Key Technologies of Media Based Attractions

Introducing Our Products and Their KEY Features

Perfect Media Playout:
Playmaker on B6 Series Servers

The B6 Series is a complete range of audio and video servers with up to ten synchronous running HD/2K/4K+ video channels. All servers support uncompressed 4:4:4 video playback in RGB mode with up to 30 Bits color depth, perfect linear video playback in 2D, 3D, with up to 120 FPS and beyond 4K resolution per output. Up to 32K x 32K content resolution can be processed in the media workflow. The units are able to operate standalone or play synchronous to timecode – that way any number of playback channels can be perfectly synced. The GL option adds genlock inputs to the servers for pixel synchronous video outputs. All units support image warping and blending. They do up and down scaling to any resolution if needed. The complete range of audio options is available: Analog, ADAT, MADI, AES, Cobranet, AVB and Dante – with up to 256 channels 48KHz or 128/96KHz.

All B6 Series Servers are running an embedded OS, which is write-protected to ensure safe operation over years. In addition, our PLUS series has redundant power supplies and fans for rock solid service.

Media Workflow with Media Manager

BRAINSALT covers the complete media workflow from simple single channel playback up to any multi-channel and/or multiple server system content distribution. Huge projects demand true flexibility during their content creation and loading phase. Our system allows content creators to load media on a “per frame” or “shot” basis. Furthermore, it is possible to provide shots in different resolutions, for example starting with low resolution and step by step exchange shots with high resolution content. 

Our Media Manager and server system is capable of handling such complex workflows. It allows creating playlists on a “per frame” basis: single frames can be replaced or the movie can be organizes in shots. It also supports versioning and the quick switch from one to another version of a shot. It is perfectly prepared for truly demanding projects.

Everything under Control:
Conductor with Show Controllers and I/O Modules

Most media based attractions require running effects synchronous to video playback. BRAINSALT created a truly incredible solution called Conductor. Interfacing through our ProCommander show controllers and Pro I/O Modules  nearly anything can be controlled in the real world. Conductor provides an easy to use interface and supports various different programming interfaces like, keyboard, mouse, joystick, midi faders with force feedback and game controllers. Any slider or button of the interfaces can be mapped to any recording channel and output and programming can be done in real-time. Conductor can also control a BRAINSALT video server cluster during programming. The server system will follow drags of the locator in Conductor, giving the designers and programmers the power to quickly seek, play and adjust motion or effects while seeing media playing on the screen.

Some media based attractions include a complex light shows usually created by light designers on their favorite tool: the light desk. BRAINSALT seamless integrates the light desk by timecode into the system. Light designers can concentrate on light programming, media will follow their timecode. Once light programming is done, the light show is recorded through Artnet in Conductor. Any number of Artnet universes can be processed at once. Those recorded shows can then be located in Conductor – parallel to motion and other effects - and will be sent out perfectly synchronous to video playback. Any limits? At the time this document was written, the most complex show that we know of included around 900 control channels and 16 recorded Artnet Universes – so close to 10000 channels in total. And that was far below Conductor's performance limits.

Realtime or Standalone

All of our Show Controllers and I/O Modules can operate “live” - receiving updates over network from a video server or programmer's laptop. Alternatively to this realtime operation mode, final shows can be exported to a flash storage to be used with our ProCommander show controllers in standalone mode. Those shows can either run in loop or can be triggered by external inputs or timecode. Multiple shows can run parallel, merged together through merge modes. Complete scenes of a dark ride or preshow elements can be realized with such standalone controllers. F.e. a preshow element with stereo audio and DMX light can be played from our ProCommander 2: just connect loudspeakers to the amplified outputs and your DMX cable.

Projections Calibrated at the Push of a Button:

In projection systems with multiple projectors it is hard or sometimes even impossible to manually adjust warping and blending parameters to create a seamless looking image. Due to thermal drifts of projectors and structures, such systems have to be readjusted during operation to keep the image quality at a constant, perfect level. BRAINSALT provides an optional Calibration System for multi-channel projections that creates perfect image quality at the push of a button.

Any complex screen and projector layout can be realized. The numbers of cameras is theoretically not limited. Unlike other vendors, our cameras can be installed anywhere “hidden” in the attraction - the only precondition is that all cameras in total “see” the entire screen surface. Also different to other vendors, our calibration system always guarantees mapping a specific pixel of the content to a defined position on the screen. So it is guaranteed to hit for example spezial-effect-nozzles and screen borders always perfectly. The calibration system seamless integrates in the media workflow if slicing of media is required.

Operation and Monitoring

BRAINSALT developed some unique tools for monitoring the correct operation of an attraction. One of the most popular is the “dual use” of cameras from our calibration system: during normal operation, cameras are used to stream a video to a monitoring server that presents those videos and additional health, quality of service and status information on a split screen. Network based observation cameras, a timecode display and other elements can be included on the overview. Events can be defined to send out email notifications, for example if contact to a video server is lost or if its status is faulty. That way, the operator always has insight of what is going on in the attraction.

Versatile Digital Signage:

Beside our video servers, that focus perfect video playback, BRAINSALT also provides a Digital Signage solution, which allows simple and easy content-creation for single screens or preshow elements. Videos, slideshows, tickers, clock, streams, capture inputs and other elements are placed in regions of the screen and content is scheduled by time. Push content can be triggered by a control system. Advertisement, show time information, show relevant messages: our Digital Signage products allow our clients to reach their clients via screens. A comfortable and easy handling allows to add custom announcements quickly.

Reference Projects

We are proud that BRAINSALT products are used in some of the “world’s largest” and “world’s first” projects. See our References.