11.03.10

Christie creates a buzz in Arnes

AUTHOR: Inavate

The Honey Interpretation Centre in Arnes has utilised audiovisual technology to explain the process of producing honey. The museum invested €310,000 in the project and turned to Urano Films, a multimedia and audiovisual company, to create visual content and integrate the equipment.

Charmex, a partner of Christie, supplied the equipment itself. The centrepiece of the museum is a small film theatre screening a short educational 3D film on the life of bees. The theatre is equipped with a passive 3D system with two Christie LX450 projectors.

Arnes is a village of just 497 inhabitants in the district of Terra Alta. The place name comes from arna, the Catalan for beehive, and the town’s coat of arms features two hives, making it an obvious choice for the musueum.

As well as the film theatre, the museum also has another two audiovisual systems. A virtual theatre system consisting of a pre-recorded image of an actor explaining the history of the village and its relationship with bee keeping, as well as a honeycomb-shaped informative panel showing the process of honey making and the lifecycle of bees.

Two players using InSynergie iSMovie L software control the three pieces. The software was installed on a standard PC, transforming it into a player with a hard drive. When various computers are running at the same time with iSMovie, they can be synchronised via MIDI time code.

“This software is highly effective for the various elements in the museum. When the operator arrives in the morning, all she has to do is switch on the computers and all the elements begin functioning automatically, including the projectors of course”, explains Manel Taberner, director of Urano Films.

Miquel Tresserras, projects director at Charmex, added: “The software controls everything from a touch screen: this includes turning on and off the projectors, as well as managing the passive 3D video and even turning on and off all the systems in the museum. The system integrates perfectly with the two Christie LX450 projectors, and even provides information on the projectors’ remaining lamp hours.”

The 3D short feature Dolça (Catalan for sweet) lasts five minutes and is on view around the clock while the museum is open. It is projected in HD on a 4 x 3 metre screen with an aspect ratio of 4:3. The projectors use Silver Fabric linear polarised filters and the glasses are plastic passive 3D.

Passive 3D was selected due to the small size of the museum and also because of the short duration of the 3D video. “If we had to install an active 3D system, the costs would have spiralled because both the projectors and the accessories are much more expensive”, said Tresserras.

“We opted for [the Christie products] because the projection, while not large, could be affected by daylight contamination, so we needed powerful projectors, bearing in mind that we would lose luminosity. That’s why we decided to go for these two projectors,” said Tresserras.

He continues: “They have been working without a problem. As far as the rest of the equipment is concerned, we could say that everything has run smoothly and completely automatically. The museum isn’t very big but it is well conceived and equipped, and we are really pleased with the end result.”

On another note, Mónica Almestoy, the operator at the museum, reports that the 3D short always causes a big impact among visitors to the museum, who are usually taken aback by the effects.