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Archive for May, 2014

Avolites Ai S6 Server and Tiger Touch II Console Power ‘LED Forest’ at Sochi Olympics

27th May, 2014

The ambitious Closing Ceremony of Sochi’s Winter Olympics was a “bright and emotive” event featuring 7,000 performers under an ‘LED Forest of Light’. This was made up of 204 LED tubes, each one 12-metres high with a 360-degree viewing angle, and powered by an Avolites Ai S6 Server and Tiger Touch II console.

The Ceremony started with a countdown, with the numbers appearing on the screens above the stands. When the scoreboard hit zero, the LED forest in the centre of Sochi’s Fisht arena exploded into bright colours, directed by world-renowned director Daniele Finzi Pasca.

Throughout, the Forest of Light provided the stage architecture that gave scale and perspective for much of the action that unfolded. TAIT Technologies designed and built the custom LED tubes, with each rod boasting an impressive 360 degree viewing angle enabling all 46,000 of the audience members and the global broadcast audience to see the same effect.

Content creator Immersive programmed and pixel-mapped the 240 individual LED rods, utilising Ai’s 3D stage interface to visualise the installation.

Lead operator for the project was Avolites Media’s Ciaran Abrams, supported by Martin Harvey from Immersive Ltd.

“The moving, 204 LED tubes required an incredible amount of raw computing power from the S6 Server, and it performed flawlessly,” says Abrams. “The fact that one single machine was able to power the whole forest and deal with a multitude of tasks is still quite astonishing.”

Abrams and his team were generating new model, texture and fixture data for every frame, processing information about where each column was, then using that to manipulate how the video was portrayed on the forest. Due to the fact each column was treated as a separate object they had to do this 204 times, once for each column.

“This amount of processing power would not have been possible on a lesser machine, we were really pushing the boundaries of what a computer can do,” adds Abrams. “This project was off the scale. Avolites and Avolites Media were extremely proud to be considered the most capable provider of true volumetric video content manipulation, a technology that’s at the very forefront of video control.”

Suppliers Tate Technologies employed the Ai S6 Server for this prestigious project. The S6 is Avolites Media’s most powerful server, designed to output 4 x 4K output streams and run the industry’s most challenging Apple Pro Res 4444 Codec. The server is fitted with 2 x i7 intel processors running in parallel to produce 12 cores in a PCI Express 3rd generation motherboard coupled with AMD’s formidable W9000 gen 3 graphics cards. Data throughput is further enhanced by employing a hardware RAID controller and sata3 (6 Gbit/sec) server grade drives.

“Access to the ‘top of the range’ S6 Server was a massive help, not only in Sochi, but also when using for pre-visualisation in London, where the creative team were able to see and experiment with all content before the event,” continues Abrams. “When using it for pre-visualisation we were using four or five outputs to give the content team the best understanding of how the forest could look and what we could do to facilitate their creative ideas. The visualiser in the Ai software was massively beneficial for this, as we were able to set up viewpoints for specific cameras, and show how content would appear to the human eye from different camera positions, or viewpoints in the stadium. We were also able to include other parts of the ceremonies, for example the main screens or field of play, visualising the whole show, not just what we were working on.”

With the Ai server controlling all of the content and volumetric distribution, the Avolites Tiger Touch II console could be employed for a variety of additional controls. The console’s cue list was able to control playback of video clips and Artnet levels assigned to playback faders, allowing manual control of video effects. Additionally, the Tiger Touch II gave instant adjustment of fixture intensity to balance levels for the events live cameras.

“The test build in Hasselt allowed us to see the machines run in a ‘show environment’. We were also able to show how to achieve special effects and transitions with the content and were able to load and play content instantaneously. The ability to just drag and drop media and play it, then add effects, scaling and colour adjustments later, massively sped up the time it took for the creative team to understand how to best use the LED tubes.”

Immersive’s Mark Calvert, concurs: “The Ai visualiser enabled the show designers, content houses, programmers and technicians to work remotely on the project and still see the installation within the same 3D model of the stadium. This helps in a number of ways with workflow and ongoing problem solving. The 3D visualiser was a critical part of the design process. It enables ideas to evolve in a real-time 3D space and in a number of cases has helped visualise and deliver some world-first achievements. The visualiser makes realising a design a tactile, easy to navigate, real-time experience.”

The INTERN POST.

27th May, 2014

It is now the 22 May and I have learnt a lot all this time here in “The Fifth Estate”. I have been editing really interesting photos taken by the companies Creative Director Sarah of the big concerts in the UK like Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry. Incredible photos. Also I continue to assist in creating and editing new videos for our clients. At this moment I can say that I’m a pro in Final Cut Pro X. I continue doing a lot of things and I think I’m having the best practice that anyone can have. My time here continues to be a very nice experience that only happens once in a lift time.

In a few years, I don’t know where I will be but I’m sure I will remember all those special moments I’m living right now.

Avolites – The Next Chapter!

27th May, 2014

On the 19th of May Avolites announced a restructuring of the board of directors, with Managing Director Richard Salzedo stepping back into the role of Director, and Steve Warren ascending to the role of Avolites Group MD.

Founder shareholders Steve Warren, Richard Salzedo and Financial Director Meena Varatharajan purchased Avolites from previous owners Carlton TV in 1991. Since then Richard has worked for Avolites as Research Engineer and R&D Director, overseeing hugely successful projects such as the Sapphire and industry changing Avolites Pearl console before moving on to become Managing Director. He now hands the reigns of control to Steve who has started with Avolites in 1984 and in his 30 years with the company has been employed as Electrical Wireman, Test Engineer, Service Engineer, Technical Sales, and ultimately Sales Director.

Steve’s passion for integrating video with lighting control has driven the formation of Avolites Media Ltd. and the purchase of the technology within the Ai servers. The capabilities of these have been showcased at the London 2012 Olympics, powering the world’s largest video screen, and again for the volumetric “LED Forest” at the recent Sochi Winter Olympics.

Steve states: “We at Avolites are in the privileged and possibly unique position of producing first-class lighting and video control products. The management team would like to thank Richard for his continued commitment to Avolites, and will continue to use the immensely strong components of Titan lighting engine and Ai video control engine to produce industry leading, integrated solutions for complete visual control.

Not only will we rock our visual world, but we will make good on our promise that ‘together we will define the future!'”

Philips Entertainment Exhibits its Flagship Creative Stage Luminaires at ABTT 2014

20th May, 2014

The latest creative stage luminaires from Philips Entertainment’s four premier brands – Selecon, Showline, Strand Lighting, and Vari-Lite – will be on stand 55 at this year’s ABTT, 11th and 12th June, at London’s The Old Truman Brewery.

Following successful outings at Prolight + Sound and PLASA Focus earlier this year, Showline is exhibiting the SL NITRO 510C LED strobe, which adds full RGBW capabilities into the same compact size luminaire as the SL NITRO 510, while maintaining similar massive output, multiple zone control and continuous-on abilities.

Showline is also showing the SL WASH 350, a compact moving washlight with three independent zones of homogenized RGBW control. In addition, budget minded projects will appreciate the new SL ePAR 180 and SL eSTROBE 130. These two luminaires offer high output and innovative features in a compact size.

Philips Selecon will be on stand to demo the new LED RAMA Fresnel, which provides an adjustable cone of light, a soft edge, and is easily blended with adjacent beams for even illumination.

Also on Stand 55, visitors can get hands-on with Philips Strand Lighting’s brand new NEO expandable control system. The sleek and modern NEO is designed to make a strong statement of Strand Lighting’s commitment to creating forward-thinking, powerful consoles catering for the needs of the most demanding lighting design projects. “NEO offers the ability to seize the light, to grab, move, change, position, colour and motivate your lighting design simply and effectively,” says Pete Borchetta, Philips Entertainment Product Marketing Manager. “NEO is the closest that a designer can get to actually touching the light.”

NEO includes an incredible array of features, including: a fully-featured graphics display; an effects ‘timeline’ feature allowing drag and drop to create perfectly timed sequences; and floating windows allowing the operator to configure their views in the way they want to see things, making it easier to find information.

Staff representing all four of Philips Entertainment’s brands will be on stand to discuss exhibited products.

Philips Entertainment is on Stand 55 at the ABTT Show, The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, E1 6QR, 11th and 12th June 2014.

Avolites and Avolites Media’s industry-leading consoles and servers on show at ABTT

20th May, 2014

Avolites and Avolites Media’s industry-leading range of control consoles and media servers will be available for hands-on demos on Stand 69 at this year’s ABTT Theatre Show in London, 11/12 June 2014.

The Avolites team will be exhibiting its ‘ultimate in live control’ Sapphire Touch and new Wing, offering an additional 30 Motorised Faders and third hi res touch screen. Avolites’ hot off the press Titan Mobile Fader Wing – which enables expansion of every Avolites Titan console, giving direct access to extra handy features – will be on stand for demo and hands-on experience.

The entire Titan range, two Titan Network Processor systems and the Tiger Touch II with Wireless Remote are also available for demo and hands-on experience.

Avolites will also be previewing the Titan V8 software on the Tiger Touch II – featured highlights include Multiuser, Global and Nested Palettes, Highlight Relevant Palettes and Fixture Offset.

Avolites Media will be showcasing the MSC-1 Ai media server controller, which provides hands on live control in a compact user-friendly interface. Connecting directly to any Ai system the MSC-1 gives access to many user interface functions, effects, layers and clips.

Also on the Avolites Media stand will be latest generation in the Infinity line, the Ai Infinity EX series and Sapphire Media.

All systems are supplied with a fully featured Ai Miami license, which allows for eight discrete fixture groups with four layers each, producing a formidable 32 layers. In addition, the Salvation Engine can be easily configured to provide up to 64 layers of PIPs with a single server.

Alongside these features, the Infinity EX range has a wealth of further capabilities such as a front panel touch screen displaying the Ai Visualiser, internal EDIT management and Dual Preview and Projection outputs.

Avolites and Avolites Media are on Stand 69 at the ABTT Show, The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, E1 6QR, 11 and 12 June 2014.

Triple E Celebrates 30th Birthday at ABTT with New Products and Competition

20th May, 2014

Entertainment equipment engineering expert Triple E is celebrating its 30th birthday at ABTT by exhibiting a raft of new products, sponsoring the ABTT Awards, and hosting a competition to rig a motorised Unitrack system in the fastest possible time.

The company first attended ABTT in the same year it was founded – 1984 – and won the ABTT Product of the Year Award for its ‘Loose Pin Hinge’, used by everyone for scenery construction.

Three decades on, Triple E is inviting companies to enter a competition to rig a motorised Unitrack system in the fastest possible time, with the quickest team winning one of Triple E’s Erail tracks complete with an SDRIVE motor system. The competition will take place in the Test Bench area at ABTT. To enter the contest, visit www.3-eee.com/news/track-competition.php

The company is also manufacturing the coveted ABTT Awards and engraving them with the winners’ names for the ceremony on Wednesday 11 June, 5:30pm at Corbet Place, Ely’s Yard, adjacent to The Truman Brewery, Brick Lane.

Triple E is launching two new product lines at this year’s show. Triple E will be demonstrating a new Kabuki curtain drop system that has been developed with their American partners Rose Brand. The beautifully simple and robust system is well proven in the USA and Triple E believes it will be a significant addition for their UK and European markets.

In addition, Triple E will also introduce a DMX control box that is a plug and play addition to its TDRIVE and SDRIVE motors.

The Triple E team will be on Stand 66 to discuss the company’s Erail, Unitrack, Unibeam and Chaintrack systems, known for their simple design, rugged construction and ease of installation in entertainment applications. The company’s popular SDRIVE and original TDRIVE motors are also on show.

Visitors can also get hands-on with Triple E’s brand new heavy duty TDRIVE motor, which was created in response to the requirements of a number of projects in the USA and Canada. The new TDRIVE HD motor has been developed for longer track systems and heavier curtains. The motor is designed to work with Unibeam and Unitrack systems. Like the standard TDRIVE it incorporates the control, so is a plug and play system. The drive pulley is upgraded to a triple groove system with two rope tensioners.

“Since we launched the SDRIVE and TDRIVE plug and play motors, in 2012 and 2013 respectively, demand for these systems has been steadily increasing as word has got around about their great value, easy installation and reliability,” says David Edelstein. “The new DMX accessory will be a great addition to the range making the TDRIVE a perfect motor for the rental market.”

Triple E is on Stand 66, 11/12 June 2014, at ABTT, The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, E1 6QR. www.3-eee.com

Abu Dhabi production house Fonoon brings ‘best in the world’ Showline on board

19th May, 2014

For 14 years, leading event production and management house Fonoon has been delivering exceptional services to the Middle East’s top companies and clients. Keen to continue with the tradition the company added Showline’s high performance SL BAR 660 and SL WASH 180 luminaires to its arsenal.

Fonoon has an extremely impressive portfolio backed up with experience managing a broad range of significant events from corporate occasions and lavish weddings to large-scale concerts. From the production end, Fonoon takes charge of every aspect of an event, including the lighting, sound, staging, video and special elements such as lasers. In order to offer its clients original and exciting event concepts, the company ensures it stocks the latest in versatility and innovation, hence the investment in Showline LED luminaires.

“We’re actively look out for the most innovative products in order to provide our clients with fresh ideas and exceptional quality,” says Fonoon’s Firas Tayfour: “A stand out range of products that we have stocked this year is definitely the Showline luminaires – we trust Philips, so when a new range becomes available we are immediately interested. The SL BAR 660 is so versatile, we can use it vertically and horizontally and the in-built effects are ideal for delivering stunning effects quickly. This is great when it comes to creative stage making – I just love the unusual effects and applications that these luminaires provide.”

The Showline SL BAR 660 linear luminaire delivers an exceptional 13,000 lumens light output and endless creative possibilities. The luminaire is also capable of being used as a wash or as a direct-view linear bar, and this, alongside its independent module control of the pixels and simple batten connections, provides maximum flexibility and originality. The luminaire is also backed by the exceptional design standard of all Philips products, which gives Fonoon’s event managers complete peace of mind.

“The colour output and control is incredible and they’re very heavy-duty, robust lights. Flawless, in our opinion,” continues Tayfour: “We’re using the Showline luminaires almost daily and they haven’t failed us once. In addition, the RGBW mixing of both these LEDs provides such an extensive range of colours – it’s fantastic. It’s also great how small and portable the SL WASH 180 is, while still being an impressively powerful, versatile and fast tool, with an excellent zoom option.”

The Showline SL WASH 180 moving LED offers intense output in virtually any stage application, while providing designers with a multitude of colour choices. It also features an impressive beam angle from 12 – 45 degrees, plus high speed Pan/Tilt movement.

“The Philips luminaires are the best in the world,” concludes Tayfour: “I just love the Showline LED luminaires – they’re enable us to change the environment and atmosphere for the better at any event.”

Avolites Ltd appoints Fairlight BV as their Exclusive distributor in the Netherlands

19th May, 2014

Avolites Ltd. and Avolites Media Ltd. have appointed Fairlight as their sole distributor for the Netherlands as of May 1st 2014 in their exciting new agreement.

Koy Neminathan, Sales Director for Avolites Ltd, is delighted in confirming the new deal: “I am very excited about working with Fairlight on an exclusive basis. We will now attain the resources necessary to promote our range of lighting and video control on a larger scale. Our relationship goes back well over 20 years and the foundations we have built allows us to hit the ground running. We have arranged dates for seminars, workshops and a comprehensive marketing campaign to expose the Titan and Ai platforms to the Dutch market. We’re all very enthusiastic regarding the further integration of the powerful Avolites Titan software and the Ai video control platform.”

Steve Warren, Managing Director of Avolites Media adds: “Fairlight have proven themselves as a technical centre of excellence, capable of explaining, delivering and supporting the advanced and unique feature set of the Ai video and Titan lighting platforms.”

 

Philips Vari-Lite VL3000 range provides ’20/20′ lighting for Justin Timberlake

14th May, 2014

Live music lighting designer Nick Whitehouse is currently out on the road for a year long tour with pop superstar Justin Timberlake and he has chosen to specify Philips Vari-Lite’s VL3000 range of luminaires as the backbone of his stylish and dynamic design.

Though 2014 the tour will visit some of the world’s biggest arenas in Europe, America, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia. With such a gruelling schedule Whitehouse needed robust and consistent luminaires that would also give him plenty of creative options. He also wanted a luminaire that was ubiquitous worldwide. To that end he tested a number of products before settling on the Vari-Lite fixtures.

“Before every major project I take all the new comparable lights from a range of manufacturers into a dark space with haze and do a shoot out to see if there is anything that beats the Vari-Lite 3000 range in terms of look, but also taking into account size, weight and cost,” explains Whitehouse. “To this day I still haven’t found anything that has the right combination of features to take me away from using the VL3000. For Justin, I was looking for something smaller and lighter but the output, especially in deep saturated colours, which I use a lot in my design, simply didn’t match the fantastic optics of the VL3000.”

Whitehouse began working on the design process for ‘The 20/20 Experience’ with Timberlake in January 2013. Fixtures of choice were the VL3000 Spot, VL3015 Spot and the VL3500 Wash, which he has used to great effect throughout the show.

“The VL3000 Spot has been my spot of choice for pretty much everything I do,” Whitehouse explains. “I’ve used it so much I know exactly how to get the best out of it, plus there are no gimmicks or unnecessary features that get in the way. I love the vibrant colour output, optic systems, bright beam and gobo effects, not to mention its reliability; as a fixture it’s excellent. I can’t get enough of the way the light looks in smoke and haze. To me, the VL3000 Spot is the perfect professional big show workhorse. Plus, they’re such a universal fixture I can get them almost anywhere in the world.”

The exquisitely executed design features geometric installations in the form of a 150 by 60 foot plastic hexagon wall and ceiling. This comprises both solid and wire-mesh hexagons, through which the VL3000 Spot, VL3015 Spot and VL3500 Wash project beams of light in an array of rich and vibrant hues.

Respected for its incredible imagery, beam control, color and brightness, the VL3000 Spot features 6:1 zoom optics, CYM color mixing, variable CTO color temperature correction, a six-position colour wheel, three gobo/effects wheels, a beam size iris and separate dimmer and ultra-fast strobe mechanisms.

Giving Whitehouse the punchy output and creative flexibility he required the VL3015 Spot features 6:1 zoom optics, uses a 1500W double-ended short arc lamp and offers CYM color mixing, variable CTO color temperature correction, a six-position color wheel, three gobo/effects wheels, a beam size iris and separate dimmer along with ultra-fast strobe mechanisms. Two reflectors are standard on the luminaire allowing users to choose between either a peaked or flat field beam. In the peaked beam, the fixture provides 27,000 lumens of output, and in the flat field beam, an output of 22,000 lumens is achieved.

Whitehouse says that the Vari-Lite fixtures very much held their own against the show’s numerous other visual elements: “Our projection is really bright, which balanced well with the VLs.There were instances when we used just a couple of fixtures to moments when the whole rig was on. At all times the VL3000s looked great!”

The Vari-Lite luminaires, along with the rest of the lighting package, were supplied by Canada and US-based rental house Solotech, including the 70,000 lumens output VL3500 Wash luminaire, which features internal zoomable beam optics with either Fresnel or Buxom options, an interchangeable front lens system, and an aperture wheel. The VL3500 Wash also features the renowned VARI*BRITE mode. From any zoom position, this mode can be engaged to offer a tight column of remarkably intense light.

The 20/20 Experience tour, which plays 129 dates worldwide, continues until December 2014.

Avolites Tiger Touch controls dazzling pyrotechnics at Ultra Festival SA

14th May, 2014

Ultra Worldwide, one of the world’s premier electronic music festivals, has hit South Africa with a colossal line up of dance music superstars and jaw dropping pyrotechnics controlled by LD Travis Yeatman using an Avolites Tiger Touch console.

The EDM extravaganza, headlined by Dutch producer and überstar Tiësto, was the 8th international edition of the festival and its first South African incarnation, with the chaos kicking off in Cape Town before moving on to Johannesburg. Fireworks for Africa teamed up with Yeatman to create explosive visual spectaculars that pumped up the party animal audiences, with Yeatman’s Avolites Tiger Touch console as the control system.

The awesome pyro displays included the use of 12 Channel Red Back Dimmers for controllable hot power channels to trigger the CO2 jets and Stadium Shot streamer canons and the 6m flame units come with integrated DMX. “The Tiger Touch facilitates an incredibly broad variety of functions,” says Yeatman. “This allows me to not only concentrate on lighting but design pyro elements for shows as well, which I love as it’s completely different and a lot of fun – hearing the people cheer and scream each time you shoot a pyro cue is such a buzz.”

Yeatman says he required a console that would simply work with a ‘one-shot’ chance of getting most cues correct.

“We don’t get to rehearse,” explains Yeatman. “You just have to try your hardest to make sure that everything will work first time when you hit the FIRE button, which with the Tiger Touch it did. It’s an extremely powerful console that is versatile, flexible and easy to operate, allowing for speedy setups, easy programming, live updating and cue editing on the fly. I wouldn’t use any other desk.”

Alongside the Tiger Touch, a modular radio system was used for the complex and ambitious pyrotechnic operation, and the team at Fireworks for Africa spent three days preparing for the show in their workshop, followed by a three day set-up at each venue.

In addition to international stars such as Afrojack and Nicky Romero, fans also partied to the sounds of local heroes Goldfish, Black Coffee, Mi Casa, Euphonik, and DJ Fresh on 14 and 15 February 2014.

“I’m loving my Avolife!” concludes Yeatman.

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