In May 2011, EligoVision designed and implemented an interactive project named «65th Parallel» on the basis of its own innovative solution — interactive studio for augmented reality (AR studio).
This project was first demonstrated at an event which celebrated the 65th anniversary of JSC Russian Space Systems and was held at Rossiya Central State Concert Hall, Luzhniki Palace of Sports, on May 26, 2011.
The major events in the corporation’s history were presented by the program host Leonid Parfyonov and shown in a new original way — with the help of «living 3D markers» augmented reality technology.
This project is an example of using the augmented reality technology for adding «spice» to an official presentation on a large stage with large screen systems.
The show made use of the previously created 3D markers: «First Earth Satellite», «Yuri Gagarin», «Lunokhod», «Buran», as well as new markers which were designed specifically for the opening and closing parts of this presentation.
The celebration for JSC Russian Space Systems was organized by Alef Corporation, one of the major full-cycle event management companies in Russia. The festive program started with the presentation by Yuri Matevich Urlichich, CEO and Chief Engineer of Russian Space Systems, who demonstrated an hourglass 3D marker, a symbol of eternity and changes.
On this «living 3D marker» was a three-dimensional hourglass model with sand. It was moving inside the hourglass according to the laws of physics and marker inclination before the camera. Upon a single 120-degree turn, the hourglass was turned upside down, and the sand started sifting again.
In a few seconds, the hourglass moved gradually toward the audience covering part of the screen, then turned with one of its ends to the viewers and became the JSC Russian Space Systems’ logo. Under the corporation’s logo the sifting sand formed the words «65th Parallel». Then it sifted away from the screen.
After the «manual» launch of the celebrations, the viewers watched a colorful sand show in the screen. In this way, the presentation created associations with the flow of time, allusion to the past, namely 1946, and the logical connection to the following sand show.
Then, on the big side screens started a historical insight into the past of our country and the history of JSC Russian Space Systems. Each new historical stage was accompanied with representation by the host L. Parfyonov of a key space industry event with one of the «living 3D markers»:
1945–1957 — this is the time when the corporation’s history started and the first artificial Earth satellite in the world was launched in the USSR. To illustrate this stage, the «First Artificial Earth Satellite (PS-1)» augmented reality marker was used.
1957-1969 — the biggest victory during this stage was the man’s first journey into outer space. The «Yuri Gagarin» augmented reality marker comprised a 3D model of «Record», an old TV brand. On the Record TV screen there was a one-minute-long video specially compiled from historical photos relating to the flight of the first Soviet cosmonaut — Yuri Gagarin.
1969-1980 — launch and landing on the Moon of the first remotely controlled automated scientific laboratory named «Lunokhod» by the Soviet scientists. The marker comprised a detailed 3D model of the first Soviet Lunokhod.
Years from 1981 to 2002 were marked by designing, creation and launch of Buran, the first Soviet multi-usage space shuttle. On the augmented reality marker held by the host Leonid Parfyonov is the landing of Buran on the runway strip performed automatically in 1988.
The last stage of the historical insight, namely into 2010, was followed by a trip into the future, which also used the augmented reality technology. This time two 3D markers were used at the same time. One of them was held by Yuri Urlichich, and the second one was activated by Leonid Parfyonov at a certain moment during the presentation.
This presentation demonstrated interaction between the markers. When one of them appeared in the interaction zone, it showed a Glonass-K satellite 3D model. With the appearance of the second marker with the Earth model, the virtual objects were engaged in interaction and animation: the Glonass-K satellite left its marker, gradually approached the Earth and placed itself into the orbit.
Immediately after that, two other circular orbits appeared, and all the three orbits were quickly inhabited by a full satellite group of Glonass-K. As soon as the transformation was over, the planet model left the marker and gradually increased in size, eventually covering the whole screen.
After the virtual launch of the GLONASS system, the audience could also enjoy a colorful laser show followed by a concert which concluded the celebration.
For realization of this innovative project on the big stage, a new EligoVision system called interactive studio for augmented reality (AR studio) was first used.
This system was first created in late spring 2011.
It comprises a few cameras of different standards, calibrated in a specific way in order to interact with each other.
In this presentation, two cameras were used. One of them (at the front) sent an HD video signal to the big projection screen. The second camera situated above was used only for recognition of augmented reality markers and had higher priority. Each of the cameras had its own visibility scope, and as soon as the marker appeared in one of those areas, the camera recorded the signal, connected a 3D model to the marker in the general coordinates system and sent images to the front-end camera.