Stepping Stones Museum for Children has recently been expanded. The museum offers enthralling exhibits and experiences for children. There are five main galleries with over 100 children’s activities. McCann Systems was originally chosen as the audiovisual design consultant because of our superior museum portfolio. The client was looking for a visually rich experience for museum goers. The vision was to be able to share content from the Multi-Media Gallery to other areas, interact with children’s activities, and support live musical acts and children’s theater. During the course of the design, which was years in the making, we integrated the audio visual elements of the outdoor tensile structure. Including permanently mounted JBL speaker clusters near the stage and smaller re-enforcement clusters dispersed throughout the outdoor seating area, where events are held.
The museum is equipped with a state of the art Multi-Media Gallery and audiovisual infrastructure. The Multi-Media Gallery contains a 33’ x 12’ immersive projection screen with two Christie Digital 1080p 10,000 lumen projectors, full range 5.1 surround sound, 4 HD video cameras and a full production suite that allows content to be streamed across the museum and worldwide. This custom screen is a dual curved screen, it curves around the audience, as well as a vertical concave curve. The interactive floor of the Multi-Media gallery uses an infrared camera to create an invisible grid on the floor this allows XY coordinates to be mapped when people move in the projection area giving the user an interactive video experience. The Multi-Media Gallery can also interact with children’s’ activities elsewhere in the museum. For example, if an activity involves drawing pictures, the staff can scan the pictures in the system and display them on the immersive screen with live video of the children along with their names.
To create an immersive video effect in the Multi-Media Gallery we worked with the general contractor to build a spherically curved screen painted with a projection coating giving it a monolithic effect. In order to fill the custom aspect ratio screen we used two Christie projectors. The projectors are driven from an Analog Way video processor. To create the pixel dense video effects we utilized WATCHOUT as the main player for the blended screen. Inherent in WATCHOUT is a timeline that allows the producer of the show to trigger other elements of the Multi-Media Gallery from the video timeline such as lights, shades, camera presets and video. The speaker arrays, subwoofers, and cameras are hung from the lighting grid along with a 48 channel lighting system.