Conceived by the British event production agency David Atkins Enterprises on a commission for the Organising Committee of the Pan Arab Games, the opening ceremony – titled ‘Journey to Light’ – relied on the expertise of its French technical services provider ETC and the Christie Roadster series of projectors.
Two towers were put up on above the stands opposite the display area, to cover the whole of the Khalifa Stadium which at nightfall would be turned into a giant screen. In groups of three, 42 Christie Roadster HD18Ks on one tower and 36 Christie Roadster S+20Ks on the other had the job of lighting the ground and producing the spectacular 3D projections, while another eight Christie Roadster S+20Ks (four in each tower) were aimed at the central stage constructed beside the stands.
To ensure a faultless spectacle when it came to the ceremony, ETC went for media diffusion using what is known as a “redundant distributed” installation in which a “master” player broadcasts its control signals by optic fibre to the individual “slave” players associated with each projector. In this way each slave player stores the entire media and selects that part of the image addressed to its projector, forwarding the data stream to the projector by DVI. A parallel back-up network is updated live: if needed, each back-up player transmits the data stream via the second DVI input on each Christie Roadster.
The opening ceremony of the 12th Pan Arab Games, like many spectacular events, provided the ideal opportunity for technological innovation and creative digital artistry. This one was projected onto the biggest surface ever, within the circuit of a stadium, and was watched by 40,000 spectators.