Broadcast live around the world via Al Jazeera Sports, the Opening Ceremony of the 12th Arab Games, Doha 2011, took place on December 9, 2011, with a live stadium audience of 40,000. David Atkins Enterprises (DAE) was tasked with designing and producing a ceremony that would captivate a regional pan-Arab audience, express their cultural unity across national boundaries, and feature a level of innovation that solidified Qatar’s position as global player in the arena of international sporting events. To bring the story to life, DAE turned to technological innovation to present the show in an unprecedented manner and achieve two “world firsts” in live stadium entertainment.

With 86 Christie Digital DLP projectors video mapping 126,000 cubic meters on the field of play, the show set a world record with the largest stadium projection surface attempted. A brand new line-up had the projectors covering the entire 140m x 90m field of play from both sides, resulting light levels of 300 lux and a virtual moving light effect, which effectively rendered the high-definition content more 3D than ever before. Multiple stacks of three and four projectors actually resulted in overlaps of up to 12 projectors in some areas. This was controlled via 24 Onlyview servers, over 3km of fiber optic network, and a full redundancy contingency system.

Also for the first time in stadium entertainment, the entire 40,000-strong audience was integrated into the display surface to form a giant LED “screen” made up of 85,000 full RGB Barco FLX-24 24mm LED individual pixels mounted on 20 km of custom railing behind the stadium seats. This extended the display surface by 41,500 square meters to encompass the entire stadium bowl, adding the audience to the vast canvas of visual content. The LED audience net was controlled via 148 data hubs from a server running Immersive’s Addict show control system, which in turn was slaved with the Onlyview system via MIDI.

The four-month lead-time was by far the biggest challenge. With 20,000 man-hours to prepare and install the LED effect, the system was only operational 10 days before show day. DAE met this challenge by visualizing the whole mapping virtually before it was built out; we took the CAD model of the stadium, mapped it to the resolution, and then brought it into the Addict software which allowed for the individual mapping of each LED.

Secondly, the area of transition between the high-definition projection surface and audience LED net had to be tackled as they each had vastly different resolutions. In response, DAE applied a software mask as layer in Onlyview to make the projection “edging” break up gradually into smaller and smaller dots that eventually matched the size of each LED.

Thus, the largest stadium field-of-play projection surface ever attempted, coupled with the transformation of the entire audience bowl into an LED “screen” that integrated the viewers into the performance space (the world’s first fully programmable audience LED effect), created the largest display surface of any stadium show ever executed.

Creative Team
David Atkins, OAM, Artistic Director & Executive Producer
Anna Maidon, Producer
Noel Davis, Associate Producer
Douglas Paraschuk, Director Design
Dave Pierce, Music Director
Drew Anthony, Director Of Choreography & Associate Artistic Director
Janet Hine, Costume Designer
Scott Willsallen, Sound Designer
Trudy Dalgleish, Lighting Designer
James Lee, Technical Director
Cyril Meusy, AV Content Producer
ETC, Projection
Creative Technology, LED
Digital Pulse, Content

Equipment
86 Christie Roadster 20K and 18K Projector
24 Onlyview Server
85,000 Barco FLX-24 24mm Full RGB LED Module
148 Data Hub
Addict Show Control System
20 Km Steel Railing
13,216 M2 of LED Net
MIDI

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