Lotte World, a major entertainment and recreation complex located in Seoul, is among the most popular themed destinations in Asia. It consists of South Korea’s largest indoor theme park, as well as an outdoor amusement park known as Magic Island, which is built on an artificial island in the middle of Seokchon Lake.
Visitors arriving at Magic Island are first greeted by the imposing Magic Castle, widely acknowledged as the most famous landmark in the outdoor theme park. The 41-meter-high (134.5 foot) structure is distinguished by its medieval-style towers with signature blue tiles and white brick exteriors, and it serves as the gateway to 17 exhilarating attractions such as Atlantis, Gyro Swing, and Gyro Drop.
In a move to rejuvenate major attractions and reinforce its position as South Korea’s leading themed entertainment destination, Lotte World chose Christie’s projection, auto calibration, image processing and SDVoE solutions to bring the iconic Magic Castle to life with a new 3D multimedia mapping show, titled “Magic Castle Lights Up”.
This highly impactful, graphic-based nighttime spectacular was designed by international digital design company d’strict and based on the formative characteristics of Lotte World Magic Castle’s architectural structure. The amazing visuals are accomplished using three Christie D4K40-RGB pure laser projectors, Christie Mystique™ – Large Scale Experience (LSE) Edition, two Christie Pandoras Box servers, a Pandoras Box Manager and Widget Designer, as well as three sets of Christie Terra transmitters and receivers. They were installed by Christie’s trusted partner Star Networks, which has delivered several highly-acclaimed large scale projects in Korea.
“We are excited to harness the latest technologies from Christie to deliver a fascinating 3D multimedia mapping show on the façade of Magic Castle,” says a spokesperson from Lotte World. “This is a spellbinding nighttime show that lights up our iconic landmark with Lotte World’s most beloved characters. We are also proud to be the first theme park in the world to use Christie Mystique for outdoor 3D projection mapping.”
The spokesperson comments that “Magic Castle Lights Up”, which runs nightly at 8:30pm for approximately six minutes, offers a great opportunity for the theme park to create interesting and diverse spaces, providing easier access to exciting media contents that heighten the visitor experience.
A fully integrated solution
“This is the first time that Christie Mystique LSE Edition has been deployed for a large-scale outdoor projection mapping spectacle in Korea,” says S.W. Ham, General Manager, Star Networks. “We are confident that the integrated suite of Christie solutions are perfect for this venue as they have an excellent track record in terms of performance, level of integration and dependability.”
And rightly so, since Christie Mystique LSE Edition is designed to provide the ultimate level of control for the most demanding multi-projector systems, reducing the time required for image configuration, alignment, warping and blending – processes that can take hours of painstaking work for multi-projector arrays.
Just as work on the project was about to commence, South Korea was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in lockdowns of certain places, introduction of tight travel restrictions and a slowdown in the flow of goods and services.
“Inevitably, the project had to be delayed because of this unprecedented situation,” Ham recalls. “So we re-strategized our plans by establishing regular technical exchange with Christie’s engineers through e-mail and remote support to accomplish various tasks. It wasn’t easy, but it was possible to smoothly proceed with pre-coordination and on-site settings to solve the issues we encountered.”
Living up to expectations
Experiencing the performance of Christie’s leading-edge solutions firsthand was one of the greatest satisfactions of this project, says Ham, noting that planners and digital artists were very eager to check out the award-winning Christie D4K40-RGB, which packs 4K resolution, 45,000 ISO lumens, and omnidirectional capabilities into an all-in-one chassis.
They were blown away by what they saw.
“The D4K40-RGB projectors really lived up to expectations and displayed truly stunning visuals on-site which captivated the production crew. Likewise, Christie’s powerful content management and AV-over-IP solutions also delivered amazing results. The Pandoras Box servers are able to handle a large amount of 3D content robustly without any delay, while Terra accurately transmitted the video signals to the projectors through an optical cable without interference.”
All systems comprising video, sound, lighting, and special effects are automatically linked using the Christie Widget Designer, and visual monitoring is achieved via a user-friendly GUI. Alignment issues related to multi-projector systems have also been eliminated with Christie Mystique LSE Edition. With a single click, it detects any changes in projector or camera position and automatically corrects the blended image to ensure perfect alignment for every show.
The system’s ease of use and reliability translates into a more efficient deployment of manpower at Lotte World, with only 2-3 operators needed to execute the show on a daily basis.
A breathtaking spectacle
On 1 August 2020, “Magic Castle Lights Up” finally made its highly-anticipated debut, delivering a breathtaking spectacle that creates an illusion of a moving Magic Castle that morphs into numerous forms. A variety of music spanning various genres completes the soundtrack, and fills the night of Magic Island with an air of enchantment.
“I’m really pleased that the outstanding contents designed by d’strict, combined with Christie’s integrated solutions, have accomplished a spectacular show,” says Ham. “All parties involved in this massive project are very satisfied with the end results.”
Lotte World’s spokesperson adds, “Unlike existing projection mapping, Christie Mystique is capable of combining visual solutions and 3D technology to deliver a more accurate and realistic media production. We are impressed by Mystique’s ability to accurately adjust the focus of multiple projectors, so it is considered a very satisfactory technology for a large-scale outdoor projection.”
Acknowledging that the integrated solutions installed for ‘Magic Castle Lights Up’ have enabled Lotte World to successfully develop a more realistic and differentiated 3D projection mapping show, the spokesperson concludes, “In the future, Lotte World will be reborn as a world-class theme park representing Korea, where visitors can experience realistic media content through the co-existence of analog and digital technologies.”