Al Wasl – The Interactive Experience
Bild Studios created the world’s largest interactive experience of its kind at the Al Wasl Dome for the new Expo City Dubai.
For the upcoming opening of Expo City Dubai, Bild Studios were commissioned to turn the world’s most complex 360 projection installation, the Al Wasl Dome, into the world’s largest interactive audiovisual experience. To realise this colossal task, they ran real-time Notch material across a 27,000 x 6,000-pixels canvas featuring 252 projectors, 16 disguise media servers, and 27 line array speakers, all controlled from an iPad supplied with a Bild-designed app.
The creative team at Expo, led by Executive Creative Director Amna Abulhoul, had two objectives in mind: to create an immersive experience in which chosen individuals could generate effects within the dome and, in a more practical sense, to use real-time visuals in order to to save time and hard drive space. The visuals were accompanied by interactive audio mapped to the dome’s in-house L-Acoustics audio system comprising 27 discrete loudspeaker arrays and six subwoofers.
To support fully interactive use from an external device, the pipeline had to be able to support user input from a touch interface, such as tracked finger coordinates, slider values, data pushes and texture assets dynamically added to the disguise project.
To create real-time visuals at this scale, the Bild team adapted the content pipelines they had previously created for pre-rendered graphics to a Notch-based real-time rendering system by assigning each of the eleven disguise actor servers to a unique area of the dome. Instead of rendering 27k x 6k on each server, each server only needed to render about 7k x 2k pixels. The Bild team spent a significant amount of time ensuring that all visuals stayed in sync with each other and performed with the maximum limit of the servers.
“With Notch’s speed, flexibility, and maturity as a product, it was an easy decision to bolt its real-time capabilities onto our existing pre-rendered setup. It helped us deliver on a project that pushed us to the very limit of what’s possible.”
David Bajt, Co-Founder & Principal Consultant, Bild Studios
Additional press coverage:
The National News, Al-Monitor, Khaleej Times.
Client: Expo City Dubai
Design & Engineering: Bild Studios
Bild Project Team
Co-Founder & Principal Consultant: David Bajt
Senior Producer: Lauren Rogers
Technical Director: Jamie Sunter
Project Engineer: Rury Nelson
Software Developer: David Kanekanian
Creative Notch Lead: Lewis Kyle White
Notch Artists: Marco Martignone, Michael Wilson, Dave Ferner, & Nick Diacre
Sound Design: Gareth Fry
Expo Project Team
Executive Creative Director: Amna Abulhoul
Senior Creative Manager: Karl Knight
Senior Creative Technologist: Charles Draper
Senior Manager, Motion Designer, & Animator: Jaanus Vann
Senior Manager, Broadcast & Projection: Toomas Vann