Located in Times Square, the 60,000-square foot multi-media experience Ocean Odyssey at the National Geographic Encounter digitally takes visitors on an adventure across the ocean, from the South Pacific to the coast of California.
Adding to the immersive environment in the multi-room experience is an elaborate and detailed lighting design by Lightswitch that features a collection of over 200 Chauvet Professional fixtures, supplied by 4Wall Entertainment.
Used throughout Encounter, the fixtures add colour and texture to its key scenic elements. Howard Werner of Lightswitch explained: “The lighting not only sets the scene for a movie to play, but also is in sync with the video and the audio elements of Encounter. This synchronisation is what creates a cohesive design and fully immersive experience.”
Over 150 Chauvet Professional COLORado 1 Solo RGBW fixtures are positioned at various points throughout Encounter to wash areas with deep blues and greens, as well as other colour fixtures to enhance its realistic effect.
A memorable moment at National Geographic Encounter is the “Bait Ball” scene, which features a massive 40’ dome with 3-D video that depicts dolphins, birds and Humpback whales feeding on large groups of tightly packed fish. Lightswitch used seven Chauvet Professional COLORdash Batten-Quad 12 fixtures in the Bait Ball scene in order to create a realistic moment in nature.
The Lightswitch team also deployed 27 Ovation E-910FC RGBA-Lime colour mixing ellipsoidals and 16 COLORdash Accent Quad LED units throughout National Geographic Encounter.
“We used the E-910FCs in several different areas,” said Howard. “In one space, we had to create ‘simulated’ shadows of kelp on a wall. There is a scenic kelp forest in the space, but lighting the kelp and creating real shadows wasn’t possible because of the limited hanging positions. Therefore, we created custom templates that had false kelp shadows in them, and then projected them onto the walls using Ovation E-910FC fixtures. Colour and intensity were then balanced to create a seamless look.”
For visitors, their experience begins before they even enter the actual venue, which is located below ground. The street level lobby has a “watery texture” on the floor, created in part with six Chauvet Professional Ovation E-260WW ellipsoidals. The high-output Ovation units were selected, said Howard, “because we wanted some punch in a space that gets plenty of daylight through large windows.”