Science Center Visitors Explore New Dimensions

“What is real and what is not?” A new exhibit created with Cinema 4D – and an invitation to enter a digital dream world.

Singapore-based DigiMagic is a creative communications consultancy that specializes in experiential media, developing immersive, interactive solutions for events and museums, galleries and exhibitions. DigiMagic has worked with some of the best-known names in business, including Danone Groupe, Hutchison 3, Capitaland, Petronas, Fonterra and Tesco. Another major client is the Science Centre Singapore, where DigiMagic recently created an exciting new exhibit, including a virtual aquarium and 3D theater that transports visitors into new digital worlds. “We break the rules by breaking down the barriers with digital magic,” says CEO and founder, Donald Lim. 

E-mmersive Experiential Environment (E3)
The E3 installation invites visitors to explore new worlds using interactive and immersive technologies such as Virtual Reality and 3D Projection Mapping on a “Cube Mountain” and an interactive digital video wall environment, complete with track ball and an RFID rotary table.  The exhibition was opened early last year and has already attracted many thousands of visitors. The basic idea is to reach out to local people and tourists, making science fun and bringing it to life using the latest high-technology tools and innovative educational methods.  

The exciting new space features six giant screens with a freestanding 7m x 7m x 7m projection-mapped Cube on one side. When visitors enter they are immediately surrounded by the images projected on the walls – created using Cinema 4D and powered by 29 Panasonic Laser Projectors.

We created multiple video layers, including live-captured chromakeyed interactive layers that integrate seamlessly with other real-time video on the high-resolution wrap-around screens,” says Donald Lim of DigiMagic. “Visitors can also interact freely and influence the content – for example, when you roll the drum, the video content changes from 3D wireframe to low-polygon to high-resolution raytrace rendering, and this adds another dimension of interest that makes learning fun.

The DigiMagic team also used Maxon Cinema 4D to synchronise the 3D mapping and create content – including fish, a coral reef and a kaleidoscope.  “Maxon's software made the project easier and faster,” says Adrian Chan, visual effects art director at DigiMagic, “and enabled seamless transition between the 3D mapping and Dataton Watchout.

Interactive and immersive
The adventurous project was a collaboration between Science Centre Singapore and DigiMagic, in partnership with exhibit designer SPACElogic and Ars Electronica.

The audience response has been fantastic so far, with visitors of all ages keen to get involved in the experience and interact with exhibits, including “What is real and what is not?” – the spectacular show on Cube Mountain. Younger visitors also enjoy being able to play with exhibits, and see the instant effects on the walls. Two of the most popular exhibits are the “giant track ball”, which is used to roll a boulder on the floor of the ocean, and Leap Motion, where visitors “steer” fish through a virtual aquarium.

“We have introduced new forms of sensory interaction in the virtual environment,” says Donald Lim, “so visitors can experience another dimension and enter a digital dream world.”

Video of the E3 presentation

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