Picture this; you and over 3,000 others are sitting in the Altice Arena in Lisbon, Portugal. Above you hangs a giant screen, over 40m wide, the size of two cinema screens placed side by side. Suddenly the screen breaks into four separate screens, pulling away from each other, before returning to form one giant screen.
Perhaps that doesn’t sound so exciting on reflection, but now imagine that the projection on that giant irregular shaped screen; that breaks into different sized and shaped screens. And while moving apart and together the projected images are perfectly tracked onto the screens, moving with them, filling them at all times but not spilling light off the screen. Now that’s not something you see every day – even in the world of professional event-staging.
For the annual meeting of Portugal’s biggest insurance company, that was the spectacle awaiting employees, brokers and commercial partners. All courtesy of Bold creative agency and Christie Partner and pro-stager Europalco; who utilised specially shot video and ID tag tracking for the first time in Portugal for such an event.
ID Tag Tracking is a simple form of intelligent tracking that can follow people and objects with lights on a stage or create trackable props to ensure complete freedom of movements in projections.
The Bold agency was in charge of organizing the event, which was given the title Fidelidade Pensar Maior [Fidelidade Think Big]. Bold immediately brought on board Europalco to look after the audiovisuals. “Europalco is our technology partner of choice because we know that it always strives after the latest technical solutions that will allow us to surprise our clients and leave a mark on their audiences”, explained Ana Oliveira, head of Bold’s department for Institutional and Corporate Events.
Europalco then designed something never seen before in Portugal: an impressive screen made from a fabric-covered truss measuring 40 by 10 metres, which separated into four parts thanks to a system of rails for horizontal movement, and another motor system for the vertical movement, opening up to reach an awe-inspiring width of 72 metres.
The video tracking technology used comprised three Christie Pandoras Box Quad Servers to manage the graphic content, six OptiTrack high-speed tracking cameras and 12 ID Tags to locate the positions of the four modules so that the layers of video would match the movements in real time.
Each module had three ID Tags to precisely locate the position in real time. The position was read by the six cameras which then relayed the information to the Christie Widget Designer in charge of controlling the various layers of the Pandoras Box servers. In addition, Europalco used the Christie Spyder X20 video processor to run the contents coming from Pandoras Box, the PPTs and the live broadcast and Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors throwing over 180,000 lumens across 60 metres to produce 6146 x 2048 pixel blend across the screen.
“We choose the Boxers because of their incredible power (30,000 lumens) and resolution (4096 x 2160)”, claimed Pedro Magalhães, general director of Europalco. “And the truth is that they proved themselves once again to be the best projectors available in the market for large-scale screenings. They guarantee us excellent performance, perfect light and spectacular colours, with low energy consumption and relatively lightweight”, he added.
Three days setting up, 60 audiovisual technicians, 120 motors to suspend the audiovisual equipment and 800 metres of metal truss structures were required to make this complex projection possible. Likewise, the challenging production process also relied on a team of Christie technicians from Belgium who were thrilled to have a chance to take a direct part in staging this spectacular event.
Fidelidade wanted to make the most of its annual event to consolidate its reputation as a leader in technology and innovation. And it passed with flying colours. The result was so impressive that the president of the National Association of Insurance Agents and Brokers of Portugal, José David Pereira, called it the single best insurance event in the last twenty years, saying that “the movement, content, presentation, dynamism and innovation were all impeccable. The way the giant screen moved in Pensar Maior was truly spectacular, with hugely imaginative projections and video tracking.”
For Fidelidade it was beyond doubt the biggest and best event in the company’s history and, in the words of Sérgio Carvalho, director of Marketing and Clients: “Two months’ work from various teams went into it. One of the main features of the event was the innovative technology to divide the screen into four parts and unite them together again. You could hear audible gasps of appreciation in the hall. But above all else, above the decoration, the stage design and all the technical assembly, what allowed us to go so far was the spirit of the Bold agency, its professionalism, its constant availability and its willingness to innovate.”
Ana Oliveira from Bold confirmed this opinion: “here at Bold we like taking risks, we like to surprise and to always go that one step further. This means that we always come up with something new and special for each individual project, whether it be the concept, the graphic image, the stage design, the architecture, the technology, the decoration, catering or ideas. That’s why it was such a source of pride for us to pioneer the use of the video tracking technique in Portugal.”