a ShowTex Diary

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Opening night at the park

All the Studio 100 stars were out on the red carpet at the gala opening of Plopsa Indoor Coevorden on April 30th. K3, Mega Mindy, Kabouter Plop, Piet Piraat, Bumba and Samson&Gert stood by as the crowd waited for the fabric reveal curtain (made and installed by ShowTex) to drop. The newest Plopsa park located next to Center Parcs de Huttenheugte is expecting to welcome 400.000 visitors per year.

 The great thing about this metallic fabric is that it lets just enough light through to give the crowd a taste of the show behind the curtain.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Giant Slides and the Wild Sea

Here's the giant slide at the Plopsa Indoor park before all the backdrops were installed...

And here's the slide on opening night with a view of the Plopsa Indoor theater.
Below is the main hall with just the frames of the carousels during the construction phase.
And here's how the indoor theme park looked on opening night. The ShowLED starcloth backdrops 
cover the entire wall to create a starry sky and a magical atmosphere above the charming townhouses!
This is "De Woeste Zee "or The Wild Sea attraction during the ride's construction in April 2010.
And here's the ShowTex printed backdrop adding the finishing touches to the ride on opening night.
The Pirate Roller Coaster Ride started out simple
 But now it's the perfect mixture of thrills and fun with a realistic rocky decor and illustrated backdrop
The curtain tracks to hang the illustrated backdrops were installed before the waterfall and roller coaster were in place. Then, after construction, the giant backdrop was inserted in between. It's a good thing fabrics are so flexible!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The stars come out, indoors

ShowLED Classic Starcloths will light up the giant backdrop for the theater within a theater at Plopsa Indoor Coevorden. ShowTex provided ShowLED with a CAD drawing of exactly where each framed picture on the Studio 100 Wall of Fame would be hung. In this way, the Classic starcloths with random LED placement could be custom configured to fit perfectly around the images. Computers can only do so much though, getting these drapes up on the tracks and large scale frames up took some....that's right, heavy machinery...and a motivated crew.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The backdrop puzzle

Studio 100 Art Director Piet De Koninck created these fairy tale illustrations as the backdrops to various rides and park areas at Plopsa Indoor Coevorden.
The new backdrops differ from previous Plopsa theme parks because of the extra details like shadows, reflections, and color shading.
In fact, the images were so elaborate it seemed impossible to scan them in to be printed on the giant backdrops. Not only that, the rest of the rides, restaurants, and other buildings weren't there yet when the curtains had to be measured and printed. Koen Van Kerkhoven, one of the founders of ShowTex and project manager for Plopsa Indoor Coevorden explains: "Everything, from the mountains to the city scape of houses and entrances and exits in front of the backdrops was theoretical. We had a clay model to work with, but all the backdrop panels had to precisely match up, not just with each other,  but with whatever structure or ride would come in front of it."
That meant that our measurements per three meter wide panel were given to the illustrator as a basis for making the final image. We also had the technology in house to digitize the image at the highest possible resolution, resulting in a print that retains the fine detail of the original drawings.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Plopsa Indoor Theater

Here you can see the structure of the theater area in progress
and below a member of the ShowTex installation team imagining
how he's going to get those velvet curtains up to the 14 meter high curtain tracks
 no, still there...
Of course, with the help of some friends....
 And some heavy  machinery...

Anything's possible!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Foundations of Fun

It all started with a huge site conveniently located next to the family friendly Center Parcs. Plopsa Indoor Coevorden has 15000 m² of excitement, with 10000 m² dedicated to indoor attractions and 5000 m² to outdoor fun.
Here are some pictures of the location and the big machines it took to get this project started. Is that Samson or Gert driving the bulldozer, I cant tell...