Christie Mirage WU7K-M, WUXGA 3DLP
Academia has been using Virtual Reality (VR) successfully for decades and with the installation of Christie Mirage 3DLP projectors at The Open Reality Experience (TORE) at La Plaine Image in Tourcoing, France, research into the visual sciences and culture has taken on a new dimension.
TORE sits on a custom-made three-storey structure designed by Antycip Simulation. On the back of the screen – and rigged to the structure – are more than 20 Christie Mirage WU7K-M WUXGA 3DLP projectors, which provide the powerful imagery for the experience. The capacious room in which TORE sits enables the possibility of effective collaboration work for prototyping, architectural visits, training, artistic creation and simulation alike. In order to deal with such a large surface and multiple sources, Antycip worked closely with its partner Scalable Display Technologies to create dynamic eye-point warping and blending.
Working with Christie, Antycip Simulation developed a custom-made screen structure and selected all AV technologies and products to bring the project to life, including computers, projectors, tracking-systems and 3D glasses.
Four meters high, eight meters wide and eight meters deep, the projection surface is made of eight 30-millimetre thick curved acrylic elements and two flat ones that had to be delivered on site before being assembled using liquid acrylic. Once the material cooled, the structure was sanded to obtain an even surface. The Antycip Simulation team designed specific tools to assemble the elements, and a host of different coatings were then tested to establish the best visual performance.
“We were facing a number of extremely complex challenges – from the sheer size of the structure to its shape form and rigidity, not to mention the homogeneity of the end result - it took all our experience and expertise as a company to be able to deliver the project with the quality specifications expected by the client,” recalled Johan Besnainou, Antycip Simulation director for France & Spain.
"Imagine a screen in a half-sphere shape, flattened at both poles. Place it on a two-floor superstructure; pair it with 20 high-brightness stereoscopic projectors; add immersive sound and ... voilà! TORE is a world’s first that propels users in a fully immersive 3D virtual space,” said YannCoello, director of the SCALab laboratory and coordinator of the EquipexIrDIVE.
Additionally, Antycip evolved its real-time image generation software, MyIG, to provide the highly detailed, multi-channel images for the university to use in TORE, and work with the cutting-edge dynamic eye-point view, to maintain viewer’s immersion within the scene. Antycip also selected active 3D glasses and a tracking system capable of handling high resolution and high frequency content. Completing the immersive feeling is a spatial surround sound system.
Hosted within the Imaginarium building – a hybrid space which aims to bring together innovative companies, research laboratories and artistic projects – TORE is already vital to the university’s Visual & Cultural Sciences centre, which brings together the iCAVS (Interdisciplinary Cluster for the Advancement of Visual Studies) cluster and the EquipexIrDIVE (Innovation-research in Digital and Interactive Visual Environments) technological platform.
Olivier Colot, the CRIStAL laboratory director added, “TORE represents a major scientific breakthrough for both scientists and technologists, enabling them to benefit from a totally innovative visualisation space that goes beyond the capacities of an immersive CAVE; it is also a fantastic tool for SMEs who are working on consumer VR applications as it provides them with a new technology tool to experience VR beyond traditional VRH devices.”
“TORE gave us a unique opportunity to demonstrate our R&D, and our capacity to source, manufacture and implement the best materials to create a world’s VR first. We are extremely proud to have been involved in a project of this scope, and thankful for the trust from the teams at the University of Lille,” commented Johan Besnainou, Antycip Simulation director for France & Spain
Thanks to everyone involved in the extensive project, the University of Lille is equipped with an innovative and unique solution, positioning the university and its laboratories at the forefront of Visual Sciences and Cultures.