Visitors to the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. are able to virtually explore Jerusalem in a new exhibition “Tomb of Christ: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre Experience”.
Electrosonicwas selected by Falcon’s Creative Group to help create the immersive 3D experience for National Geographic Society, which features a number of innovative technology solutions often found in themed attractions.
Jason Ambler, executive producer/director of production at Falcon’s Creative Group. “Electrosonic helped to create an immersive exhibition that shatters expectations of what a museum experience should be.”
Built in the fourth century, the Tomb of Christ, or the Holy Edicule located inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, recently underwent a historic restoration, a project that was featured last winter in National Geographic magazine and on the National Geographic channel. In the exhibition, visitors learn about the restoration effort and how National Geographic Explorers are using new technologies including lidar, photogrammetry, sonar, laser scanning and thermal imaging to continue to study this important site.
Visitors buy timed tickets for “Tomb of Christ” and follow a narrative pathway through several consecutive scenes. “It’s not a typical free-roaming exhibit but a uniquely phased journey through the story of the church with progressively complex show elements at each stage. Electrosonic integrated and programmed various forms of projection mapping and show action to seamlessly transition through each chapter of the experience, reaching a climax inside an immersive 3D holodeck theater,” Ambler said.
Double doors in the courtyard open leading into the church. A “holodeck” 3D experience awaits visitors as projections on the walls and floor give them an unprecedented look at the site. “It’s an extraordinary 3D active shutter experience with wraparound renders of more than 10K resolution,” said Ambler. Falcon’s Creative Group digitally recreated the church using high-resolution scan data captured by the National Geographic team during the restoration process.
Electrosonic supplied seven Panasonic Active 3D HD laser projectors for the 3D experience’s 10-foot high walls and eight Christie HD laser projectors to cover the floor. All 15 projectors are edge-blended to create a single seamless and immersive vantage point for the audience. 7thSense Media Servers and BrightSign media players source the content.
Visitors fly past mosaics and archways to the Holy Edicule under the rotunda. They rotate around the shrine then fly out and over the city to see the evolution of the church site over the centuries. Visitors return to the Holy Edicule where they view the outer and inner chambers and, in the final scene, get an aerial perspective of Easter’s Holy Fire ceremony where the flames from thousands of candles held by clergy and pilgrims encircle the sacred space.