• Plains Indian Museum
  • Plains Indian Museum
  • Plains Indian Museum
  • Plains Indian Museum
  • Plains Indian Museum

Plains Indian Museum

“Dance Arbor”

2000: Cody, WY

3 Life Sized Images in Hexagonal Display Case

Designer: West Office Exhibition Design

This is the classic “it looks simple until you build it” exhibit. The dance arbor is a hexagonal structure with 3 life sized image rear projections and 3 display cases. Each image is 8 ft tall in a portrait orientation.

The complexity is in the 9 mirrors that are carefully fitted (stuffed) inside the structure. Since the images are displayed in a portrait orientation and projectors will not work on their side (gravity affects the lamp arc), the images are first rotated with 2 mirrors. Then, they are bounced off large mirrors fitted between the arc of the rear of the artifact cases and the screens.

The screens themselves are glass, mounted on hinges to allow access to service the projectors.


“Seasons of Life”

2000: Cody, WY

Large Scale Multi-Media Diorama

Designer: West Office Exhibition Design

This is a huge diorama, backed with a cyclorama 90 ft wide and 40 ft high. There is a 12 track sound system with speakers mounted in the diorama and behind the screen. Images provided by two 5000 lumen projectors and a 90 fixture lighting system cover the cyc.

The primary narration audio tracks were layed down on the video disks (This was built in the days of laser disks.). The sound effects were played from CD players with all players frame synched to a master black-burst generator. All audio is routed through a computer controlled mixer that pans the sound anywhere in the space so the sound comes from the appropriate place in the diorama; from the screen if an image is speaking, from behind a cast figure when it is speaking. Natural sounds fill in between sections of narration.

The lights are all programmed in a stand alone playback box that is synchronized with midi macro commands provided by the show controllers. While this is not how we would do this today, it was a very stable solution for its time.

The entire system has run with virtually no down time since 1999. In February of 2006 we completed a technology upgrade replacing the laser disk players with media servers.

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