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Dinosaurs Unleashed Press Release

21st Century Meets Prehistory As Pixels Supplies HD Media Players For Dinosaurs Unleashed 
August 2010

The early part of 2010 saw part of one of London’s busiest thoroughfares, Oxford Street, transformed into the age when dinosaurs ruled the earth, as Dinosaurs Unleashed delighted young and old alike. A key part of the exhibition is a prehistoric aquarium, which has come to life thanks to Adtec signEdje HD media players supplied by UK distributor Pixels.

So successful were the Dinosaurs’ appearance in the Capital that the exhibition has now headed for the South West and Bournemouth which is, appropriately, the gateway to Britain’s only natural World Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast.

Dinosaurs Unleashed features life-size animatronic versions of the land-living Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus, Diplodocus, Triceratops and many others. One of the key features is, however, a virtual prehistoric aquarium, where marine reptiles like plesiosaurs and cephalopods such as ammonites can be seen in their own environment.

Created along with the rest of the exhibition by Banbury-based Tour-Ex, the prehistoric aquarium had to be as lifelike as possible. To achieve this, Tour-Ex Director Gavin Howard conceived a walk through tunnel with groups of ‘port-holes’, through which the public would enjoy the illusion of looking into the prehistoric underwater environment. Making it as life-like as possible, specially commissioned high definition CGI footage that is played by nine (9) synchronised Adtec signEdje HD media players that drive nine LED backlit LCD screens.

Supplied by Pixels via Digiverse Ltd, the nine signEdje players allow for the HD footage to run in frame-accurate synchronisation on a continuous loop, ensuring the illusion of looking beneath the sea millions of years ago is maintained.

“Our main criterion was that the footage had to loop and synchronise perfectly between all nine ‘port-holes’ as people walk through, so they get the appropriate view of the aquarium as they travel through a 20m tunnel,” says Gavin.

“The screens are in three bays of three each. In each bay one screen is flat, with the other two angled at 30º outwards. This stops unwanted overlap when creating camera views in the CGI world. We were dealing with creatures up to 27m. long, so if exactly the same angle of view was on two screens, it would destroy the illusion. This meant that, not only did each of the nine screens need its own media player, but they all had to be very precisely synchronised.”

Pixels Norman Garland and James Mortimer of Digiverse worked closely with Gavin to ensure that the footage was not only accurately synchronised, but there was no visible indication of when the HD video loops finished and began again.

“That was another very important part of the brief and one we all worked closely to make happen,” says Gavin. “It was worth it, the media players have stayed perfectly synchronised for the entire three month period and have looped seamlessly.”

With an accompanying voiceover guiding people through, the underwater aquarium has been a highly successful part of Dinosaurs Unleashed, drawing visitors' attention to the many creatures that tend to get overshadowed - both figuratively and literally - by their land-dwelling prehistoric contemporaries.

“We’ve been really pleased with the aquarium,” says Gavin. “It looks great and the signEdje players have worked flawlessly.”


About Pixels UK Ltd

Pixels specialises in supplying HD and standard definition digital media players, decoders, encoders and visual display technology for the professional AV, digital signage, presentation, broadcast and information display markets.

Staffed by industry professionals with vast experience in digital video and computer display technologies, the company supplies and supports products from manufacturers including Adtec Digital, BrightSign, Databay, MedeaWiz, and Visual Circuits / Focus Enhancements.

Editors’ contact:
Sarah James
Gasoline Media Ltd
Tel: 01372 471472

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