Step into a time machine and travel back to the year 1302, a pivotal moment in history that forever etched its mark on Flanders. The Battle of the Golden Spurs, fought on the fields of Flanders, comes to life in anawe-inspiring immersive experience that transports you right into the heart of medieval Europe.
On July 11, 1302, the Battle of the Golden Spurs (also known as the Battle of Courtrai) was fought between the Kingdom of France and the County of Flanders at Kortrijk in modern-day Belgium. It was a major victory for the Flemish forces, who were outnumbered by the French. The battle resulted in the end of French control over Flanders, which would not be regained until centuries later.
The battle of the Golden Spurs is one of the most important stories in Flemish history, so the City of Kortrijk wanted to create a unique experience about this tale. The Church of Our Lady (located on the exact location of the battle) hosts a unique chapel called “Gravenkapel” and was selected as the venue for this new experience. After a tender competition, CREATE.eu was selected as the winner with a multimedia storytelling concept that respects the heritage and church functions.
In this remarkable experience of history and technology, the Battle of the Golden Spurs becomes more than just a story – it's an immersive encounter that ignites your imagination and leaves you speechless.
CREATE.eu was the main contractor for this experience and managed the full production in-house.
Turning a top heritage location like the Gravenkapel into an immersive environment required darkening the stained-glass windows. After constructive talks with Flemish Heritage agency, we came up with a solution to install automated blinds that are controlled from the show control system and blend with the natural stone walls. This way the chapel can still be used for its original functions while the press of a button turns it into an immersive projection environment. Afterwards the blinds open automatically and the sun shines through the stained-glass windows bringing the audience back to reality.
During production our artistic team worked alongside storytellers and historians to recreate the story in a historically correct way. From the swords and pikes to the landscape and helmets, everything was recreated with historical accuracy and input from experts. After an intense conceptual phase, a first script with storyboard came to life. The storytelling aspect of this production is huge, various characters, tension shifts and a stunning audio bring the tale to life in a 20 minute immersive story.
To produce the various scenes our artistic team first defined an illustration/animation style. Considering the huge resolutions, the immersive environment, the various canvasses, non-Hollywood budgets and the duration… we opted for a mix between 2D and 3D animation and matte painted (game art) illustrations. The 2D parallax animation would mainly focus on storytelling scenes while 3D effects play with the chapel’s unique architecture. A 3D scan of the chapel was used as a pixel map for the production. This workflow allowed us to preview all animations in VR.
Here is an example to demonstrate how we use 3D videomapping effects to play with virtual light and the architecture of the chapel to draw the spectator's eye to the right canvas.
Video mapping a complex environment like the chapel in a permanent installation is not an easy task. Considering maintenance, stable play-out, show control and the large visitor flows our audiovisual engineers came up with a solid audiovisual integration plan. The media system features 12 Barco G60 projectors that run on 4K video servers. Multi-track audio is played through headphones, so it doesn’t disturb church functions.
The end result
After opening on the 11th of July 2022, the Battle of the Golden Spurs experience has far exceeded expectations drawing huge visitor numbers and great reviews. The project is a best practice for transforming heritage locations into new functions using creative technology.
The experience has received a high recommendation from the Museum and Heritage awards for its unique storytelling approach in a heritage setting.
Concept: Bob Van Cleemputte
Art direction: Frederique Malbrancke
Technical direction: Christophe Hoebeeck & Olivier De Baere
Scenography: Koen Bovée
Concept art & illustrations: Jim Zandieh, Thijs, Fabien Huwel
Immersive animations: Jim Zandieh, Nigel Fierens, Jelle Dutry, Kobe Roels, Christopher Null
2D teaser and VR goggles animation: Whojo
AV engineering: Gilles Boom, Frederic Vanooteghem, Matthieu Vanooteghem
AV installation: Kevin Ombecq, Geert Verdegem, Alex Goetinck, Marnix Geerkens
Furiniture construction: Atelier Atentoo
Client team: Axel Ronse, Rudy Vandeputte
At CREATE.eu we are passionate about creative technology. We love projects that seamlessly blend hardware with creative content. As we strive to be a leader in this field, we are always looking to push the boundaries of multimedia experiences.
Based in Belgium but active around the globe, our team of creative technologists is ready to help with your project.
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