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The Fantastic Four at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium

Digital model of the International Space Station created for the show Tempo.
Credit: Espace pour la vie (Sara Arsenault)
Digital model for the show Tempo.
The Fantastic Four at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium

Four superheroes are constantly at work behind the scenes at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium: Our audio-visual technicians. Their mission? Install, operate and maintain our state-of-the-art equipment, assist with the production of shows and exhibits, develop systems specific to the needs of the Planetarium… and help fight the challenging forces that their colleagues can’t face alone!

Extraordinary abilities

The Planetarium’s audio-visual technicians can do it all! But their superhuman abilities are always being put to the test.

They participate in the production of Planetarium shows, notably by creating and editing visual effects, editing sound, and doing projection tests. Example: for the show Tempo, the technicians created an incredibly realistic, 3D digital model of the International Space Station.

Our fantastic four’s motto? “Nothing is impossible!” They’ll stop at nothing to craft intricate systems in order to create a particular audio or visual effect that no commercially available equipment can provide. Recently, they developed a control system for five cameras in order to film accelerated, time-lapse sequences. These sequences will be featured in aurōrae and Pluto: Chronicles of an Ex-planet, two upcoming Planetarium shows. They also undertook the design of an LED lighting system to highlight the Montreal Planetarium’s old Zeiss star projector.

Finally, they operate on the frontlines daily, answering hundreds of distress calls by telephone or on the radio. From the most urgent technical problem to the most farfetched request, nothing can stop them.

Each with his own “superpower”

Each of the fantastic four has his own superpower. Mathieu Forcier specializes in event planning and audio. Patrick Cournoyer is in charge of video, project planning and follow-up. Simon Gauthier has a passion for interactive media, while Patrick Geoffroy is an expert in 3D animation and programming.

In fact, they are so talented that the other institutions at Space for Life call up their services regularly – they often collaborate with the Biodôme, the Botanical Garden and the Insectarium.

They really are like superheroes… but without the tights and bright colors!

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