Avolites Ai RX8 Media Server Powers Visuals at CGEN 2017

Posted on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

IKONIX has supplied an Avolites Ai RX8 media server and two Avolites Miami Dongles, to run 960 gigabytes of content for Queensland’s largest youth performing arts event, Creative Generation (CGEN) – State Schools on Stage 2017. The event, now in its 13th year, was held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in Queensland. GCEN aims to mentor the next generation of performers, providing opportunities for them to work with professional artists.

More than 1800 students aged between four and seventeen took part in this year’s event. Zachary Burton, co-founder of IKONIX alongside business partner Richard Saunders, worked with the CGEN team to manage and coordinate the production’s entire lighting and video aspect.

“IKONIX has been working with CGEN since 2014,” says Burton. “This year we decided to use the Ai RX8 media servers to map out and control the video content for the production’s 38m x 6m rear screen.”

Discussing why IKONIX selected the award-winning media server, Burton says, “The Ai RX8 server is a high performance media server. The integration between Ai RX8 and our lighting console for CGEN was fantastic. Integration was high on our agenda as we had two other media servers in operation as well as our Ai systems. Ai was also the easiest system to program and make changes to on the fly, which is an aspect we really like.”

The video content for CGEN’s back screen was displayed at a resolution of 7000 x 1080 pixels and managed over four layers. Burton used a mix of timecode and live control to operate during the shows.

“We used a lot of timecode integration so we could synchronize video playback with lighting, automation and the live bands running click track,” says Burton. “We had a mix of playback as well, including free run content that integrated with the timecoded sections.”

Burton also introduced numerous on-the-fly edits, “Ai does live editing really well,” he says. “For CGEN we introduced things like flipping the orientation of content, colour correction, colour intensities and playback speeds to keep the content engaging and upbeat.”

For the setup, IKONIX networked an RX8 Ai server as the main server and a custom-built back-up server running Avolites’ MIAMI dongle. A second dongle was used on the team’s Metabox laptop computer for pre-programming and testing. The entire network was setup to operate over Ethernet via Art-Net.

“Being in Australia can sometimes mean it is difficult to receive the correct support from big overseas companies,” concludes Burton. “That is not the case with Avolites. Their team has been great to us and their software developers are forward-thinking and always open to suggestions. The customer support is phenomenal and we love working with them.”

CGEN was presented by the Department of Education and Training and sponsored by QUT, AEG Ogden, The Courier-Mail, Network Ten, Nova 106.9, The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and QSuper.

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