Modulo Pi’s Media Servers Power New Immersive Spaces

On June 26, 2021, the digital art center Hôtel des Lumières unveiled two new immersive rooms.  These new spaces are complementing the art centre inaugurated in June 2020 in Puy-en-Velay,  France. The technical installation carried out by VLS relies on a total of 67 video projectors,  and around 15 Modulo Player and Modulo Kinetic media servers.

Founded in the Middle Ages to welcome pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela, the Hôtel-Dieu is built up against the cathedral of Puy-en-Velay, France. Over the centuries, the  building has successively welcomed orphan children, and the sick and deprived. 

Closed at the end of the 20th century, the site listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site was  rehabilitated at the instigation of the Puy-en-Velay conurbation authority from 2018. Part of the  Hôtel-Dieu gave birth to the Hôtel des Lumières, a digital art center inaugurated in June 2020  with two immersive rooms. 

Building on its success, the Hôtel des Lumières continues to grow with the opening of two new  immersive spaces inaugurated on June 26, 2021. In the heart of the old chapel of the Hôtel-Dieu, the Compostela show consists of frescoes projected on the walls and vaults of the edifice. 

In charge of the AV integration, VLS installed 26 Epson projectors of 7,000 lumens, powered by  the Modulo Kinetic media server solution from Modulo Pi. The kit includes a Kinetic Designer workstation, five Kinetic V-Node servers equipped with four outputs, and a Kinetic V-Node server  equipped with six outputs. 

A 3D scan of the chapel was carried out and imported into Modulo Kinetic. In order for the  projected media to perfectly match the vault and the ribbed vaults of the chapel, VLS relied on  the 3D calibration feature available in Modulo Kinetic. 

Yoann Bernard, Technical Manager of the Hôtel des Lumières, explained: “Modulo Kinetic allowed  us to easily position the video-projectors thanks to the 3D modeling. During the installation, we  decided to change the location of one of the projectors, which could be done very easily without  having to export the images again.” 

In addition to the mapping and media playback, Modulo Kinetic ensures the distribution of the  soundtrack, and the control of the lighting scenography that accompanies the projection. Show control is also managed through the media server, and custom panels have been created in  Modulo Kinetic’s UI Designer to control the installation. “The software is great. I really like the  part that allows us to create our own remote controls for an iPad, for example” explained Yoann. “On the panel, each room shows the location of the projectors so that everything can be  managed through the iPad when I’m away. Without necessarily having a great deal of knowledge,  people who will oversee the venue can easily start or turn off the projectors.”

Another room inaugurated in summer 2021, the Salle des Cuves (The Vats Room) offers an  overview of the main sound and light shows in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Emblematic  buildings, such as the Saint-Flour Cathedral or the Basilica of Fourvière in Lyon, are reconstructed  in 3D models for a miniature projection of each site’s show.  

The projection relies on eight pico projectors, and two Modulo Player media servers from Modulo  Pi. 

These new spaces join the two immersive rooms of the Hôtel des Lumières inaugurated in 2020. In each of the 200 sq metre rooms, an immersive 22-minute show is offered to visitors. With As far as the Heart of the Earth, the public embarks on an imaginary journey in the style of Jules Verne’s  novels. The Impressionist Lights show immerse the audience in the greatest masterpieces of  Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, Van Gogh, and many others. 

For these immersive shows, video is projected on the walls and the floor thanks to 17 Epson and  Optoma video projectors in the first room, and 16 projectors in the second room. Soft edge blending, 2D mapping, show playback, and show control are provided by seven Modulo Player from  Modulo Pi.

“Everything is programmed to automatically start video projectors, launch shows, and shutdown  projectors every day,” commented Yoann. 

Custom control panels were created using the UI Designer embedded in Modulo Player to  facilitate daily operations: “The biggest advantage is that I can do whatever I want. Yesterday  evening, we added a night session at 9pm. I was able to turn on the projectors, launch the show, and turn off the projectors remotely from my iPad,” underlined Yoann. “When a group of  visitors is late, I can do a ‘Stop show’ and start the show at the desired time from my tablet.” 

The Hôtel des Lumières is open every day from 10am to 8pm until September 30. The digital art  centre thus completes the immersive experience of Puy de Lumières available at night-time. Launched in 2017, Puy de Lumières sublimates the city’s exceptional architectural heritage  through projections on its most emblematic buildings. Among the nine illuminated sites, the  cathedral of Puy-en-Velay, the Crozatier Museum and the Rocher Saint-Michel come to life at  nightfall thanks to 25 video projectors and 13 Modulo Player media servers. 

The Hôtel des Lumières will reopen during the All Saints and Christmas holidays.