Life-size 3D Projection Systems Help Re-create a Battle from 700 Years in the Past

Overview

The Battle of Bannockburn is the most famous battle in Scottish History. Leading up to its 700th anniversary, the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland partnered to develop a new visitor centre for the iconic battle, supported by the Scottish Government and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Bright White Ltd was appointed to develop the interpretation concept, and Electrosonic worked with Bright White over a three year period to engineer the complex AV systems required by the ambitious design.

Challenge

Visitors would need to learn about medieval battles, soldiers, tactics and weapons in an engaging way. As no artefacts have survived in the 700 years since the battle, Bright White devised a completely new approach to interpretation requiring complex image projection. The show systems have to cope with high visitor numbers 360 days a year.

Solution

On entry visitors are given 3D glasses for viewing 3D images which are each presented by a 7th Sense Duo media server feeding two Panasonic DLP™ projectors fitted with polarizing filters. The show begins with the Prologue, a puppet theatre-style 3D presentation that introduces the main characters in the battle. This is followed by the “Prepare for Battle” area where four large screens surround the space and present a continuous sequence of
spectacular life-size 3D images. Behind the screens there are five “character stations”, each using two stacked narrow bezel 46” LCDs to produce a lifesize portrait that comes to life. Visitors then move to the “Battle Room” a highlight of the visit. The tour concludes with a 3D epilogue show.

Impact

Visitors are immersed in the spirit, sights, and sounds of a medieval battle. A sensational 3D experience enables them to learn about the historic event in a spectacularly unique format.

The Battle Room

The Battle Room is a large space in which “mood images” are projected on the surrounding walls and where the main feature is “The Battle Game”, developed by games specialist D3T. Up to 30 people can participate in the 40-minute game, and more can be observers. The centrepiece of the game is a horizontal “screen”, which is a plain relief model of the battle site. For this, Electrosonic installed a high specification computer which feeds two Barco F35 WQXGA projectors, both of which are directed downwards to the screen. One projects all the terrain details and careful mapping of the images to the model gives a three dimensional appearance. The other projects all the troop movements, which are generated by the game participants who have each been allocated a troop formation on one or other side of the battle. The Battlemaster has a twin screen console to monitor progress.

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