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Universal Orlando - Islands of Adventure

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man (1999 - present)

Publicity image

One of the best theme park rides ever created, this $75 million 3D simulator ride opened with the Islands of Adventure in 1999 and is based in a large show building on the edge of the site.

The same ride system (a hybrid of motion base, 3-D projection, physical sets, lighting, pyrotechnic and wind effects) is used for the Transformers ride recently opened at Universal Studios Singapore and under construction at Universal Studios Hollywood.

High-Definition Digital Projection Upgrade - Coming 2012

From Press Release, May 19, 2011

"Already one of the most popular and innovative theme park attractions ever created, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal's Islands of Adventure continues to raise the bar for theme park entertainment – combining advanced motion-based ride vehicles, 3-D digital film and live special effects to create an unparalleled ride experience. It is widely acknowledged as one of the best theme park experiences in the world – and it's about to get mind-blowingly better.

The newly reanimated, high-definition experience will unfold within the attraction's towering visual spaces – taking on even larger than larger-than-life proportions. The new digital animation – combined with the new Infitec system and new set enhancements – will transform what is already one of the most technologically advanced attractions ever created into what will feel like an all-new experience.

Facts about the enhanced ride experience:
All-new digital animation done in 4K high definition – the highest HD resolution available
The new HD animation will allow guests to experience details they've never been able to before – from the flames spewing from Hobgoblin's pumpkins to the electricity arching through Electro's body to the stitching on Spider-Man's gloves.
To take advantage of new HD clarity and detail, Universal Orlando is adding entirely new details to the film – and leaving it up to guests to find them.

"Guests will not believe their eyes when they experience the new Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man," said Thierry Coup, senior vice president of the Universal Creative Studio. "We are talking about a larger-than-life environment and the HD animation will make it even more remarkable than it has been. It will seem brand-new."

End of Press Release

Digital animation before / after

Both of the images below are digital 3D animation. The original frame on the left shows how far animation technology has come since 1999. It's detailed, but is based on geometrical shapes representing buildings with more fully-realised characters. The 2011 rendering on the right has a vast amount more detail, and looks more photo-realistic whilst still being true to the comic-book roots of the character. The lighting and texturing is vastly more detailed which will lead to a more immersive and involving experience.

Original animation Example still of new digital animation

Ride System

Each ride vehicle is a complex machine that carries guests around the attraction in perfect synchronisation with 12 pairs of 3D projectors, moving scenery and pyrotechnic effects. It follows a complex guide track layout around the building, with a control system which keeps everything working together correctly.
In the 1999 version of the ride, the projectors are showing film loops. The system is programmed to show the correct film sequence so that the vehicle movement responds exactly to the film, which also corresponds with the live effects (including pyrotechnics and practical moving scenery) in the building. All elements of the show have to repeat every time a ride vehicle passes.
The 2012 refurbished version of the ride will have digital projection, which maintains image quality, and which uses a different technology to encode the 3D information in the visuals. A single projector shows both left-eye and right-eye images with different adjustments made to the colour wavelengths, which are corrected by more expensive 3D spectacles. The Infitec system is of German manufacture and enables brighter images with more vivid colours.

Photo Gallery

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 1 - (c) Universal Orlando
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 1 - (c) Universal Orlando
 The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 2 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 2 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
 The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 3 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 3 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
 The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 4 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 4 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
 The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 5 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 5 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
 The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 6 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 6 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
 The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 7 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 7 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
 The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 8 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 8 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
 The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 9 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 9 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
 The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 10 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 10 - (theStudioTour.com - September 2007)
 The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 11 - Original frame from the 1999 to 2011 version of the ride
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 11 - Original frame from the 1999 to 2011 version of the ride
 The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 12 - New digital HD frame rendering due to debut in 2012 (May 2011 - (c) Universal Orlando Resort)
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - 12 - New digital HD frame rendering due to debut in 2012 (May 2011 - (c) Universal Orlando Resort)
 

Behind the Scenes

The patents covering the Ride Vehicle and 3D projection image correction system can be viewed at Google Patents.

Plan view of the track / ride layout showing projection surfaces (from Google Patent):

Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man - Patent track layout diagram

Behind the scenes video documentary

 

More Information

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