wysiwyg Drives the Design Behind autoSYMPHONIC 2011

The entire Friedrichsplatz square had been transformed into a concert arena with an area of 65,000 square meters

The award-winning wysiwyg software suite from CAST Software of Toronto, Canada was recently the “steering” force of the creative vision behind the 125th anniversary of the first car. The world premiere, named “Autosymphonic”, was held on September 10, 2011 in Mannheim, Germany, the birthplace of the car, invented by Carl Benz in 1886.

The event was a breathtaking kaleidoscope of lights, video, sound and lasers delighting approximately 17,000 visitors. The multimedia-based event told the story of the development of the automobile and provided a glimpse into its future.

The dazzling celebration featured 80 automobiles with an accompanying orchestra, choir and the “Söhne Mannheims” pop group. The young singers, amongst them Xavier Naidoo, opened the evening with their own songs and accompanied the SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg Symphony Orchestra and the SWR vocal ensemble throughout the symphony. The automobiles, representing a variety of eras, were played like instruments by the youngsters, who “played” the orchestra of cars, with noises from the squeak of windshield wipers to the slam of trunks. The Pop Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg spent a year preparing the young car-playing musicians for the event.


The event was held at Friedrichsplatz, one of the most magnificent Art Nouveau grounds in Europe. The show was under the direction of m:con Mannheim Congress Center, a premier congress and special event company in Mannheim.

LOOP LIGHT GmbH was asked by m:con Mannheim to take responsibility of the video programming and playback at the show. LOOP LIGHT works in a variety of areas including live concerts, corporate events and television and maintains offices in Germany, Switzerland, UK and USA. Matt Finke, General Manager for Loop Light explained, “We provided all COOLUX Pandoras Box servers for video-playback for all LED and projection surfaces. We have a long experience in pre-visualisation, so we were also given the responsibility for pre-programming in the wysiwyg suites. This was the first show after Alicia Keys that we used the lighting & video pre-visualisation, it just worked out great.”

LOOP LIGHT worked closely together with photo- and video-artist Horst Hamann (visual design for Autosymphonic) for the final crescendo of the show – a stunning 3D architectural projection “warp” on Mannheim’s landmark water tower, “Wasserturm”. The complete “warp“ wrapped around the tower for a 360-degree effect. The animations, consisting of 8 projections stitched together as one image were created in the LOOP LIGHT Studios and were simulated using wysiwyg.


LOOP LIGHT filmed segments of preparation for the show, which can be viewed here and the actual warp can be watched here

To understand the size of this undertaking, take a look at the build up. By the time the event was supposed to officially begin, the entire Friedrichsplatz square had been transformed into a concert arena with an area of 65,000 square meters (700,000 square feet!) The project required several temporary infrastructures, including the construction of 2,200 square meters (23,600 square feet) of raised platforms for the production and for the audience, FOH, stair towers and various sound towers of up to 12 meters (40 feet) high. The main stage held around 370 square meters (4,000 square feet) of G-Lec video screen.

The effects were astounding and the crowd was amazed. Matt and the crew at LOOP LIGHT had nothing but positive comments about the whole experience. “We would like to give a special thank you to Gil Densham of CAST and Jan Hüwel from COOLUX for helping us with your visions to make our visions possible.”