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Madame Tussauds Budapest - LED wall, LED floor and video processor control system design and construction

# type: Marketing communications
# location: Madame Tussauds Budapest - Budapest, HU
Project

The capital's attraction will feature 51 lifelike wax figures of international and Hungarian celebrities, with 17 Hungarians among them.

With Digital Signage monitors, LED walls and LED flooring integrated into the interior, Madame Tussauds Budapest will provide impressive visuals for its visitors.

As part of the commission:

► In the foreground a 3x2 TV wall was installed with a control system specially developed for local tasks.

► We installed 4 LED walls in the visitor area

► as well as 2 LED floors,

► and their corresponding control processors.

The different LED video processors that drive the LED walls and LED floors had to be integrated into a single system. Therefore, we developed a unique control system to solve the problem.

The integrated LED surfaces serve as parts of the installations for the figures and as interior design elements.

Challenge

The internal renovation of the building was already underway when we became involved in the project.

► A key requirement during the design phase was that the integration of the new technology into the meticulously planned interior should not negatively affect the existing atmosphere and style of Madame Tussauds. Quite the contrary! The installed visual technology should contribute to enrich the experience.

► The LED walls and control system had to be designed to be easy to use and to allow the content displayed on them to be updated quickly and easily.

► We had to work with other disciplines to integrate the 4 LED walls and 2 LED floors into the exhibition space. Protecting LED display devices during a multi-disciplinary construction process was no easy task.

► LED walls are high-resolution: they require high-capacity LED wall processors with dozens of 4K HDMI inputs, which made the set-up very cable-intensive.

► A task that required rethinking was that the design of the display wall in the restaurant room changed on the fly: not the quantity of LED display modules, but their layout.

The LED display modules are manufactured in such a way that each cabinet has its own spatial position, equipped with connectors at the appropriate points.

LED display modules were already being tested in the factory when these connections had to be redesigned. Thanks to the flexible cooperation of the manufacturer, the conversion was completed quickly and the installation of the new layout on site was easy.

The installed LED display surface includes: a door cut-out, a 90 degree corner cut-out, and even a hidden revision opening. The revision opening is essential for future maintenance.

► The design process required a novel solution for securing Sandra Bullock's wax likeness; it had to be placed in the middle of a 2.5 m wide and 2.5 m deep LED floor, securely fixed.

Usually the figures are anchored in the substrate, if this is not possible, they are fixed with weights.

As Sandra Bullock is wearing a skirt at the exhibition, weighting was not a viable option. Since it is mounted on a working LED floor, mounting it in the substrate was not an option, either. Or was it?

Solution

► When mounting Sandra Bullock's wax likeness, prior consideration had to be given to what Madame Tussauds allows and accepts as safe mounting.

The LED floor was then drilled taking into account the viewing direction of the figure and its position within the LED floor. This is how we were able to fix the wax figure to the custom LED floor mount we created:

▪ Once all the options had been explored and everyone had agreed on the position of the figure, the LED floor was drilled through layer by layer. Our service colleagues dismantled a 250 mm wide and 250 mm high LED module into small pieces, and then went through it layer by layer under a microscope.

▪ The diodes damaged from the drilling were re-soldered, resulting in a working LED display module with holes.

▪ An aluminium block was welded into the custom-made LED floor bracket, which had an internal threaded sleeve to securely hold Sandra Bullock's life-like wax figure.

► The Madame Tussauds LED wall project allows for the display of moving images behind the wax figures, which complement and extend the look of the installations.

The LED walls built in during construction are equipped with the latest technology and associated video control software, allowing for easy and fast content updates. This way, the Madame Tussauds Budapest visitor space can be easily adapted to different events, holidays or even the addition of new wax figures.

► The control of the 6 separate displays was assembled in our office prior to installation on site. We programmed everything in advance and tested the controls in operation.

This way, when the conditions on site allowed, we were able to install the controls in the server room, which were assembled into a system. Having the processors pre-programmed in their final location has its advantages; they are able to give an immediate signal, thus when installing the LED walls, we see content immediately.

► We installed 4 P1.875mm and 1.56mm resolution Fine Pixel Pitch LED walls. The cabinets housing the modules were the same for both types, only the LED display modules were different.

The dimensions of the LED walls speak for themselves:

▪ It is 3 metres wide and 3.375 metres high with a resolution of P1.875 mm, total resolution: 1,600 pixels (width) x 1,800 pixels (height).

▪ It is 1.8 metres wide and 4.05 metres high with a resolution of P1.875 mm, total resolution: 960 pixels (width) x 2,160 pixels (height).

▪ It is 15 metres wide and 4.05 metres high with a resolution of P1.56 mm, total resolution: 9,600 pixels (width) x 2,592 pixels (height).

▪ It is 39 metres wide and 3.375 metres high with a resolution of P1.56 mm, total resolution: 24,960 pixels (width) x 2,160 pixels (height).

We used a laser to mark the walls of the building with millimetre precision and then fixed the brackets for the LED walls. Subsequently, the strong and weak current outlets were installed by the specialist contractors.

We were then able to install the LED cabinets, which were already completely pre-assembled except for the LED modules; they included the receiver cards, power supplies and internal cabling between the cabinets.

Once the cabinets were in place, the low and high power cables were connected. After that the LED modules were put in place, and we saw the finished picture.

► We installed 2 step-resistant LED floors:

▪ the previously mentioned 2.5 m wide and 2.5 m deep LED floor made of Uniview Non-interactive I series P3.9mm LED display modules

▪ and a 6.5 m wide by 2 m deep interactive LED floor using Uniview Interactive I series COT solutions P2.6mm LED display modules.

► We have developed a graphics engine for the interactive LED floor, which detects the footsteps of visitors and effects the image or video accordingly (for example, as if the visitor were walking on water).

To create the effect, we use a separate graphic layer that is independent of the original image or video.

► The different LED video processors that drive the LED walls and LED floors of the facility had to be integrated into a single system.

We have therefore developed a unique control system, consisting of software and hardware components, to solve the problem. This system controls all the different LED video processors, coordinating and monitoring all the parameters of operation.

In the event of any failure, it sends a notification to the graphic control system; this way, the operator is immediately informed if a failure occurs.

► In addition to the large LED displays, a 3x2 TV wall with a control system specially developed and optimised for local tasks has been installed in the lobby.

Each element of the TV wall operates at 4K resolution, so the total wall resolution is 11,500 x 4,320 pixels.

On this surface the control system can display information, dynamic or static content, in any layout, in real time, with an easy-to-use, remotely managed interface.

► Impressive LED numbers:

▪ A total of 86,076,928 pixels are displayed.

▪ 205 square metres of LED walls.

▪ 19.25 square metres of LED floors.

▪ 381 CAT starter cables for LED walls.

▪ 112 starter cables for LED walls.

▪ 13 pieces of 4K resolution content.

Madame Tussauds Budapest offers visitors a stunning visual experience to make their visit to the museum even more memorable.

► Project location: Madame Tussauds Budapest

Madame Tussauds Budapest offers a unique experience and entertainment for the general public in the heart of the capital, on the lower level of the Palazzo Dorottya, a magnificent historic building, on 2000 square metres.

The tourist attraction, created in cooperation between the rights holder Merlin Entertainments and Dorottya Experience Kft, presents wax figures of international and Hungarian celebrities, A-list music and sports legends, and famous world leaders in an interactive and iconic environment, with incredibly lifelike depictions.

► About Madame Tussauds

For more than 250 years, Madame Tussauds has been inviting people onto the red carpet to get closer to the people they admire or fear.

With more than 22 attractions among the world's top tourist destinations, the company is committed to giving millions of visitors the chance to meet in person everyone from A-listers to music legends, sporting heroes and famous world leaders.

Today, they continue to work with a generation of global icons to create stunningly lifelike characters and offer exciting, interactive experiences that bring visitors as close to fame as possible.

Address: 1051 Budapest, Dorottya utca 6.

Source: The official website of Madame Tussauds Budapest.

The photos were taken with a SAMSUNG Galaxy S21 FE 5G smartphone.

Project categories
Marketing communication
Art exhibition
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