that Sound and Visual embraces is teamwork,” says Konstantinos Papathanasiou, CEO of Sound and Visual. “The company is keen on sharing knowledge with the top professionals in the event industry around the world and on the opportunity to be able to cooperate with them in Greece and abroad.”
“We have been collaborating with Sound and Visual for many years and it is a great pleasure to have them in the PRG Alliance now”, says Tom Van Hemelryck, Director of the PRG Alliance. “Our members’ international clients who choose Greece for their events can count on high-level local support now and dedicate more of their budget to event technology rather than to transportation costs.”
Greece is a promising and continuously increasing market in the event industry and the presence of PRG Alliance in the country can contribute directly in leading it to excellence.
The PRG Alliance today has members in 24 countries – the complete list of participant companies and news are available on Alliance website: www.prgalliance.com.
As Production Resource Group LLC, (PRG) continues to grow globally, the ability to strategically source and manage the global assets of the business becomes increasingly critical. To effectively guide PRG’s global asset strategy, the company today announced that Scott Hansen will be transitioning from his current role as Chief Financial Officer into the role as Chief Asset Officer. Since joining PRG in May 1997, Hansen has held a number of key executive positions at PRG and his work throughout his career at the company has kept him involved in both its financial and operational management.
In his new and expanded role as CAO, Hansen will be responsible for the global annual capital expenditure plan, and the development and implementation of strategic asset initiatives. Hansen has for some time been involved with the asset management of PRG, so this move helps to clarify and focus the roles of CFO and CAO. Hansen’s background and multi-layered understanding of PRG’s overall business goals uniquely qualify him to handle the vital role overseeing PRG’s asset strategy.
“Scott Hansen is a unique resource,” says Jeremiah J. Harris, Chairman and CEO of PRG, “As we continue to grow, the new CAO position is strategically critical to PRG. This role requires a wide range of skills to successfully manage every aspect of the asset lifecycle - from acquisition to optimization to disposition. This is especially challenging for a global organization such as PRG. The combination of Scott’s deep financial skills and breadth of operational experience makes him singularly qualified to direct our asset strategy. We are fortunate to have him on the team."
Hansen states, “As PRG continues to grow globally, our logistical operations and asset management will be critical to PRG’s ability continue to deliver exceptional customer service and financial success. It is essential to PRG that asset optimization be handled in a thoughtful and strategic manner. That means consistently assessing and carefully balancing purchasing decisions; ensuring asset allocation to the right locations and regions; while always considering the entire scope of our varied markets and industry usage cycles for asset deployment. That is one way PRG can leverage our global platform to drive growth and operational efficiency."
A large part of the role of CAO will include working with the many different PRG locations, which Hansen looks forward to. “I have enjoyed building relationships with all the general managers over the years and will continue to do so even more as CAO. I want to help the PRG GM’s strengthen their infrastructure to support depots. Our asset strategy needs to relentlessly evaluate the best approach for the company as far as asset purchasing, asset turnover and regional asset deployment while at the same time supporting the exceptional standard of customer satisfaction we provide to our clients on every job we do throughout the world."
Hansen plans to embrace the challenges and the opportunities presented him as he takes on the role of Chief Asset Officer at PRG. “I've been fortunate enough to be able to wear multiple hats along the way at PRG—many at the same time. Being CAO will be another great challenge for me. I believe in the vision of PRG; our goals for the future and most importantly, the positive impact PRG can have for our employees and clients. On a personal note, I thrive on my work at PRG, yet I also enjoy the simple life at home. I love spending time with my family. Along with my wife, I am very involved with my children, their sports and schooling and I just enjoy the day to day family chaos that comes with having 3 kids. The balance of hard work at PRG and great family at home is a good one that works well for me. I am excited that as CAO I can help PRG achieve continued success. This will be fun for me. I love the challenge of it."
For ten days – from 17 to 27 September – visitors to the Opel booth at IAA 2015 could create their own personal ‘Opel Selfie Jump’ – a Bullet-Time tracking shot with frozen scenery, known from the Matrix films and numerous commercials. The automobile manufacturer relied on the experience of PRG XL Video for the planning, design and technical implementation of their exacting requirements. Bellprat Associates AG was responsible for the idea and the concept. The graphical user interface of the terminals, the Facebook connectivity and implementation of the barcode scanners was realized by bluelemon Interactive GmbH.
For ‘Opel Selfie Jump’ the full-service event provider developed a system using 75 digital SLR cameras arranged in a semi-circle of 270 degrees, which was aligned with millimetre precision with the booth visitors in the centre of the circle. As a visual aid to the participants, a monitor with countdown was displayed below the cameras. The shutter release of the 75 cameras was done manually using a remote control by an employee at the Opel stand.
The instantly-created three-second video sequence from the 75 simultaneously acquired images was incorporated into the interactive content displayed on high-resolution LED screens and 3D objects around the Opel booth. At the same time, visitors could access their own ‘Selfie Jump’ posted on the Opel Facebook page.
The technical requirements for hardware and software with which PRG XL Video was confronted during the two-month design and production phase were enormous. The event provider had to respond to a variety of technical challenges including automating the post-processing of the camera images as video to make the sequence available immediately.
During the production phase of the event, PRG XL Video developed, specifically for this purpose, a modular system of opto-couplers and a microcontroller. These were able to synchronously trigger all of the cameras, start the countdown over the network, begin the rendering process, and display any error messages. This allowed the error detection mechanism to autonomously utilise the fallback system.
This solution was made more impressive because of special provisions the ‘Opel Selfie Jump’ system required for its prototype. Drawing on experience from previous projects, the team managing the project had to install the camera rig separated from the jump landing-pad to avoid transmission of vibrations to the cameras.
Since the installation of the cameras was covered to protect against unauthorized access and to avoid dust entering the mechanisms, PRG XL Video developed a custom software solution that enabled them to remotely configure the cameras both individually and collectively. In addition, the team had to consider sufficient manual access to the camera hardware to enable servicing and recalibration.
The ‘Opel Selfie Jump’ project was a complete success! Over the ten days of IAA 2015 more than 3,500 video clips were created by visitors on the Opel stand – meaning the 75 cameras clicked and produced a Bullet-time tracking shot every 2 minutes!