Russia - My History opened at VDNH in Moscow in 2015 but the management wanted to reinvent the exhibition and inspire visitors using the latest AV.
Housed in Pavilion 57 at VDNH, Russia - My history presents key moments in the history of the Russian state: periods of prosperity and decline, the turmoil of war, the establishment of new cities and conquest of new territories, the reign of the Ruriks and Romanovs and major events throughout the centuries.
The museum wanted to bring this colourful history to life with interactive displays and impressive imagery using unusual and interesting multimedia. It developed the idea of installing a dome projection above the visitors’ route, not just to impress and engage visitors but also to create more space for exhibits in the museum.
Involving historians, artists, cinematographers, designers and computer graphics experts, the new exhibition tells the stories of Russia’s past using projection, interactive tables, dome projections and interactive books.
A total of 89 short throw Full HD GT1070Xe projectors were installed to project onto screens, concave domes and interactive tables. These projectors were chosen because they can beam a 100” Full HD image from just over a metre away from the projection surface.
Two Optoma Full HD projectors were employed per display for each of the 14 interactive books within the exhibition. These included 14 HD144X projectors, six DH1008 projectors, six HD26 projectors and one of each EH334 and EH335 projectors. These were linked to mini-processors which read the markers and, depending on the page number, display the corresponding content.
But the highlights of the newly refurbished exhibition are the two 20m wide 360º dome projections. One tells the story of Russia’s beloved saint, Sergius Radonezhsky, who was famous as a miracle worker and founded a number of monasteries, including the Trinity-Sergius Lavra near Moscow. The other depicts the tumultuous history of Russia in the 20th Century. Optoma’s high quality, bright ZU1050 laser projector combined with the BX-CTADOME lens proved to be the ideal cost-effective solution to achieve the dome displays above the visitor walkways. The equipment was hidden within a column in the middle of the room and projected upwards into the huge cupolas.
Using a single dome lens meant the museum needed no additional equipment and was quicker to install as there was no warping or technical calibration needed. The BX-CTADOME can deliver an immersive 360º projection on pop up or permanent curved spaces from a single projector with no blending required. This is ideal for planetariums, simulation, military and live events or where 360º projection is required for a dome between two to ten metres in diameter.
As the equipment was to be inaccessibly installed, it was vital for the museum that the projector was reliable which is why it selected the Optoma ZU1050 10,000-lumen ProScene projector, featuring MultiColor Lasers.
This WUXGA resolution projector form part of Optoma’s DuraCore laser range which champions an industry-leading lifetime laser light source delivering a minimum of 20,000 hours in full brightness mode. Needing minimal maintenance, its airtight optical engine has been independently certified as IP6X and engineered for 24/7 continuous operation. And because the projector uses a lamp-less laser light source, it was suitable for installation within the central column without the risk of over-heating.
The ZU1050 offers flexible installation with HDBaseT, four corner geometric adjustment, 360° and portrait orientations and five lens options giving a throw distance from 0.81m to 35.5m. It also has 100 adjustable brightness settings to help installers match the brightness when edge blending multiple projectors.
Ivan Odintsov, Executive Director for Russia - My History in Pavilion 57 of VDNH, said: “The combination of the bright Optoma ZU1050 projector and the unique dome lens was very quick and easy to install and allowed us to use space that would otherwise be empty. The easy setup and configuration was important in this installation where tight deadlines were critical.
“By not needing any additional equipment or warping software made this not only simple and reliable to use, but also a more affordable solution for the dome projection.”
Russia – My History in Moscow is one of over 15 parks across Russia. These all have the aim of conveying key events in Russia’s history to a broad range of audiences in an interesting and easy to understand format. Now with the use of multimedia and digital content, the displays can be easily shared simultaneously across all sites - unlike the complicated logistics of sharing physical historic artefacts in traditional museums and galleries.
Also, the use of multimedia will allow the museum to change the exhibition frequently, increasing the quality of the experience and nurturing repeat visits to see new displays.
The updated Russia – My History exhibition opened in Pavilion 57 at VDNH on Monday 24 December 2018. The renovated exhibition has transformed Russian history from a black-and-white textbook into a bright, fascinating experience that makes every Russian feel connected in, and inspired by, the events of their homeland.
The visual solutions of this multimedia exhibition are created using video infographics, animation, 3D modelling, interactive displays and digital reconstructions.
Ivan said: “The exhibits that really impress visitors are the dome projections which allow us to convey our stories in a very unique way. Dome projection is still very unusual to see in Russia.”
Even the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, has visited the exhibition. He said: “The exhibition gives an objective picture of the history of our country with all its victories, achievements and challenges.”
The digital content from this exhibition is being shared with other exhibitions across Russia to allow them to adopt the innovative displays using projection.
Attracting more than 25 million visitors every year, VDNH is the largest exposition, museum and recreational complex in the world and one of the most popular public spaces in Russia’s capital city. Made up of around 400 buildings it includes Pavilion 57 which houses the exhibition Russia - My History.
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