Following the Le Bourget Airshow in June 2009 and the Dubai Airshow in November 2009, eight Christie 3-chip DLP HD10 projectors will give visitors at prestigious airshows around the world an insight into the Airbus history books and the lowdown on its future A350 wide-body jet. A four-minute immersive experience designed and produced by Master Image Films will be staged at the Singapore Airshow in February 2010, followed by Berlin, Hamburg and Farnborough. The film will breathe life into an aircraft that has only ever been modelled in 3D using computer-generated graphics.
The project began in March 2009 when Master Image Films (Toulouse), an Airbus partner for 20 years, was asked to design a system to allow Airbus to spread the word about its future A350 wide-body jet and use the world's largest airshows as a platform to announce the start of production. To design and complete the project in record-breaking time - less than three months - the brief facing the Airbus teams was to put the innovation and eye-catching appeal into the simple idea of a 1:1 scale model of the interior of the aircraft. In response to this real challenge, Master Image Films instantly came up with the idea of transforming the aircraft's interior into an immersive movie theatre.
Given the project's narrow timeframe, Bernard Birebent, CEO of Master Image Films, gambled on Christie's responsiveness to provide eight Roaster HD10 projectors. "Not only did Christie supply the eight Roadster HD10 projectors at the drop of a hat, but they also delivered flawless technical support and competitive equipment in terms of performance and price," explains Master Image Films' CEO. "We knew that Christie would provide reliable equipment capable of running non-stop at each show."
Since very few physical components of the aircraft were available, the model of the A350's interior was created using 3D data from Airbus. The aim is to give visitors an unrivalled immersive experience complete with archive images and CGI representations of the interior of the fuselage. In the centre of the projection space, the visual field is surrounded by four projection surfaces on the front, sides and ceiling. An image can therefore be projected onto the front screen and developed towards the spectator using the side and upper projection surfaces, making the image appear to move and giving the sensation of speed in a world combining real and 3D images screened and calculated by Master Image Films. Basically, a journey inside the fuselage of the future Airbus, alternately in the air and on the ground.
Master Image Films, a company specialising in the creation of event-based and institutional content, was in charge of creating the entire corporate film in high definition using a Red camera and the graphical environment. In addition to the overall implementation of the life-size model, Airbus called on Master Image Films' expertise to assess the feasibility of the project and carry out the technical study for the sound and visual environment, right down to creating the fixtures and fittings inside the model.
The eight Christie Roadster HD10 projectors were used with very short focal lenses to suit the projection environment. Thanks to the illumination power and compact design of the Christie HD10 projectors, mirrors were used to conceal the projectors flat on the floor beneath glass plates. All the images were stored on clusters of rackable PCs and modified Macintosh Minis. The model's "hostesses" are responsible for launching the immersive show from a touch-sensitive panel controlling the Flex-programmed automation (Adobe Integrated Runtime). This application is connected to a network gateway custom-designed by Avant-Garde Imaging and communicates with a Dataton Watchout system comprising over 20 clusters.