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United’s Augmented Reality event brings Star Wars and Jurassic Park to life

Just imagine… you are at the Ziggo Dome among 10.999 other film music fans. At the opening score of Jurassic Park’s soundtrack you witness the virtual opening of the roof and life size dinosaurs looming over you. Then, as the Metropole Orchestra strikes up the Star Wars soundtrack by John Williams, spaceships skim over your head and laser beams fly all around you.

Both for visitors of the Night of Film Music and for TV viewers at home, experiencing live music had never been so lifelike, thanks to Augmented Reality. In the Netherlands, this was the first time that this technology had been used on such a large scale, for such a large audience.  

At United we are rather proud that we made this possible.  

United’s Augmented Reality event brings Star Wars and Jurassic Park to life

Reality and Augmented Reality become fused

What made this project so special was the seamless fusion of reality and Augmented Reality: “Storm troopers were walking among the audience and took shots at the Millennium Falcon when it flew into the hall,” says Luis Oliveira, Senior Technical Artist Augmented Reality at United. “In the audience or at home in front of your tv, you get to a point where you don’t know what is real and what isn’t.”

The project had its challenging moments: “Most important was that it felt like living through an experience in the best possible way, for both the Ziggo Dome and the tv audience,” says Jeroen van Rossum, Manager Business Development at United. “The virtual elements had to be realised at short notice, but still needed to be credible and recognisable. It was a live event, so there was no room for re-adjustments afterwards.”

At least as big a challenge were the virtual scenes. The flight paths of the spaceships and the pterodactylus birds, the storm troopers’ laser beams and the spaceship beams; everything was created dynamically. “This means that everything has to be harmonised real-time,” says Van Rossum. “The position of the separate elements and their interaction have to be taken into account. So everything that happens, has to respond to the other elements dynamically.”

‘Really pulled it off’

“At first, I wasn’t very keen on the idea,” admits director David Grifhorst. “But when the United team showed me what was technically possible, I became excited. What was realised in the end, was exactly what I had been hoping for. In my opinion, the future of Augmented Reality is storytelling. This team has really pulled it off. At first, the idea to introduce the Millennium Falcon was a lot to process. But they pulled it off!”


  • For real-time and realistic rendering an Unreal Engine – a tecnnique that is also used in gaming - was made use of
  • Three cameras were equipped with Augmented Reality
  • Mechanical tracking was done by Eurogrip
  • The production of the Nigth of Film Music was in the hands of PilotStudio

For those unable to attend or watch: the Night of Film Music by BNNVARA can be played back and watched here through Uitzending Gemist (missed programma).

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