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Christie RGB laser projectors used in soaring ride

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Christie RGB laser projectors used in soaring ride
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Guests at Wisconsin’s Wilderness Resort are getting a unique aerial view of U.S. National Parks, national landmarks and the Wisconsin Dells, onboard the new FlyRide® “Take Flight” aerial adventure ride.

Wilderness Resort is located on over 600 acres of forest, where guests can stay at three properties, enjoy golf, indoor and outdoor waterparks, dining, and a range of activities for the whole family. “Take Flight” opened in the September 2020 expanding the list of exciting activities for guests to enjoy.

Called an “aerial adventure ride”, “Take Flight” was developed and installed by SimEx-Iwerks, which specializes in branded cinematic experiences, including FlyRide flying theaters, 4D theaters and motion rides, with over 300 sites and locations worldwide.

“Take Flight” begins with guests entering the ride through an airport-themed lobby, with “windows” looking out onto the National Parks, complete with fun facts and trivia. Guests are then queued at an “airport” featuring airplane seats before entering the ride. The ride seats 60, accommodating five people on each ride vehicle. As the ride begins, the doors open and riders surge forward, revealing an immersive five-story partial dome. Guest’s feet dangle as they’re surrounded by the immense dome, creating the illusion of flying.

To help create this sense of immersion, SimEx-Iwerks selected four Christie® D4K40-RGB pure laser projectors with Christie Mystique- Large Scale Experience (LSE) Edition. Brian Ferguson, senior vice-president, Technology and Operations, SimEx-Iwerks, noted that RGB pure laser was selected because “it offers a sharper image and better color.” While adding that, “RGB pure laser is appealing because it’s solid-state and there are no lamps to purchase. At the time, there were no lamp-based projectors that could give us the brightness that we needed for the size of the screen.”

Christie D4K40-RGB pure laser projectors feature a compact, all-in-one design with 45,000 lumens and 4K resolution, and produce greater than 95-percent of the Rec.2020 color space for rich, vibrant visuals.

Says Doug Wildeboer, A/V engineering manager, SimEx-Iwerks, “We needed projectors that we could orient into abnormal attitudes to get the proper coverage in the three-dimensional dome. We need to pitch them down and pitch them on their sides. It was absolutely required, and the project would not have been possible with any projector that wasn’t omnidirectional.”

SimEx-Iwerks used Christie Mystique – LSE Edition, a camera-based, automated, multi-projector alignment and blending software solution, to ensure that the projectors remained aligned and the image perfect. Says Wildeboer, “One of the decisions we’ve made as a company is to deploy systems that offer autocalibration, so with a couple easy presses of buttons – the whole system could have been moved – it can be put back in place. The operator can run the routine and lock the system back into the same condition as when we left it.”

“At Wilderness Resort, we have a very complex screen. It’s a partial dome screen, and instead of relying on our eyes to try to align the system, Mystique is incredible at being able to do that by the numbers. With Mystique there’s a large exchange of data, that once plugged in, it does not rely upon us trying to judge whether it’s inline or not,” says Wildeboer. “We have LED markers around the edge of the screen, so if a camera is jarred, the markers will light up and let the system know exactly where the screen is. That removes operator error or intervention with recalibrating the system.” The recalibration process can be run in about 10 minutes with a single button press.

The response to the new attraction has been overwhelmingly positive, with both guests and Wilderness Resort thrilled with the new FlyRide.