Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre

Life-Size 3D AV Systems Help Relive a Battle 700 Years in the Past
Stirling, Scotland

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The Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 was one of the most decisive battles of the First War of Scottish Independence. Leading up to its 700th anniversary, the National Trust for Scotland’s new Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre in Stirling has become the first in the world to use fight choreography and motion capture techniques to immerse visitors in a realistic 3D battle. The complex projection system was designed by Electrosonic’s Design Consulting team and engineered and installed by Electrosonic’s Edinburgh office.

Bannockburn

Electrosonic and Bright White Ltd. partnered to create the fully automatic life-size 3D show systems. They begin with the Prologue’s puppet theater-style 3D presentation, which introduces some of the main characters and circumstances leading up to the battle. Next, four large projection screens in the Prepare for Battle exhibition present a continuous sequence of life-size 3D images. Behind two of the screens are five Character Stations, each using two narrow-bezel 46-inch LCDs to produce a life-size 2D animated portrait that comes to life.

Bannockburn

In the Battle Room, visitors can choose to watch a 10-minute Battle Show or they can play or observe a 40-minute Battle Game. Visitors enter the Battle Room at an upper level so they can look down on a massive battle map from a bird’s-eye view. Two projectors map terrain details and all the troop movements in a 2.5D technique that mimics a three-dimensional display. Game participants who have entered at floor level compete on the virtual battlefield.

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The Battlemaster offers visitors advice, and operates a twin touch screen console. At the conclusion of the game, visitors finish their tour with the Epilogue show, which follows the same format as the Prologue. To ensure the continual and reliable operation of the Battle Game, Electrosonic installed dual PCs in a redundant configuration of primary and secondary.

“The quality of Electrosonic’s technical design for resilient systems is excellent, and is a key aspect of the project; no matter how creative the team is, if the system doesn't enjoy 99%+ uptime, then all is lost,” commented Chris Walker, MD of Bright White Ltd.

Bannockburn

While the visitor centre visuals are impressive in their own right, audio also plays an important part in the overall experience. The main show uses a 7.1 multi-channel surround sound system. The Character Stations have 10 highly directional overhead loudspeakers. All equipment have a network connection for control and monitoring, and overall system control is by a standard room control system with a wireless touch panel allowing remote control access.

“There are very few companies who have the technical expertise and experience to be able to design, install and maintain such a sophisticated and immersive audio visual experience that involves synchronised systems,” commented Tom Ingrey-Counter, Interpretation Sub-Project Manager for the visitor centre. “For the National Trust of Scotland this has been a very adventurous project and we’ve really relied on the expertise of Electrosonic to deliver it and I testify to the quality of the service provided.”

Bannockburn