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Christie Cave Craziness — AV.technology

Laser projectors and Pandoras Box play illuminate the interiors of a karst cave in China's first in-cave sound & light show.

By

19 October 2020

Titled “Hutian Fantasyland”, it is China’s first multimedia show in a natural cave featuring intelligently executed projection and audio technology that offers visitors a highly immersive and entertaining experience that’s aligned with the historical and cultural attributes of this scenic area. The fascinating projections are accomplished by Christie’s partner Shanghai Hehao Technology in collaboration with Summit Splendid Studio, using 14 Christie DWU1075-GS 1DLP laser projectors, Christie Pandoras Box Software Players, Pandoras Box Manager, and Pandoras Box Widget Designer.

“As the country’s first multimedia show to be executed in a natural cave environment, this project involved unique challenges,” said Zhenfeng Xu, general manager, Hehao Technology. “This includes procuring the finest projection and content management systems on the market that can operate reliably in Hutian Cave’s moist and humid environment. We’re pleased to have chosen Christie’s tried and tested GS Series laser projectors and Pandoras Box family of products for this major project.” 

The word “Hutian” in Chinese is interpreted as a dwelling for celestial beings. According to Chinese folklore, this mysterious place is often depicted as a treasure cave known for its hidden and extremely small entrance. But once inside, the caverns open up to reveal another world – cathedral-sized grottoes with extremely high ceilings, towering stone formations, and natural wonders at every turn.

“This ancient folklore drives the backstory of this exciting multimedia show executed on the enormous ceiling of Hutian Cave’s main chamber,” said Xu, noting that the team overcame many challenges to accomplish the show’s artistic vision. “The cave environment is complicated and making measurements was extremely difficult. In order to provide designers and engineers with accurate design inputs, we deployed high-precision 3D holographic scanning equipment to digitally map and reconstruct the site.”

With this high-definition, 3D-scanned data map, the team was able to install the 14 DWU1075-GS projectors at optimal positions around the main chamber without damaging the cave formations. “Our next challenge was executing the colour control and calibration process, which was tedious due to the highly irregular surfaces,” said Xu. “Through repeated projection, sound effects and environmental tests, we were finally able to achieve our desired sense of immersion.”

Xu added that the team created a customised program using Widget Designer that enables the Pandoras Box players to automatically switch on or shut down all the projectors, audio equipment, and playback systems according to the cave’s opening and closing hours. This powerful feature helps to automate these regular tasks that would otherwise take much time to complete, given the vastness of Hutian Cave. 

Visitors seated on a custom-built 360-degree rotating platform are treated to a slew of flamboyant and immersive visuals accompanied by surround audio that brings Hutian Cave to life. The spectacular visual feast, coupled with a brand-new experience of cave exploration, is extremely popular since its opening, and has become the main highlight of Taiji Cave scenic area. Those who have watched “Hutian Fantasyland” are convinced that the multimedia show has set a new benchmark in the local night tourism industry. 

April Qin, director of sales, Enterprise, Christie China, commented, “We are delighted that our partner Hehao Technology has chosen Christie solutions for China’s first-ever multimedia show to be executed in a natural cave. Our laser projection and content management solutions are known for delivering high levels of integration, performance, colour accuracy and reliability for various applications such as entertainment, cultural and night tourism venues across China.”

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Issue 6