Monday, September 1st, 2014

Barco and Digital Stage Chicago paint Vegas with light

Digital and automated lighting pioneer Barco announced today that 30 Barco/High End Systems DL.3 Digital Lights were used to create a seamless, 600 foot circular blend of graphics — the first time a collage of this scale has ever been staged. Sponsored by a major pharmaceutical company, the remarkable corporate product launch was held in January at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada — a facility large enough to accommodate the over 3000 sales representatives and executives in attendance.

For production and staging services, the client enlisted the help of New York City-based Todd Street Productions, who in turn reached out to Joe West, Senior Creative and Lighting Director for Digital Stage Chicago. West’s challenge was not only to create a seamless ultra large-scale 600 x 20 foot circular blend, but to create a design that could transform into two other completely different sets over the course of the conference — and all within the client’s budget.

To accomplish the blend, West selected the Barco DL.3, the fixture he’d been using successfully since the product’s introduction, yet not to this scale of implementation. West’s choice was based in large part upon the DL.3′s high output light engine, on-board media server, and unique Collage Generator™ — a feature that enables multiple DL.3s to create seamless horizontal and vertical panoramic projections, and to control them synchronously from a lighting console. “The output of the device is phenomenal,” said West, “and for the amount of lumens it pushes, we decided that it was the absolute right product to paint this event. The other major reason is the DL.3′s ability to instantaneously change its position and ‘collaging’ on the fly. You simply can’t do that with static projectors, and run all the cues in synch from the lighting board.”

In addition to the 30 DL.3 Digital Lights used to create the seamless ring, the team also used four DL.3 units for additional stage effects, ten DL.2 Digital Lights that functioned as remote screens outside the ring, a Wholehog lighting console, and an Axon Media Server as the central content archive. “For years, we had the separate video world and the lighting world,” continued West, “but now, the lines are blurred, and we’re painting with graphics, video and light.”
Adam Dunaway, Associate Lighting Designer for Digital Stage Chicago, has worked with Joe West for over ten years, and has witnessed first hand how High End Systems’ gear has changed the industry. “When the DL.2 was first released, we realized how much it would challenge our creativity,” explained Dunaway, “so much, in fact, that we saw the need to re-imagine our design studio. And once the DL.3 was released, we found we could take things even further. Now, the DLs and Axon media servers are on practically every show we do, and they’ve become an integral part of our creative arsenal.”

“We’re just delighted that Todd Street Productions, Digital Stage Chicago and Joe West selected the DL.3 for this major corporate event,” said Chris Colpaert, VP of Creative Lighting for Barco. “Not only is it the largest number of DL.3s ever assembled to create a synchronous blend of this size, but Joe’s vision truly pushes the boundaries of our creative lighting tools, way beyond the spec sheet.”

“My job as a lighting designer is to explore my art on every angle,” noted West, “and if technology is a new part of that, I should explore it. My gift is the ability to visualize and create, and to find the necessary tools with which to do it, and we’ve never had a tool as powerful as a DL.3.”

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