AV Stumpfl’s PIXERA media server platform was on the front lines for Beating Retreat, the military ceremony at the heart of India’s Republic Day celebrations, which this year transformed New Delhi with a cutting-edge projection-mapping experience synchronised with a drone display.
Marking the formal end of Republic Day, Beating Retreat 2023 featured a 3D anamorphic projection mapped onto the facade of New Delhi’s Secretariat Buildings. It was the first time a show of its kind had been projected onto the imposing buildings, which are central to Lutyens’s Delhi, the historic government district also home to Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace.
The ceremony also included a drone show, featuring 3,500 drones, in sync with the projection mapping, as well as military parades and performances of Indian classical music by the bands of the armed forces and state police.
“This is the biggest projection-mapping project to date in India, as well as the first event in India where projection mapping and a drone show were in sync,” confirms Pratik Wadhwa, CEO of Delhi-based Modern Stage Services, which won the tender for the projection mapping. The show, he explains, celebrated both the past 75 years of Indian history and the present and future development of the country.
To ensure the stability and reliability crucial to delivering the demanding 14-minute show, which took place during what Wadhwa describes as “one of the most prestigious events that happens in India”, Modern Stage Services turned to AV Stumpfl’s multi-award-winning media server platform, PIXERA.
“We have been using PIXERA for all our projects since 2021,” he says, “and we are very satisfied with the stability of the software. Features like 3D pre-visualisation, live input preview and dynamic soft edge make the job much easier for us.”
Fourteen PIXERA systems, including one PIXERA Director licence, bolstered a Beating Retreat set-up that included 61 Christie 20k-lumen laser projectors, a further eight 40W RGB laser projectors, and lighting comprising 96 moving heads and 180 LED PAR lights.
The PIXERA software also helped to solve many of the logistical challenges posed by the show, including the positioning of the projectors and the synchronisation of the content with timecode. “This is a televised show with a live audience, so the projectors couldn’t be placed directly in front of the buildings,” he explained. “Using PIXERA’s 3D visualiser, we solved our projector positions during the planning stage.”
Wadhwa is additionally full of praise for AV Stumpfl’s Florian Eder and Horst Damoser, who “have always been supportive for all our projects”, he said, and with whom the Modern Stage Services team had “detailed discussions about the project during the planning stage”.
Beating Retreat 2023 took place from 27 to 29 January on Vijay Chowk, New Delhi. The projection show, which was performed on the 27th and 28th (for friends and family, and media, respectively), was scripted and directed by Atul Tiwari, while the content was created by Knownsense Studios. The ceremony was attended by India’s president, Droupadi Murmu, and prime minister, Narendra Modi, as well as Csaba Kőrösi, president of the United Nations General Assembly.