China Celebrates Mao Zedong’s 120th Birthday with 3D Pixel-Mapping Project

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BEIJING, CHINA — In late December 2013, China celebrated the 120th birthday of Mao Zedong, the founding father of the People’s Republic of China. For the occasion, Shaoshan Runze Orient Group created China’s largest-ever outdoor 3D pixel-mapping project, immersing audiences into China and Mao’s shared history through vivid imagery.

To ensure the best possible image quality and a smooth project flow, Shaoshan Runze Orient Group used 42 ultra-bright premium projectors provided by visualization technology company Barco.

Mao Zedong A Great Man in China

The high-quality projectors, which offer a brightness of 22,000 lumens, were used to produce cutting-edge 3D and holographic images that brought to life Mao Zedong's many contributions to China, under the title "Mao Zedong, A Great Man in China." Over a projection area of more than 6,000 square meters, on a stage in the shape of a Chinese map - mountainous backdrop included - the audience could relive historical events such as the People's Liberation War with mind-blowing realism. The show debuted in Shaoshan, in China's Hunan province, and was attended by many officials from both the state and the province.

Barco's partner Shenyang 4D-Vision Technology was responsible for the delivery and installation of the projectors on site. "This large-scale live-action show combines live scenes with stereo stage settings and a wide range of performance elements, such as song, dance, drama, acrobatics, and water and fire effects," commented representative  manager from 4D-Vision. "That's why we needed to use innovative stage technology, and the best projection technology we could get our hands on."

The show itself was directed by famous Chinese Director Li Hanzhong and his team. To provide an immersive - and interactive - experience, his team used a variety of technologies and methods. When, in the movie, the People's Liberation army crossed the Yangtze River to take Nanjing, the audience seats became boats approaching the Presidential Palace, and explosions could be heard overhead.

To determine the exact locations for the projectors, Barco conducted a complete measurement and evaluation of the scene and the lighting environment using its exclusive SIM CAD software, which provides a simulation program with three-dimensional roaming mode, allowing users to view, evaluate, and experience the 3D and stereoscopic images to be shown. This enables planners to accurately calculate and adjust the effect that different installation methods have on projection brightness and the amount of light that shines in the audience's eyes.

In recent years, innovative projection technology has been widely used for important celebrations. As projection technology advances, so do the requirements for visualization technology. "By applying our simulation technology to the stage design, we gave the designers all the tools and space they needed to let their imaginations and creativity run freely," says Tang Feng, Barco's Managing Director for Greater China. "Furthermore, thanks to the government's support for the culture industry, organizers can invest in cutting-edge projection technology that ensures even more excellent shows and projects. As such, we are glad to join hands with outstanding partners to contribute to the development of the culture industry in China."



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