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Christie Pandoras Box Drives Visuals at Basketball World Cup Opening Ceremony

The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup tournament kicked off with an opening ceremony featuring onstage visuals created with the Christie Pandoras Box real-time video processing and show control system.
(Image credit: Christie)

The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup tournament kicked off in the Chinese capital last month with an opening ceremony featuring eye-catching onstage visuals that were created using the Christie Pandoras Box real-time video processing and show control system.

Held at the National Aquatics Center (Water Cube), the event captivated audiences with a cultural performance themed “Fantasia of Dreams,” which comprised live performers, lighting, and projection effects on a stage featuring a huge “meshed basket” that consisted of an inner and outer structure. The entire show was delivered using seven Pandoras Box Dual servers, two Pandoras Box Quad servers, three Pandoras Box Quad players, and two Pandoras Box Managers provided by Christie’s Chinese partner, PDR China.

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“We are very honored to be granted the opportunity to provide the show control systems for this prestigious international tournament dubbed the ‘Olympics’ for basketball,” said Dai-yuan Wang, CEO and chief technology officer, PDR China. “The Christie Pandoras Box, with its full-feature software set and powerful hardware platform, is the ideal system to generate maximum creative results, and deliver a great visual experience to live audiences and television viewers watching this event from all over the world.”

According to Wang, the show segment of the opening ceremony took a year to prepare and his team had worked very closely with the organizing committee throughout this duration.

The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup tournament kicked off with an opening ceremony featuring onstage visuals created with the Christie Pandoras Box real-time video processing and show control system.

(Image credit: Christie)

In order to deliver the optimum visuals for maximum impact, PDR China produced a large number of virtually simulated visual display solutions using a combination of the Pandoras Box system and a third-party lighting design software.

“We managed to identify the ideal display configurations after many rounds of rehearsals—by deploying 15 high-brightness projectors for projections on the outer structure of the ‘meshed basket,’ and another six projectors for projections on the inner structure,” Wang said. “Together with the accurate and powerful compositing, warping, and rendering capabilities of the Pandoras Box system, the visuals are perfectly integrated with the meshed basket edifice to deliver fantastic visuals that complemented the live performers onstage.”

Ultimately, all visual performance control systems, including the Pandoras Box, are linked to the MA control system for precise real-time broadcast control, which greatly improved the efficiency of the actual performance.

“We are very satisfied with the outcome as the opening ceremony was executed without a hitch,” Wang said. “For me, this is the ideal conclusion to this major project that we have been working so hard for over a year. The performance of the Pandoras Box has been amazing, and it really inspires us to create something even beyond our own expectations. No wonder it has been used extensively in various television programs produced by China Central Television (CCTV).”

Michael Bosworth, executive director, head of enterprise for APAC, Christie, commented, “The Christie Pandoras Box is perfectly suited for creating stunning presentations and interactive installations for various applications, including cultural assets development, location-based entertainment, and sporting events like the FIBA Basketball World Cup opening ceremony. With its on-site 3D rendering, composition, and editing capabilities, the Pandoras Box is trusted by content creators, rental stagers, and projection designers to deliver some of the most spectacular multi-media presentations around the world.”

This is the 18th edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup and the first time it has ever been held in China. The games took place in eight cities—Beijing, Foshan, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Nanjing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou—across five provinces.