CPL Invests in Barco for Arcadia

Central Presentations (CPL) has invested in 6 brand-new Barco UDX-4K 31,000 lumen laser projectors, which were deployed on their first event at Arcadia London.

The vibrant 2-day alt-culture festival, music and performance extravaganza celebrated the 10th anniversary of the birth of the Arcadia concept and was staged in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, with the world’s largest and best-loved Spider at the hub of the performance action.

CPL has been involved with Arcadia since 2013 when the incredible 50-tonne Spider – the conceptual brainchild of Pip Rush and Bert Cole crafted from reimagined military hardware and other recycled industrial waste – first landed at Glastonbury festival.

For the last few UK appearances of the amazing arachnid, CPL has been part of a dedicated production team delivering crisp, detailed projections onto both sides of the three giant legs, which are fundamental structural elements of this awesome 360 degree visual and sonic spectacle.

CPL’s team was project managed by George Oakey who was joined by Jack Sykes and Robin Emery. They worked closely with Arcadia’s Production Manager Dorian Cameron-Marlow and Tom Wall, who co-ordinated all the video mapping.

Fitted with TLD 2.8 – 4.5 lenses, each projected image was mapped precisely onto the front and back of the Spider’s legs via Arcadia’s AI media server which stored and replayed all the video content.

The projectors were located on 6 custom weatherised scaffolding towers built around the perimeter of the field-of-play / performance space as in previous years, with a throw distance of approximately 40 metres.

The Barco UDX-4K32 has 4K UHD resolution and a guaranteed 31,000 lumen output with accurate colours at all times thanks to its Constant Light Output (CLO) functionality. The UDX platform also currently offers the widest colour spectrum in the industry without compromising on the brightness.

“There was a noticeable difference in the quality and feel of the projections on this show,” commented Oakey, who has worked on previous UK Arcadia shows where they used conventional lamped rather than laser projectors.

One of the technical challenges of Arcadia London was getting a stable data signal run out to the projectors across 150 – 300-metre fibre cables around the perimeter of the performance space.

CPL used 6 Connex 2-way fibre DVI/RJ45 fibre optic converter transmission systems which enabled both the data carrying the content to the machines and the projector control network and signals including on/off, colour settings, contrast, geometry control and other monitoring and feedback to run down the same line.

For the first time, CPL also had remote control over the projectors using Barco’s Projector Toolset software, developed to help manage the projector parameters quickly and easily from any location, either through the network or an RS232 connection.

Oakey concluded: “It was a pleasure to work on the Arcadia 10th Anniversary. Dorian and his team were very accommodating and well organised which helped us deliver this high-end video package. We received constant feedback from the whole Arcadia crew on how sharp and defined the projections looked, and for me personally, it was the most impressive Arcadia I’ve worked on to date from a video point of view”.