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The National Centre for Excellence in Desalination Australia (NCEDA) decided on creating an educational facility, the Desal Discovery Centre (DDC) at the Murdoch University in Rockingham, south of Perth. The DDC is based in two main rooms, the Edulab which provides visitors with a hands-on experience in processing, testing and experimenting with the water desalination process, and the Multi Media Room, a small raked-floor theatrette, with tiered seating for 50, a 3.5m rear-projection system that’s 3D capable and a full 5.1 surround audio system. For educating visitors the NCED commissioned a 3D movie that follows the journey of a water drop named Crystal, who is ultimately transformed into Crystal Clear drinking water by the desalination process.

The result of a collaboration process between NCEDA, the Water Corporation and Critical Room Solutions, the production was coordinated by CRS, after it impressed the CEO of NCED, Neil Palmer with the 4m demonstration INIFITEC 3D system in their Adelaide office.

NCEDA is certainly not just about teaching the kids about desalination. This highly capable multimedia facility is available for conferences, seminars and meetings, and can offer video conferencing for multiple participants, desktop and screen sharing and teleconferencing. Some of the equipment that was originally designated as a permanent, wall-mounted ‘entry statement’ for the DDC became a mobile information station using a 46 inch (1168mm) multi-touch screen with the capability to display any custom-created content. Any kind of programming can be loaded into the station to suit third-party hirers. However, the standard presentation is an interactive Google Earth display showing the locations of all the world’s desalination plants, plus links to NCED Flickr videos and pictures, associated internet pages and partner’s websites.

Inside the Multimedia Room a 3500mm x 1970mm Da-Lite rear projection screen–a custom-sized 16:9 ratio screen that needed a bespoke aluminium frame manufactured by CRS–takes pride of place in the room. The 3D movie, which uses the INFITEC 3D system, is shown via two projectiondesign F32 1920 x 1080 projectors and the DDC has 60 pairs of the 3D glasses, wisely allowing for a high attrition rate considering many of its audiences will have the attention span of a… secondary school student. Similarly, as the INFITEC 3D process is a passive super-anaglyph system, the dichroic-filtered glasses require neither batteries nor a wired connection. Good move.

The room isn’t exclusively set up for 3D and an AMX controller provides switching between 2D and 3D modes, plus handles source control and the Dynalite lighting in the auditorium. Hearing assistance is in place with a Williams Sound WIR SYS1 loop system.

The 3D animated movie, “Crystal, The Story of Desalination” is a 12-minute epic created by CRS working Last Pixel, a 3D specialist based in Perth. It’s a combination of live footage and animation, telling the story of Crystal, a drop of saline water who undergoes the metamorphosis from sea water to clear, drinkable water through the desalination plant. The voice of Crystal was Kelly Morgan, while the voice of “Bob” was by Dr Rob Bell from Channel Ten’s <Scope> program.

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