In this blog we talk to Peter Sinclair, a new addition to the team at GBvi – Peter has joined us for the summer before he returns to his studies:
GBvi’s founder and director, Geoff Blackham, has been announced as a speaker at this year’s Display Summit, organised by Insight Media focussing on the technologies, issues and opportunities for projection-based and body-worn immersive display systems in training, simulation, visualisation and entertainment applications for commercial, military and professional markets.
This means flat, curved and domed projection-based simulators, trainers, theatres and 3D visualisation solutions as well as body-worn immersive solutions using virtual, augmented and mixed reality.
The event will be technical in nature with attendees and speakers coming from:
Geoff’s presentation, titled ‘Optical Blending for Maximising Dynamic Range of Projection Displays‘ will be given at 16:05 on October 4th, 2017 and has a published abstract of:
Quality projection displays for visual simulation have evolved to use mainstream commercial projection devices, which, together with automatic alignment solutions, have dramatically reduced time required for their installation, alignment and maintenance. However, one bugbear has remained in the form of projector light leakage when displaying dark scene content. Electronic blending solutions exist that produce excellent results for bright scenes but, for continuous background intensity levels in dark scenes, infill techniques are often applied, which can sacrifice up to 75% of the possible dynamic range. Optical solutions to blending multiple channels can solve this problem, offering the promise to increase the utility and hence value of visual simulation training substantially, yet often this option is not even considered – so why is this?
Optical blending implementations – which place physical masks in the projection light paths – have been around for a long time, but a universal solution for all projector types and scene content has yet to become available. Many solutions give relatively poor performance that can be tolerated for dark scenes such as those experienced in night training, so are actuated out of the light paths for use with daytime scenes. These present logistical challenges to simulator users, where a choice must be made as to what “mode” you are training, or some transition must be suffered while the blending system switches mode. Other solutions cannot withstand sustained light flux without degradation, so again must be actuated, while yet others may cause image sharpness degradation in the blend regions, so must be designed very carefully to limit this impact, particularly with high-resolution projectors.
Included in this presentation will be a review of the mainstream projection technologies and their respective pros & cons, particularly with regard to scene dynamic range and blend implications. This in turn leads to a detailed review of optical blending options, presenting their operating theories and application scope.
Last week’s ITEC show in Rotterdam, the Netherlands was a huge success – thanks to all who stopped by our stand.
The trend of an increased need for optical blending to maximise dynamic range in projected display systems continues.
For his fourth solo exhibition at the gallery, David Cotterrell presented three works from the Mirror project: a series of two-screen works produced in collaboration with Ruwanthie de Chickera at London’s Danielle Arnaud Gallery.
The travelling exhibition was open from 25 February to April 1.
Mirror III: Horizon examines what might transpire between two strangers if their communication was reduced to the language of lights. Filmed in Malta, set against the dramatic edges of the island’s stunning coast and contextualized by the island’s deep historical experience of visitors who arrived repeatedly by sea, the installation draws on the fluctuating paranoia of the current refugee crisis. Mirror III examines what might possibly be communicated between strangers if their words were reduced to beams of light and their faces need never be revealed.
The art installation comprises two VOID installations by GBvi, each presenting video media of a Pakistani guard communicating with the other in the secondary VOID. A suspended dome speaker above the installation ensures visitors only experience both sight and sound when underneath the audio and between each of the VOID stations.
VOID, an infinity display experience for educational spaces, attractions and themed experiences, uses special display techniques and light path management to create extreme depth cues and illusions of distance – so that viewers and audiences are provided with a sense of peering into space.
“It’s very difficult to transfer the sensation of place into reality. People can’t understand or recreate this experience from an illustration or image alone and we wanted to generate a sense of emotion and understanding from this installation. The VOID allowed us to do just that.” explains artist David Cotterrell.
“It was important that visitors became fully immersed and engaged with the media. We will continue to use this technology and refine how we apply it in future installations to continue innovating with depth cues and immersion in art.”
Available in a range of size, brightness, projection performance and playback configurations up to ultra-high contrast 4K, VOID is built to deliver realistic, immersive experiences.
For more information, visit https://gbvi.co.uk/home/void/
We’re delighted to mark the start of the year with a new, and very important, addition to our team.
Steve Johnson joins us as Opto Mechanical Engineer and is a highly-experienced engineer with a successful track record in the design and development of precision opto mechanical products. During his 26 years in the visual display industry he has worked as a senior engineer at SEOS and Rockwell Collins and has been a key player in the design and development of Target Projectors, High Dynamic Range simulation projectors, multi-channel display systems and a high-performance HMD for human factors research.
Steve brings his knowledge of display systems, precision mechanics and optics to the GBVI team to help develop cost effective solutions to challenging customer requirements.
A major part of what I do is to develop the design tools we use during the early stages of each project process – the ones that help map system design and accurately produce layout data for our customer projects. Occasionally I work on system blending designs too and am increasingly working with the team to gather data for various projector models that we can use in blend analysis.
My involvement in projects usually depends on the scope of the client requirements. On some projects, we play a key part in the design optimisation process of the display system, helping the client to build and specify the optimum configuration. On others, we are contracted to design and supply an optimised blending system where the client has already signed off on projector layout.
I have a degree in Games Art and Design, so not really from the sim or viz industry as I know it now, but I still find there’s a huge amount of overlap and similarity in the worlds of simulation and gaming. I’ve spent a lot of time with CAD software, 3D modelling and programming which has really been put to use here.
Unfortunately, we’re unable to mention the specifics of many projects we work on for obvious reasons. Recently though, I’ve been working on the delivery of a project for a search and rescue helicopter training programme. As a display system, it’s actually pretty complex with 11-channels of projection. I’ve recently developed new design tools that have overseen the entire project for us from initial design process through to completion – the creation of the masks was then handled by our usual in-house team.
We’re always testing the compatibility of projectors which can be a little challenging. If we receive a new enquiry that specifies a model of projector that we haven’t tested before, it’s not simply about pricing something up. It can mean the start of an R&D project where we often have to simulate the client environment by bringing in new screen shapes or material. We need to ensure our performance specification is accurate first time around and have to go the extra mile to achieve this.
I find it really enjoyable to get into the programming side of things, particularly seeing how the tools I develop consistently produce high standard results and streamline the process. Plus, we have a great office in the Sussex countryside, yet I’m still able to live right on the beach in the bustling city that is Brighton.