Light Trail Experience
We partnered with IMG events once again to transform Windsor Great Park into an illuminated seasonal light trail just in time for Christmas. This featured re-imagined installations and projections including mystical creature holo-scapes, fairy-themed holograms and a waterscreen that dazzled with festive favourites.
The trail takes places around 2.2km of forest with eleven distinct zones connected through an overarching narrative, brought to life through architectural lighting and pixel chains, creative and interactive show elements including hydrascreens, aquatic water displays, 3D projection mapping and holographic creatures and fairies.The first experience visitors encounter is a projection mapped royal crown. We created this by constructing a steel frame structure and used one x Christie projector to project moving images. The auditory element was carefully curated with JBL Speakers to accompany the visuals. Dynamic flashing content, meticulously designed by our team, washes over the structure, transforming it into a dazzling canvas of painted projections.
For 2023 we strengthened the mythical creatures IP and brought in new technology to elevate the immersive storytelling experience.
Our team delivered the full audio, video and lighting production including all the technical design, concept creation, original media and audio scores, installation, show programming and onsite maintenance throughout the live dates.
The Royal Crown
The first experience visitors encounter is a projection mapped royal crown. We created this by constructing a steel frame structure and used one x Christie projector to project moving images. The auditory element was carefully curated with JBL Speakers to accompany the visuals. Dynamic flashing content, meticulously designed by our team, washes over the structure, transforming it into a dazzling canvas of painted projections.
Aerial Beam Path
This year, instead of the beacons of light we wanted to switch it up and create an aerial beam show which visitors could walk through. We achieved this using 16 x high powered moving lights which we set amongst the trees and a floor mounted gobo.
The first water based experience was the water fountains which were set upon the lake. This year instead of six head jets we used 10, and spaced them out further across the lake. The 10 dual 3kW pump flower head jets created the jet water fountains, which we illuminated using two submersible 200w LED fixtures. It also features 50 x 250W RGBW uplighters and 12 x 400w RGBW uplighters to help light up the Obelisk Bank.
To strengthen the narrative we included characters that follow visitors along the trail, encouraging them to move into the next zone. One of the characters was the ‘Fairy Queen’, who greeted visitors on the way into the ‘Fairy Trail’.
The fairy queen was a hologram created using a one metre holofan. She is followed by 30 x holographic fairies, with nine x 1one metre holofans being used throughout. The fairy content was all original and created by our design team with the audio taking inspiration from fairy tale classics such as Edward Scissorhands.
We designed an original storyline based on a naughty sprite Patrick, who takes over Sparklestep cottage before being thrown out by the other fairies. The short animation was created using one x Christie projector, with two x JBL speakers and two subs to immerse guests in the audio. The show plays in a loop every six – seven minutes.
Imagine dancing to 80’s classics such as Tina Turner, A-ha and Whitney in the forest! We wanted to make the disco space much bigger than last year to give guests more space to dance so we moved the disco closer to the mid-way point of the trail, this meant it was closer to the fire pits and snack stops. We created the show visually using seven 500mm diameter disco balls, nine outdoor 650w moving lights, four additional hologram fairies and four smoke machines. Two JBL speakers and two subs provided spatial audio to immerse guests into the disco tunes, which consisted of three music mixes with a seven-minute loop time, encouraging guests to move on after one rotation.
The show was controlled using a BrightSign HD224 running the audio and visual content, and an ENTTEC S-Play synchronising all elements with a timer to start the show sequence and automatically switch everything off at the end of the night.
As you walk up to the Enchanted Forest, the experience becomes truly magical. The journey begins as you pass through a three metre high door frame, created with intricate LED wire, marking the entrance to a new mystical realm. This door frame serves as a transition point, signalling the departure from the ordinary into a world of enchantment.
Upon passing through the door frame, visitors are enveloped in the soft glow of fibre optic lighting meticulously woven into the forest undergrowth. The subtle play of lights creates an ethereal ambiance, giving the impression of a mystical world.
Visitors then wonder upon mythical creatures that are projected into the woodland landscape.
We hid five x four metre Holonet gauzes within the forest so that they are completely invisible from the viewing angle of the path. We used three Optoma projectors in VIZBOX enclosures to project the visuals and used lighting to enhance the sense of depth and deflect from the edges of the gauze. When the media sequence came to life, it gave the illusion of forest creatures existing in a 3D space, which then disappeared into the trees on either side. We turned this into a multisensory experience using four Adastra speakers and a QSC 300w amplifier.
The creatures projected were griffins, rabbits, snakes, Pegasus, unicorns, horses and more.
This was a totally new and unique concept for this year’s trail and incorporated the new holofan technology we have been using sporadically throughout.
We built a steel framed metal structure to house seven x one metre holofans, which were decorated with seven x LED neon circles. The show included all original content by our design teams, which had a theme of the galaxy and space. We used MadMapper software which allowed us to create the show using real time dynamic content that could change and sequence with other lighting.
Tunnel of Light
One of the most ‘Instagrammable’ moments of the trail was the LED Tunnel of Light. This was a 43m long, 2.7m wide and 2.9m high custom-built structure created by our design team, rolled to create the curve. This was wrapped with 72 LED light chains, each consisting of 300 fixtures.
Another new concept for the 2023 trail. We built 52 bespoke minimalist tree structures and wove LED neon tubes to create the look of lit up trees. These were dotted along the path giving guests the opportunity to walk through the magic.
The second water experience features a water screen with the Obelisk banks as a backdrop. The show features a 30m x 14m hydro screen which was created using dual 55kw water pumps. Content was projected using a Christie 20k DLP projector in a VIZBOX enclosure, controlled using a BrightSign XT144 media player with a custom relay unit.
The mapped moving content featured festive favourites and brought in the characters that guests had met across the trail, which nicely packaged the storytelling experience.
Both experiences are controlled using a Garage cube MiniMad, which we used with an ENTTEC ODE to convert the signal to DMX. This solution allowed us the flexibility to create the experience in video and convert to DMX.
We rounded off the trial experience with a projection mapped sequence onto a sturdy oak tree, created using a single Optoma projector in a VIZBOX enclosure, four Adastra speakers and a QSC 300w amplifier, controlled using a MiniMad. This was a firm favourite for the little ones on the trial.
This year, we also brought in a one x one metre holofan which projected the ‘Fairy Queen’ guests had seen throughout the experience.
For IMG, this was the third year of a five-year contract with The Crown Estate, who own and manage the park. Working in a public park brings with it certain considerations, both during the build and during the live show days. Directional audio was essential to ensure that no sound spilled over to local residences and there was a strict curfew for all lighting fixtures to be switched off after 10.30pm.
This year also we experienced horrendous weather conditions with winds of up to 50mph due to storms. We had to work quickly and efficiently to ensure all equipment was in place and watertight, ensuring it would stay protected throughout the duration of live show dates.
With just one month to put all of this in place and testing needing to take place after dusk, this presented a challenge for our team, but we are over the moon with the results.