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Christie projectors illuminate Expo 2020 Dubai


International. The Russian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is captivating visitors with its striking exterior structure and, once inside, offers visitors a view of Russia's regions as well as the country's scientific and cultural achievements.

The focal point of the pavilion is The Mechanics of Wonder, an immersive installation that uses seven Christie 3DLP projectors and Christie Conductor software to project images onto a model of the human brain.

The installation was conceptualized and planned by Simpateka Entertainment Group, with video content produced by Dreamlaser and equipment and technical support provided by Big Screen Show. Christie Professional Services is responsible for the maintenance and support of the system.

Visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai are drawn to the vaulted structure of the Russian Pavilion, located in the Mobility District, whose outer surface is composed of interlocking tubes of various colors. The bright colors and ever-changing alignment of the tubes symbolize the eternal cognitive process. Once inside, the focal point of the Pavilion is The Mechanics of Wonder, designed and created by Konstantyn Petrov and Simpateka Entertainment Group. The installation is a massive 3D kinetic model of the human brain, which rises from the floor over a spinal cord, and includes diodes on the ceiling and floors and screens around the perimeter of the room.

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"We set out to tackle several very important goals with our project," says Sergei Tchoban, the architect behind the project. "First, to produce a spectacular structure whose architecture would align with the theme of the district and at the same time present partnerships with Russia as a great country. One such association comes from the way the small dome sits within the larger one, which may be modern and emphatically dynamic, but also resembles the traditional Russian matryoshka."

Dreamlaser created the video content for the installation and was tasked with explaining the structure of the human brain in just six minutes. "To show how neurons work, we turned to figurative and abstract animation and universally familiar images, such as flowers, stars and the Northern Lights," says Anton Kolodyazhny, creative director of Dreamlaser. "The key message of this interactive experience is that just as the brain develops by rebuilding connections, the more connections between people, the richer the field of ideas; in short, that the future of humanity will be defined by cooperation."

Simpateka's kinetic brain model measures 9.2 meters long, 5.5 meters wide and 10 meters high from the ground. Dreamlaser began by scanning the structure to create the UV map for projection mapping. Finally, DreamLaser mapped content with a five-digit pixel display resolution.

The Big Screen Show (BSS) team used seven Christie Boxer 4K30 (30,000 lumens 3DLP projectors) to map the brain. Six projectors are suspended from above and one is below the kinetic model of the human brain. "At first, we were given the task of illuminating the shape of the brain with projection," says BSS project manager Alexander Shagov. "It turns out that the structure is not static and can be opened. This made the task somewhat more complex and determined the final positioning of the projectors in relation to the decoration."

Looking back at the development of the project, Shagov explains: "In April, we carried out an on-site test of the projection in kinetic sculpture. It became clear that a projection from below and an ultra-short range (UST) lens configuration would be essential to illuminate the lower part of the model brain. To this end, we installed a 0.37:1 UST (4K) lens."

"Thanks to the wide range of lenses available for the projectors, we had no problem with the fact that there are places within the pavilion where it is physically impossible to install projection equipment. And the correct placement of the projectors is essential. The ultra-short throw lens is very useful here," Shagov adds.

During installation and operation, BSS employed Christie Conductor, which allows the projectors to be synchronized and controlled from a single point. "You can use Conductor to turn a group of projectors on or off at the push of a key, as well as monitor online the operation of a group of projectors, including their status and any errors that may occur. It also gives you the option to work with each projector separately, adjusting all the required settings from a single workstation," says Shagov.

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For technical support and maintenance of the projectors, Christie Professional Services has been contracted to ensure that the system runs smoothly during Expo 2020.

Richard Santa, RAVT
Author: Richard Santa, RAVT
Periodista de la Universidad de Antioquia (2010), con experiencia en temas sobre tecnología y economía. Editor de las revistas TVyVideo+Radio y AVI Latinoamérica. Coordinador académico de TecnoTelevisión&Radio.

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