Home / SPECIAL REPORTS / UAE 40th National Day

UAE 40th National Day

by Brooke Sever on Jan 16, 2012

Derivative's Touch Designer software was used for all of the show control.
Derivative's Touch Designer software was used for all of the show control.
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December 2 saw festivities-galore in the UAE – we take a look at some of the most spectacular celebrations and the technical details behind them.

Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi was illuminated in a stunning montage of imagery and colours in light of the 40th anniversary of the UAE.

The nine-minute show – the first time the house ofworship has even been illuminated in projection - featured 12 scenes illustrating the vision of Sheikh Zayed and highlighted the unique artistic and architectural elements of the mosque.

Barry Threw explains: “I worked on this project on the interactive software development team at Obscura Digital and it’s our largest and most complex mapping project to date.

“The entire front facade of the building, the four 170 metre high minarets and the three main domes of the interior structure. There were a total of 49 projectors used, making the logistical setup alone daunting.

“This building was a joy to augment on both a technical level and artistically. The mosque is made of extremely rare natural materials; marble, crystal, semi-precious gem stones and gold.

It contains the largest carpet in the world, and one of the largest chandeliers in the world made of millions of crystals. The design of all of the building is inspired by nature and was completed by artists from around the world, reflecting the multinational nature of Islam.

“Clearly, when attempting to augment such and impressive and holy piece of architecture with video great consideration is required. Our media was similarly inspired by the architectural details already present, using floral patterns, lunar motifs, and subtle lighting effects to accentuate the pre-existing patterns.

The results have been stunning, and tastefully honour the spirit of Sheikh Zayed, the UAE, and the mosque.

“As with many of our projects, Derivative’s Touch Designer software was used for all of the show control, video playback, geometry correction and calibration on this job. We’ve been avid Touch users for quite some time at Obscura, and with the recent gold release of the software package, it is a perfect time for anyone interested in 3d video manipulation to get their feet wet with this impressive tool.”

Supplying the projectors for the project was Eclipse Staging Services, at the request of US-based Obscura Digital’s Matty Dowlen. Provided for the project were 20 18K HD Christie projectors as well as all the power distribution for the 44 projectors used in total for the project.

“It was great to finally be involved with projection onto this unique structure,” explains Mark Brown, chairman, Eclipse. “We were pleased to assist Obscura Digital in making this happen, it was a fantastic production and the use of custom designed proprietary software and 3D laser imaging of the structure to get a precise picture of where the projectors need to be placed was remarkable.”

The project was managed locally by Simon Ransom, on behalf of Obscura Digital.

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