Lifesize 3D images put visitors to the new visitor centre at the heart of the action

Cutting-edge tech brings historic battle to life

In the lead up to the 700th anniversary of Scotland’s Battle of Bannockburn a new visitor centre will immerse people in a realistic 3D medieval battle.

The battle in 1314 was a defining moment in Scottish history, which saw King Robert the Bruce of Scotland triumph over the army led by the English King Edward II.

The National Trust for Scotland’s new Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre opened on 1 March 2014 and has been an instant success.

The centre’s complex projection system was designed by Electrosonic’s design consulting team and engineered and installed by the firm’s Edinburgh office under sub-contract to lead design consultancy Bright White.

Fully automatic 3D show presentation systems introduce visitors to the main characters and circumstances leading up to the battle before taking them into the action as four large screens present a sequence of dramatic life-size 3D images.

In addition, five Character Stations present life-size 2D animated portraits of people involved in the events, which come to life when the visitor stands in front and gestures.

The films were developed by 3D modellers at the Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation, a partnership between the Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Design Studio and Historic Scotland.

The main Battle Room is a circular space incorporating a 3D map of the Stirling landscape giving a bird’s-eye view of the battle. Visitors who pre-book can take part in The Battle Game, controlled by the Battlemaster, and take command of the knights and soldiers in the two armies.

The entire audio-visual system is designed for resilience, with uptime above 99 per cent.
Each item of equipment has a network connection for control and monitoring, with source and control equipment rack-mounted in a central control room.

All site cabling was terminated in suitable socket boxes so it could be tested in advance. Electrosonic built the racks at its Dartford factory and delivered them to site ready to be plugged into the waiting sockets, minimising installation time and creating a more reliable and maintainable system.

“For the National Trust of Scotland this has been a very adventurous project and we’ve really relied on the expertise of Electrosonic to deliver it,” said Tom Ingrey-Counter, interpretation sub-project manager for the visitor centre.

Visit the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre website for more information.

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