The Casino de Vilamoura in Portugal's Algarve region has recently undergone complete refurbishment, including the installation of a spectacular projection feature in its entranceway, created with 8 Robe DigitalSpot 7000 DTs - the first DigitalSpots in the country.
The projection onto a fabulous domed ceiling was the brainchild of Vilamoura's resident engineer Joel Pais and entertainment technical director Jorge Sousa, who wanted to produce a real 'WOW factor' for guests entering the high profile venue.
The DigitalSpots - all running the new 2.0 version software - were supplied by Robe's Portuguese distributor NAN, for whom the project was co-ordinated by technical specialist Luis Vidigal.
NAN initially arranged a demo of the DigitalSpots to Joel Pais and Jorge Sousa who at the time were deciding between two brands of digital moving light.
The DigitalSpot 7000 DT fixture was chosen as the most flexible option, and also because of its two onboard LED modules. Each of these modules consists of forty-eight Luxeon Rebel RGBW LEDs and provides an extremely bright light output across the full colour spectrum. It is ideal for adding colour washing effects onto black & white content.
Pais & Sousa also wanted a unit that would handle multiple projections from many different sources including SDI inputs, internal content or that streamed across the network.
The flexibility of the DigitalSpots allows all this and more. The DigitalSpot's external SDI input allows the easy connection of professional video equipment, and its many onboard effects and features enable LDs and operators to produce new and exciting ideas very quickly.
The Casino's main stage lighting rig already contains 12 Robe ColorSpot and 12 ColorWash 575E AT moving lights, so they already knew the brand was reliable and long lasting in a demanding environment.
In addition to projecting a combination of abstract graphics plus promotions and advertising stings, live images - from cameras dotted around the venue - are also streamed to the DigitalSpots. These show onstage action from the various stage shows, jackpot 'moments', slot machines and general casino buzz and activity. All this helps build the atmosphere and give guests a taste of all the different offerings they can enjoy in the venue.
Robe's technical team developed a special new dome shape for the DigiMerge function enabling the images to be fitted exactly to the surface area of the dome whilst maintaining all perspectives.
The perimeter of the dome measures 69 metres. The fixtures are rigged 11 metres away around the edges on a custom built platform which is concealed from public view, each projecting onto its opposite side. They are controlled via an MA Lighting grandMA2 ultra light console.
The movable digital images combined with a bit of imagination is certainly producing the desired effects - stopping all the visitors in their tracks as they go into the Casino!
Robe sent Ales Grivac from their technical sales team to ensure that the installation, set up and initial programming went smoothly.
The latest DigitalSpot software has improved the versatility of both the 'DigiMerge' and 'DigiWarp' functions - which have hugely benefited the Vilamoura installation.
DigiMerge now allows different widths to be selected for the soft edging overlap, making this even more seamless and high quality even in the most challenging environments. Full RGB Gamma correction of the 'blend' helps find an ideal colour correction to make the edge overlapping invisible. Pre-mastered content can now be mapped into the merged matrix - allowing utilization of the full native resolution of the projectors. 'Mirroring' mode creates 'endless' projection, and different DigiWarp effects have been added to support DigiMerge - including the dome shape effect that is utilised at Vilamoura.
"Everybody should go there to see it, it's an amazing screen surface and I have never seen anything quite like it," enthuses Luis Vidigal.