First edition of the “Founding Day” show, with 1 km of video projection for more than 30 minutes, the participation of 3,500 artists, lights, and pyrotechnics.
February 22 is the new date for Saudis to mark on their calendars each year to commemorate “Founding Day,” a 3-day event that recalls the country’s past and the subsequent growth it has experienced as Vision 2030 goals are met. The event was also broadcast on Saudi TV.
Merlin productions, the artistic producer of the event, once again relied on our audiovisual content generation and video mapping services for this show. To mark this first edition, they decided to have all possible elements to fascinate their citizens: the collaboration of more than 3,500 artists, actors, and performers, parades with camels, horses, and boats, large sets, the use of video mapping, lights, and pyrotechnics.
The commemoration of more than 300 years of history was the main objective of the celebration, and adding projections to the mountains behind the stage and the parade created a more immersive atmosphere. This gave all the spectators the opportunity to feel like they were participating and could be transported to different places and times that were narrated and sung.
More than 30 minutes of video mapping were performed, alternating with lights and pyrotechnics or even combining everything. With all the complexity of the whole show, projections were divided into different videos and loops so that the content could accompany what was happening in real-time on the different stages.
The challenge was made even greater by the location where the show opened, Wadi Namar Park, Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. A park full of palm trees with rocky mountains 600 meters long by 30 meters wide each and a waterfall that surrounds an artificial lake. This made the resolution of the projections a total of 28,800 x 1,200 pixels divided into 2 equal parts.
As for the creative part, the content displayed on the mountains were both 2D and 3D designs that accompanied each scene within a scenario almost a kilometer long.
The different scenes we can find are effects like golden particles synchronized with the lighting along with the logos of the event, desert environments with dunes, the flag of Saudi Arabia, a paradise with oasis surrounded by palm trees, the reconstruction of the city of Diriyah, and scenes of war and fighting always respecting the range of warm colors and the bright green representing the country.
The big challenge of the show was the large amount of gigabytes of content generated due to the length and resolution required. Each of the mountains had to carry different content so screen duplication could not be used.
As the show was live, for 1 hour and a half, and the times between one scene and another could vary due to the large number of artists, boats, and animals participating in the show, it was decided to work live in the show itself.
For this, we worked hand in hand with the PRG and EVOKE team, represented by Carsten Hallas and Chema Menéndez, for the programming of the show in Loops format with input and output animations for each scene. This way, if a scene was getting longer or shorter, we could solve it instantly and easily. For this, we used a Disguise system, consisting of 5 servers, and its Timeline tool that really saved our lives.
As a final fact, the contents of the event exceeded 600 gigabytes in a total duration of 30 minutes. For the rendering we used the Notch LC codec that allowed us to do the postproduction in Smode, being able to make color corrections and editing fixes in a very fast way to then be dumped in Disguise.
- Agency: Luxury KSA
- Production: Merlin Producciones
- Production Manager: Domingo Sánchez
- AV Content: Framemov
- Content Director: Jorge Escobar, Moises Rodriguez
- Video Content Art Director: Ana Franco
- 3D, 2D Artists: Helena Martín, Laura Triguero , Jimmy Fromage, Rogelio Magaña, Carlos Arandia , Marina Busteros, Óscar Palma
- Technical AV: PRG
- Disguise Lead Programmer and Operator: Chema Menendez (EVOKE Studios)
- Disguise Engineers: Carsten Hallas, Matisse Desmedt, Andreas Prenen