To promote the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the “FIFA WM Globe” was sent as an ambassador of the artistic and cultural program of the German Federal Government through all German cities hosting a football match. The general contractor System Modern GmbH entrusted MESO with the realization of the media-systems within the “FIFA WM Globe”. We planned and realized the infotainment stations and light installations of the globe based on the design prepared by our all-time favorite client, 3deluxe of Wiesbaden, and André Heller and Artevent’s concept. We were also responsible for the planning of the computer technology, set-up and supply of the systems, and programming of the required subsystems for the realization of the highly complex graphics.
The “Globe” served not only as ambassador but was the most popular core project of the government to accompany the 2006 FIFA World Cup. To stress its importance, the Globe, enacted (what is "enacted" supposed to mean?) by the famous André Heller, was initiated by Franz Beckenbauer, then FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, and then Chancellor of Germany, Gerhard Schröder, in Berlin. The “FIFA WM Globe” became a great success; in Berlin alone more than 111,000 people visited the exhibition during its 52 day lodging period.
A huge 50 inch plasma display at the entry of the “Globe” welcomed all visitors with the latest news and program information about the “Globe” and the FIFA World Cup, and was updated at least every two minutes via Internet.
The inside of the “FIFA WM Globe” was defined by a brilliant 360° projection-frieze implemented by 10 projections, each created by Projectiondesign F1-XGA Beamers with 3,000 ANSI-lumen. The resolution of the 12 m diameter panorama was about 10,240 x 768 pixel. It was composed of a multitude of layers of various 2D and 3D objects. All objects were created by a render controller in a real 3D-coordination system and than visualized in high-quality by 10 so-called “render clients” which also calculated the soft-edges at the slopes. The projection-frieze displayed a fund of animated globes with transparency, color and glow effects moving wave-like through the “Globe” to create constantly changing atmospheres. Three terminals with TFT touchscreens and four trackballs, which were integrated into the seating furniture, were used to interact with the projection-frieze. Visitors could browse through the program information, news, video clips and images about the FIFA World Cup, or leave text messages (“I love Football!”) for the public at the “Globe” and on the web-page. They could also actively change the atmosphere of the “Globe” by participating in one of the many quiz-games and interactive installations.
Visitors could play with the cartoon characters of “FC Mondo United” on three 42 inch infrared-matrix-sensor plasma touchscreens. They were asked to “massage” the virtual kickers to revive them for the next match by using a touchscreen. Through the application of non-linear animation films, the lovingly rendered characters (created and animated by Fiftyeight 3D) reacted to touch and huddled against the visitors’ palm.
Three of the seating areas spread around the “Globe” offered projected “Feuilleton-Newspapers”. As soon as a visitor sat down directly in front of them, a computer image appeared showing the latest news of the “Globe” program and the 2006 FIFA World Cup or the history of the FIFA World Cup. Handy diffusing screens were used to visualize the virtual newspapers.
Another attraction was the “virtual penalty kick”, where visitors could test their football-mastery and a virtual goalkeeper constantly tried to encourage the amateur-kickers to play along. The “football” itself was made of light and responded to the shadow of the kicker by an array of photo-sensors. The goalkeeper was controlled via remote control by a moderator so that their actions and reactions could be individually performed. A simple interface with amazing effect.
Our multipurpose tool kit vvvv was used to control all aspects of the “Globe” in real time. The program’s advantage for this project was its synchronous interaction of computer clusters (“boy grouping”). VVVV is specially designed for the connection of various physical interfaces; in this case, light and approximation sensors, touchscreens, trackballs, IO-Interfaces, remote controls, RS232, Midi, TCP/IP, etc. Another advantage, absolutely necessary for the realization of the “Football Globe Germany”, was the fast and interactive implementation of ideas via graphic programming technology. So all changes were immediately visible and no standby time for compiling, rendering, etc. was needed. VVVV was also used for the administration and error prevention of the “Globes” technology. A router provided encoded access to all systems so that remote maintenance, such as software updates, could easily be implemented. The router also provided a live-connection to the internet so that all news and information could be uploaded from an external content management system. This tool enabled editors to create and upload new content without the need to be on-site. All systems operated with Windows 2000 Professional.
All industry-computers were designed as flat 19 inch hardware each with one or two rack units. As a result, the complete hardware including USV, screens, and power and signal distribution could be stored in just four 19 inch closets; in other words, not more than 1,5 m² of the equipment room was needed. This small “render farm” generated around 500,000 MHz processing power and__verb?__ around 1 terabyte hard-disc storage. The projection frieze was calculated by 14 industry-computer ( 14 "computers" or "processors"?) (Pentium IV, 2,8GHz) and high-end gaming graphic cards (Radeon 9800 pro.). A further 14 industry-computers created the additional images of the terminals and other exhibits.