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Ars Electronica Futurelab Receives 2006 Animago Award
2nd Place in the Professional/Interactive/Realtime category for visualization of Schönbrunn Palace

Munich/Linz, May 9, 2006 (Ars Electronica). The Animago competition was held for the tenth time this year by Digital Production magazine. This is the most important award for excellence in digital content creation in German-speaking Europe according to animago.com. Linz’s Ars Electronica Futurelab took 2nd Place in the Professional/Interactive/Realtime category for its Schönbrunn project.

“We’re very pleased about this award, which once again attests to the tremendous innovativeness of our work,” said Ars Electronica Futurelab Director Horst Hörtner. In 2005, the Futurelab was also awarded the Austrian State Prize for Multimedia & E-Business and received a World Summit Award in the E-entertainment category.

To produce a 3D visualization of several of the rooms in Vienna’s imperial residence, the Schönbrunn Palace Society decided to take an innovative approach. In a 2005 pilot project, the Ars Electronica Futurelab was commissioned to visualize the “Million Room,” one of the palace’s most opulent interiors, in the form of an interactive 3D simulation. In the wake of the project’s tremendous success, additional visualizations—of the Ceremonial Hall and one of the three Rosa Rooms—soon followed. Visitors can now take a tour of the virtual Schönbrunn without ever having been to the real one. This innovation is proving to be a great sales tool at tourism trade shows worldwide and an ideal way to conserve priceless cultural treasures.

The use of ARSBOX technology—another innovation by the Ars Electronica Futurelab staff—provides multiple options in displaying the 3D environment, including one or more screens and a variety of configurations ranging all the way to large-scale projection. For Schönbrunn, this means the availability of a really sensational attention-getter that is, at the same time, mobile and flexible and can deliver a powerful impression to tour operators of the attractiveness of this destination.
The visualizations have been presented numerous times to high-caliber audiences such as international tourism professionals attending the 2006 ITB expo in Berlin. It was also shown in Vienna as part of the supporting program at the conference of European ministers of tourism held in conjunction with Austria's European Council presidency.

Outstanding productions in five categories—Still, Animation, Compositing, Interactive and Games & Mobile Entertainment—were singled out for recognition with Animago trophies at the Haus der Wirtschaft convention center in Stuttgart. As the most important such award in the computer graphics field, the Animago is the benchmark of excellence in German-speaking Europe. An ideal setting for the Animago award ceremony was provided by fmx/06 (www.fmx.de), the 11th International Conference on Animation, Effects, Realtime and Content.

Approximately 1,000 contestants from more than 50 countries submitted almost 1,300 entries for prize consideration by the jury of experts. The most outstanding productions were presented by Prof. Bernd Willim of the German Film School at the awards ceremony, at which the prizewinners were announced and received the coveted Animago trophies. The two-and-a-half-hour gala featured impressive large-screen video presentations of the prizewinners in all categories, as well as a recap of all Animago winners over the last 10 years.

About the Ars Electronica Futurelab

The Futurelab is the prototype of a new kind of media art R&D laboratory in which artistic and technological innovation drives reciprocal inspiration. Each of the lab’s working groups brings together a wide variety of skills; their approach to a project is characterized by interdisciplinarity and international networking. Conceiving and executing exhibitions and artistic installations as well as collaborations with university facilities and joint ventures with partners in the private sector frame the Futurelab’s broad spectrum of activities.

With queries, please contact:

Wolfgang Bednarzek, wolfgang.bednarzek@aec.at, mobil: +43 664.81 26 156

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