Developed and produced by the creative minds at SPE Partners, with a team of Academy Award®, and Emmy® and GRAMMY® Award-winning artists, National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey is a fully immersive entertainment experience that enables its visitors to dive deep into the ocean – in the heart of Times Square – without getting wet!
Located in the 60,000 square-foot venue of the former New York Times building, National Geographic Encounter consists of several different scenes throughout the entire experience. This first-of-its-kind, interactive ocean adventure replaces real animals with cutting-edge virtual reality technology, lighting, and audio effects to showcase the fascinating marine life on earth and raises awareness of ocean conservation. The company Lightswitch was responsible for the lighting and visual design of Encounter. They specified over 70 Rosco X-Effects® LED Projectors to enhance the “underwater experience” of the virtual ocean aquarium with their realistic, immersive water effects.
The visitors start their journey by descending an escalator that is surrounded by water effects provided by Rosco X-Effects LED RGBW fixtures. The watery effect continues throughout the entire experience as the Lightswitch team used them frequently to create a sense of endless ocean continuity as visitors move from one gallery to the next.
The designers also used the X-Effects to guide people onto the next area by projecting its effect onto open doorways as video presentations conclude.
Once they’re “underwater,” one of the first scenes that visitors encounter is the coral reef room. Inside this environment, which is designed to mimic the bioluminescent night reef of the Solomon Islands, the only visible light comes from the moon. The Rosco X-Effects LED Projectors provided simulated watery moonlight on the floors and coral walls. As the scene progresses, ultraviolet lighting replicates bioluminescence and biofluorescence with glowing fish and coral.
As visitors enter the Encounter’s Kelp Maze, they become completely engulfed in an environment that mimics the ocean floor along the coast of California. Water effects from the X-Effects LED Projectors illuminate the maze from multiple angles as the watery effect bounces off the reflective surfaces on the walls, floor, and ceiling.
As the guests conclude their experience, they’ll see several X-Effects fixtures providing subtle and sequenced water effects on and around the translucent fish sculpture inside the engrossing Anchovy Room.
For this project, the Lightswitch team specifically chose the X-Effects LED Projector – RGBW, a color-mixing fixture that uses glass gobos to create a wide range of dynamic lighting effects – including a vivid, blue, underwater effect. The compact, 1500 lumen projector can project up to 33-ft (10m) and is suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications.
For more information about the fixtures used to create the dynamic water effects inside National Geographic Encounter, visit the X-Effects LED Projector – RGBW product page on our website. To learn more about National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey and book tickets for your visit, visit their website: natgeoencounter.com
Photo credit: Anthony Friend Photography