Dare To Ride!...Virtually

Southern California's first virtual indoor cycling experience, Ride!, produced by award-winning digital scenographer Anaitté Vaccaro, took place in November at the Avalon Hollywood nightclub. The event, which simulated a cycling journey through lush rainforests, misty mountains, deserted beaches, city lights, and even some more surreal settings, also raised funds for the Los Angeles and Orange County Chapters of Olive Crest, the nonprofit organization serving abused and neglected children.

For the ride, 100 riders arranged in rows of stationary bikes were surrounded by lighting, music, and large projection screens with two versions created for each animated environment: a front view projected from a Sanyo 10,000-lumen LCD projector with long throw lens onto a 24'x18' AV Stumpfl screen, and a side view projected from two Panasonic 5,700-lumens DLPs onto two 20'x15' Dalite screens. Led by Southern California's most sought-after cycling instructors, Vaccaro says, “It was a total sensory immersion, transporting you to exotic new environments, while the lights and the music and these fabulous instructors inspired you to work your body in a way you've never done before.”

Vaccaro created all the graphics and animations on her Dell Studio XPS 9000 with an Intel core i7 processor using Autodesk Maya, Real Flow, and the Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium. The images were burned onto two DVDs, one for each view, and then played back simultaneously on two Sony DV players. The two side projections were the same content, with one just flipped and reversed to move in the right direction. “The side projection video was split to both side projectors, so it played simultaneously, and the right-hand projector was switched to rear-projection so the image was reversed, thus the images on both side screens gave the impression of moving forward when they were played,” says Vaccaro.

Audio Video LA provided equipment setup.

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