Key Technologies of Media Based Attractions

B7 Series

The B7 Series is a complete range of audio and video servers with up to 24 x HD/2K or up to 6 x 4K video channels. All servers support uncompressed 4:4:4 and 4:2:2 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 and Dante – with up to 256 channels 48KHz or 128/96KHz. Our A16 and A32 AD/DA (optional with Dante) converters can also act as Genlock signal generators for a single server or server cluster. 

All B7 Series Servers are running an embedded OS, which is write-protected to ensure safe operation over years. We differ between two sub-types: the Entry and Pro models. The Entry types do have less GPU power and no support for genlocking. The Pro models utilizing high end GPUs and do have their data drives mounted in swappable drive bays accessible from the front of the chassis.    

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.

Video Playback with Playmaker

Playmaker is the tool for purely uncompressed media playback. It takes the content from Media Manager and allows to setup Playlists for Video and Audio. It can listen to LTC timecode and perfectly synchronises playback to that. Timecode input can be enabled and disabled during playback with a seamless transition. A network based API allows easy integration into any system.

Mixing and Mapping with Backstage

Backstage takes the linear video from Playmaker and maps it to virtually any display or projection surface. The scene is designed in 3D and allows placing of LED walls, displays and screens for projectors. Beside video, external sources like NDI, capture cards, SPOUT, Unity or Unreal can be placed on a Layer on the screen. Warping and Blending is automatically calculated and - optionally - perfectly calibrated by a camera-based calibration system. Backstage either directly outputs to the physical GPU outputs (24/30 Bit) or streams NDI to the Network, allowing simple NDI converters to pick up the signal over network. A node-based logic programming environment allows to setup the show logic and external control of sequences and visibilities of media. Backstage also has an Audio Engine with support of 7th order of Ambisonic built in and allows flexible audio remixing and routing.      

Everything under Control: Conductor 

Most media based attractions require running effects synchronous to video playback. BRAINSALT created a truly incredible solution called Conductor. It supports all standard network based communications like UDP, TCP/IP, Artnet and sACN. In addition to that, it supports different hardware vendors and special interfacing to Beckhoff's TwinCAT environment with up to 1000 updates per second. 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 or sACN in Conductor. Any number of 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 32 recorded Artnet Universes – so close to 10000 channels in total. And that was far below Conductor's performance limits.

Projections Calibrated at the Push of a Button:
Calibrator

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.

B7 Series Software

Find all software components and their features here.

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.