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Tech Times:Technical wizardry behind Marvel Experience uncloaked

Published:Monday | December 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Written and compiled by: Kareem LaTouche and Stephanie Lyew

SANTA MONICA, California:A Marvel superhero is coming to a big tent near you - but with a decidedly 21st-century look.

An animated, 4D, multimedia-rich interactive adventure - imagine Wolverine, Captain America, Black Widow and other characters leaping and fighting side by side with consumers in a specially designed dome - begins a US tour on December 19 in Phoenix, with subsequent stops in Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco.

That much is known. But until now, not much has been shared about how Hero Ventures, the Los Angeles-based company behind the concept, intends to pull off its technological fantasy world.

It recently announced Production Resource Group (PRG), the event team behind productions of Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and Super Bowl half-time shows, helped design and construct the Marvel-themed tour's 140,000 square feet complex with seven interlocked 60-feet high domes.

Layers of complexity

It's hard to describe, but the Marvel Experience may do for live entertainment what P.T. Barnum did for the three-ring circus. "The layers of complexity were insane," says Jason Rosen, chief production officer of Hero Ventures. "This takes things to a whole new level from the days of superheroes running around in costumes at shopping malls."

Executives from Hero Ventures and PRG deem the experience "hyper reality." The world's largest touring, motion-based attraction is a mix of hands-on interactive games; 3D, 360-degree stereo projection; atmospheric lighting and audio; animatronics; virtual and augmented reality; and projection mapping.