Touched by the hand of 4D. A Norwegian church is spreading the story of the early Christian church in high definition using the magic of 3D and 4D technology. James Christopher reports.
Norway's Brunstad Christian Church uses music and film to get its message across. Its marketing centre at Brunstad Conference Centre in Stokke, which opened in summer 2008, features a 4D cinema, a showroom and an exhibition area.
The cinema shows a 4D film about the early Christian church. "We have made our own film Begynnelsen [Beginning] with two HD cameras and an Apple solution of two uncompressed digital HD SDI streams," says Halvor Bekkevold, CEO of DKM Forum, which produces and markets Brunstad Christian Church's film and music material.
While watching the film in 3D, spectators experience various 4D sensations synchronised with the movie story: their seats move, the wind blows, they are sprayed with water, and more.
Bekkevold explains: "We made the 4D seats ourselves, with servomotors (each seat is a simulator) and water, air, strobes, 'butt shakers' (subwoofers attached to the seats and transmitting vibrations to the spectator's body and ears), leg tickles and stars."
The 3D film and the 4D effects are synchronised by Medialon's Manager Pro software. Medialon controls an AV Stumpfl Wings Platinum multidisplay presentation system, which is used to play back HD content on two Panasonic digital HD projectors with stereoscopic technology.
Medialon Manager also controls and synchronises lighting using the ArtNet DMX-over-IP protocol; the 15 seats with three servomotors and a Galil motion controller through TCP/IP, used to activate the specific motion profile for each film.
Sound in the cinema is handled by two BSS Soundweb London audio boards, both controlled by Medialon.
"Using Medialon Manager allows easy updates, synchronisation and changes of all the 4D effects," says Ben Brodie, DKM programmer. "Thanks to the timeline, Medialon Manager offers simple change of the 4D special effects and adapts the special effects so they can match with the movie."
A Medialon Manager panel has been designed for the installation, and is used for functions such as changing, starting and stopping a show, and testing 4D effects.
"When we found Medialon Manager, it was like all the pieces in the puzzle fitted," declares Brodie. "With the tremendous amounts of MxMs [Medialon plug-ins] available, it allowed us to easily select and control other AV products from different AV suppliers. Then, of course, the synchronisation and timeline programming offered by Medialon Manager are fundamental when one is building a 4D cinema.
"Without Medialon Manager it would have been very hard for us to complete this 4D cinema project. We also have had very professional support from Medialon during the programming phase."
In the showroom, Medialon Manager runs six Dataton Watchout licences via TCP/IP, played back by five Epson full HD projectors, all working together. Images are displayed on a 2m high by 5m wide, 90º-curved screen.
For the sound, one Soundweb London Blu has been integrated and is also managed by Medialon Manager. Administrators can start or stop the projection, and change the show simply by touching a button on another Medialon Manager panel.
Finally, the exhibition centre displays audio and video via 21 Dataton Watchout licences, all under Medialon Manager control.