TOP
STORIES
 1 of 5
6 Products Win NSCA Excellence in Product Innovation Awards
Winners in six categories plus an overall Most Innovative Product of 2015 honored at NSCA's Business and Leadership Conference in Tampa, Fla.
 2 of 5
You're Out of Excuses: Time to Prepare for IT Convergence
The convergence of AV and IT continues to transform the integration industry. It’s time to get on board and get up to speed with the abundant resources at your disposal.
 3 of 5
Sydney Opera House is Exquisite Landscape for Far Out Projection
Technical Direction Company projected across a busy Sydney Harbour for Visions of Vienna, a multi-media concert with stunning visuals and live music by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
 4 of 5
Chronicles of a Rookie’s First Time at ISE
Everything a first timer should know about traveling to and attending Integrated Systems Europe in Amsterdam.
 5 of 5
Editor’s Pick: 6 Eye-Catching Booths at ISE 2015
These booths hosted projection mapping, holograms, even an intergalactic video game dome. If you missed them at Integrated Systems Europe, check them out here.
Outdoor Projection Serves up Spooky Sights at Muncaster Castle
Mirage Associates enlists latest Dataton software to transform Muncaster Castle exterior for Halloween show.

Article


Photos courtesy of Muncaster Castle
November 01, 2012 | by Arlen Schweiger

The U.S. is full of haunted houses and warehouses people pay to walk through for a good spooking this time of year. In Great Britain the hundreds-years-old architecture yields some larger scale haunting - in castles.

Case in point is Muncaster Castle in the Western Lake District town of Ravenglass, whose name sounds a little Edgar Allen Poe-ish to begin with.

The annual Halloween Week festivities at the castle, where visitors can tour areas like the Ghostly Grotto and Creepy Owl Crypt, were given some added special effects this year thanks to high-tech updates that included the exterior lighting and video presentation being upgraded to the latest version of software used by custom integrator Mirage Associates for the job.

The castle added the outdoor effects as part of its scary stuff almost a decade ago, and Mirage Associates used Watchout software from Swedish company Dataton to drive the display back in 2005. But, of course, like any software Watchout has gone through revisions and updates, and now the multimedia presentation has been outfitted with Watchout version 5 for even more frightening flair.

“Back in 2003 we decided to put in an exterior lighting scheme to enhance the air of mystery surrounding the venue,” says Muncaster managing director Peter Frost-Pennington. “The towers of the Castle are an interesting backdrop. We started projecting a few images of skulls and ghosts created in Powerpoint and run by Windows Media Player. But we always knew we could do more. We’d seen the projections that were done as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee using Watchout, and we wanted that too.

“So in 2005 ... we met with Steve Selwyn from Mirage Associates and he demonstrated what could be done using images from multiple computer sources. The result was a transformation. Suddenly we could have skeletons walking across the front of the Castle! The service and support from Mirage Associates over the years has been truly appreciated.”

That includes updating the presentation software this year to help make the exterior of the castle look like it’s dripping blood or turning each tower into a cat’s eye or shooting a bolt of electricity across the front. Four Mitsubishi XL5900U projectors produce the images to go with a large audio setup.

“The projectors are in custom-made, weather-proof housings, and there is one computer for each tower of the Castle,” says Selwyn. “Each show is on a 20-minute loop, synchronized with audio and lighting, and is shown to an audience of between 200 and 600 people each evening. It is a huge enhancement to the Castle’s visitor experience – especially in Halloween Week and also at Christmas, too.”

View the 8 photos attached to this entry
             
View photos
About the author

Arlen Schweiger is managing editor of CE Pro and Commercial Integrator magazines. Arlen contributes installation features, business profiles, manufacturer news and product reviews.
View all posts by Arlen Schweiger
Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources



Recent comments

Steve is right on with his observation about entities not working together as a team.  I have experienced…

Posted by Bob Ginger on 2015 02 24 · commented on
'Industry Soapbox: Has Loyalty Taken a Backseat to Pricing & Competition?'.

@axpmike I growing in full-force this year; I’ve got my Twitter Camo packed and I have been exceeding…

Posted by Michael Shinn on 2015 02 23 · commented on
'NSCA BLC Twitter Contest Returns'.

Great point about the bike paths. The first thing I did was walk in the red path and get yelled at by a man…

Posted by Jonathan Blackwood on 2015 02 23 · commented on
'Chronicles of a Rookie's First Time at ISE'.

Excellent review and right on the money.  With one slight correction.  Don’t count on the…

Posted by Paul Depperschmidt on 2015 02 19 · commented on
'Chronicles of a Rookie's First Time at ISE'.