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Obscura Digital launches tour of the "Universe" using NVIDIA Quadro FX by PNY graphics solutions

When Nakheel, one of the world`s largest privately held property developers, was looking for a spectacular way to launch their latest flagship development, "The Universe", they turned to Obscura Digital. 

With an impressive client list, Obsura Digital is known for presenting their client`s brand messaging in unique and innovative ways using stunning, high impact content and the latest video technologies. 

For Nakheel`s launch, Obscura Digital created a fully immersive experience by constructing the world`s largest surround video dome and projecting a breathtaking space age video to "wow" the 500 VIP guests.  To ensure they could deliver the project on time and with the dramatic, photorealistic visual quality they needed, Obscura Digital chose the ultra high performance NVIDIA Quadro FX by PNY graphics boards. 

Based in San Francisco, Obscura Digital`s client list reads like a who`s who of global industry leaders including Google, Honda, Oracle«, GM, HP and Pioneer.  Whether it is interactive lifelike holograms, mega multi-touch walls, fully immersive huge domes or tunnels, Obscura Digital always delivers high-impact corporate messaging content for its clients.  "Obscura Digital is dedicated to providing "advanced messaging platforms" using unique and innovative video technologies," said Patrick Connolly, CEO, Obscura Digital.  "Staying at the forefront of designing and delivering cutting edge content requires us to rely on industry leading products such as the NVIDIA Quadro FX by PNY graphics boards."

Nakheel is in the business of being bold and they wanted the launch of their latest project, The Universe, to reflect this.  The Universe , a new world class community being built on the azure waters of the Arabian gulf in Dubai, is a stunning reclaimed island development recreating the "wonders of the solar system" with islands in the shape of the sun, the moon and planets.  Nakheel wanted to communicate the innovativeness of this project as well as capture the imagination of five hundred VIP guests at a special launch event.  "Nakheel needed a mind-blowing way to communicate the size, the overall scope and scale of their latest project, The Universe.  The goal was to give 500 VIP guests a thrilling ride while allowing them to experience the true essence of The Universe. We were proud to be able to deliver that," said Connolly.





Obscura Digital creates fully immersive experience for Nakheel`s VIPs using a ninety foot video dome.


For Nakheel`s launch Obscura Digital created a dramatic "Ride Around The Universe" immersive video experience. It took the guests on an unforgettable journey starting with the beautiful images of Nakheel`s existing Dubai waterfront developments, then panning back and traveling through a CG created solar system before finally introducing "The Universe".  Guests experienced this epic ride at Nakheel`s sales center in Dubai, where Obscura constructed the world`s largest 90 foot seamless surround video dome with over 19,000 square feet of video surface and a 360 ║ x 180 ║ image - making it a truly immersive experience.  "People were blown away, they were holding on to the rails of their seats.  It was like a giant thrill ride, you could feel this whole dome blasting off and taking you on a ride around the Universe," said Connolly.  Nakheel`s executives and guests were so impressed with the show, Nakheel decided to keep the dome as part of the sales center for The Universe. 

To achieve the dramatic effect they were looking for, Obscura Digital had to take advantage of the latest display and video technologies.  For example, they used the new Red One 4K digital camera to produce uncompressed 9 megapixel video. Obscura Digital projected this ultra high resolution image around the dome using nine HD projectors, each one connected to a computer with an Intel Xeon processor, solid state drives from Entron and the NVIDIA Quadro FX by PNY graphics board. 

9 megapixel video projected around 19,000 sq ft video surface using NVIDIA Quadro FX by PNY graphics solution.


According to Niklas Lundback, Lead Engineer for Obscura Digital: "This was the first job that allowed us to use the new enhanced processing power of the NVIDIA Quadro FX by PNY graphics boards to process 3K by 3K images that`s 9 megapixel video in real-time! We benchmarked a couple of different graphics cards and found that the NVIDIA Quadro FX by PNY graphics board is insanely fast at handling large textures."  

Obscura Digital needed a high performance graphics board that could handle the demands of their in-house designed software application which blends together the images from multiple HD projectors to create an impressive 360║ seamless image.  "Our application allows us to "stitch "together images from the nine HD projectors seamlessly.  No-one can tell there are nine projectors, people look around and they`re not sure how the image actually gets up there", said Lundback. 

Using the speed and performance of the NVIDIA Quadro FX by PNY, Obscura Digital`s application is able to process in real-time the distortion correction for the shape of the dome, the position of the projector and correctly blend the images in real-time to create a seamless sphere: "Before, blends and geometry distortions for each of the nine computers had to be pre-computed or "baked-in" which was very time consuming.  Now using the real-time capabilities of the NVIDIA Quadro FX by PNY NVIDIA we can make changes right up until the last minute of the show, because all the calculations are made on the fly," enthused Lundback.

Nakheel presents "The Universe", a stunning new development, to 500 VIPs in the specially constructed video dome.


By using the real-time capabilities of the NVIDIA Quadro FX by PNY, Obscura Digital has been able to remove one whole step from their production pipeline.  For a company like Obscura Digital, in an industry where there are a lot of tight deadlines and short set up times, making the production process more efficient is very important:  "Using the NVIDIA Quadro FX by PNY graphics boards allows us to cut out one step in our workflow, a very time consuming step - rendering.  Because everything is handled in real-time and nothing needs to be pre-computered, we can now take on time limited projects which we couldn`t do before," said Lundback.

"For Nakheel`s production we were able to deliver the highest resolution video available today, that`s 9 megapixels in real-time, thanks to the NVIDIA QuadroFX by PNY graphics solutions," concluded Connolly. " At Obscura Digital, we are continually pushing the envelop to deliver the results our clients demand and expect from us, which is why we like to partner with PNY and NVIDIA so that we can have early access and first peeks at the coolest stuff out there."  True to form, Obscura Digital has recently acquired the latest NVIDIA QuadroPlex.  They now have access to uncompressed 4K by 4K resolution video, ensuring their future projects will remain ahead of the curve. Images courtesy of Obscura Digital.


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