Edward Michael “Bear” Grylls is a Northern Irish born British adventurer, known for his television series Man vs. Wild (2006–2011). In 2016, Grylls brought his experiences and adventures to the stage as a one-man show that combined theatre with an immersive experience.
Using the Photon media server package, Creative Technology managed to calibrate the 12 Panasonic PT-DZ21K projectors within an hour, making it possible to track movement on the wall (that was 10m high and 30m wide) as well as track the actors on stage.
By placing IR emitters on Grylls, CT was able to use Photon to blend 3D effects with Grylls based on where he stood and what he was doing. Digital rain bounced off Grylls as he walked, and in underwater scenes, bubbles followed the divers wherever they went. These interactive effects made each performance unique and immersive.
“It’s a fantastic tool for touring due to its process speed. We are able to calibrate 12 projectors in a hour,” stated Currie. “We also have an elaborate tracking system using 11 Infrared cameras on the truss as well as several IR emitters in the wall. This means we can accurately place the wall model in the 3D space in photon. It also allows us to track the movement of the wall and we have extended that to tracking the actors on stage. We are using small IR emitters on the shoulders of Bear and his cast and using parented 3D objects in the software we can motion track them around the stage and assign 3d effects to react with them. For instance, there is one point where we have rain appear on the wall and, using the information from the emitter, we are able to make it look as though the rain is bouncing off Bear. Similar in the underwater scene we have on of the actors flown around the stage in diving gear and we are able to make bubbles appear from him.”