Full Boar 4s cruise with P&O
Posted on Tuesday, September 19th, 2017
Brisbane’s Point Source Solutions are specialist AV integrators that pride themselves on making complex systems work. With skills across multiple disciplines, Point Source can do everything from event management, to networking infrastructure, to LED video screen design. With a diverse roster of clients, Point Source recently found themselves aboard two P&O cruise ships, the Pacific Dawn and the flagship Pacific Explorer, upgrading their theatre’s lighting system with High End System’s Full Boar 4 consoles.
With a rotating line-up of productions created for the global cruise giant by Sydney’s Grayboy Entertainment, theatre on the P&O line is just as complex and technical as it is on dry land. Grayboy’s lighting designer Gavan Swift is a dedicated Hog user, and specifies High End Systems consoles for all of the P&O shows. As part of a major upgrade, both the Explorer and Dawn’s Full Boar 3s were retired and directly replaced by the latest Full Boar 4s.
“I specified the Full Boar 4 firstly due to its ease of use and intuitive control interface,” said Gavan Swift. “The second reason was that the Full Boar is a direct upgrade from the Hog 3 with similarities in how the two consoles operate resulting in less training for the on-board crew who have to program and operate the lighting console on a daily basis. Whilst the Grayboy production shows are the primary focus for the theatre on-board, there are daily events that need to be lit and a number of guest entertainers who need their shows programmed and operated. Ease of use and a smooth upgrade of the lighting control technology is essential and the Full Boar 4 was the perfect choice.”
“The Full Boar 4s went in beautifully,” said Point Source Solutions’ John Buchanan. “They were directly replacing a Full Boar 3 with DP8000 DMX processor, so all of the networking was already in place. Sorting out some minor universe issues took 15 minutes. The system on the Explorer is running a Pathway network, with Art-Net going to primary and redundant media servers, which run visuals to LED screens. That’s why we love the new support for CITP that means we get content thumbnails on the console!”
With Gavan Swift in to programme a new show, the Full Boar 4 gave him all the control he needed to get it plotted and running efficiently. “Gavan loved the ability the run four screens,” John related. “The two internal 15.6 inch touchscreens and support for two external screens meant that Gavan could get all the visual information he needed while programming.”
From the integration side, John and Point Source appreciated the Full Boar 4s ability to handle multiple network protocols. “It’s extremely useful for us to be able to run sACN and Art-Net at the same time,” explained John. “We’ve found the Pathway Pathport Ethernet DMX nodes prefer sACN to Art-Net, but the media server they’re using needs Art-Net. The Full Boar 4 not only does both, it is rock-solid and stable – I have never run into an issue when doing this on a Hog.”
The Full Boar 4s life on the waves will be fully supported by Lexair, High End System’s distributor for Australia and New Zealand. “Lexair are fantastic,” John emphasised. “They are always on the phone if you need support. They are a great team that we have worked with for years. We’ve done many, many projects with them and have multiple ongoing right now.”
Festival of Lights with NW Group
Posted on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
Brisbane’s Westfield Chermside hosted the Festival of Lights for a few nights in August. Each night from 6 – 9 pm, the dining precinct was transformed into a hub of lighting, interactive displays and live music. There was a fireworks display each night at 6pm, and light shows every hour on the hour, as well as live DJ’s.
NW Group provided lighting including 50 x Claypaky Sharpy Spots housed in rain proof Igloos, 10 x ShowPro Hex36 LED flood lights and 12 x Vari-lite VL2500 Spots. Atmosphere was provided by 12 x Look Solutions Viper Smoke Machines with control by a HES Roadhog4. Also supplied were ELC Data distribution network over Fibre and LSC Power Distribution.
Canberra Theatre upgrades to GDS ArcSystem
Posted on Monday, September 11th, 2017
Canberra Theatre Centre is Canberra’s premier performing arts venue comprising of the 1,240 seat Canberra Theatre, The Playhouse seating 614 and The Courtyard Studio, an intimate rehearsal and performance space that seats up to 92 patrons.
The Canberra Theatre and The Playhouse were in need of new house lighting systems and so a tender was released that was won by local Sound and Lighting Specialists Sound Advice, who have extensive experience in architectural and theatrical lighting projects.
“The Canberra Theatre’s existing system had really, really old Strand dimmers dimming PAR38 lamps flown in what were arguably acoustic panels at one point,” said Norman Korte, managing director at Sound Advice. “They were similar to a fiberglass rectangular cloud hanging above the seating and due to access issues, the lights in them were difficult to reach. So each of the downlights had a lid which was attached to a piece of rope and a conduit with a very large hook on it …. let’s just say it was interesting to watch!”
Andrew Tweedie, head electrician at the venue, wanted a solution that provided a warm colour temperature of 2700°K and a completely smooth dimming curve as he wanted to be able to produce nice long fades down to zero. Andrew was also eager to retain the look and feel of tungsten but was interested in the economic benefits of modern LED fixtures in the theatres.
Consequently, Norman demonstrated the GDS ArcSystem of overhead LED products designed for installations where dimming, light quality, high colour rendering and ease of installation are absolutely essential.
“I showed them how beautifully the ArcSystem dims, with perfectly smooth dimming from 100% down to absolute zero, and they approved it for both theatres,” he remarked. “We supplied a cabled DMX solution to each theatre as Andrew Tweedie did not want to use the in–built wireless technology.”
ArcSystem luminaires come in in a variety of form factors, beam angles, and colour-temperature options, all with high-efficiency optics and an outstanding quality of light ideal for any application. In The Playhouse, 18 x ArcSystem Pro Four-Cell Pendants were mounted one for one in the old locations on the lighting bridges.
In The Canberra Theatre, 94 x ArcSystem Pro One-Cell luminaires were installed to provide high-quality light and smooth dimming with noiseless operation. These single, circular fixtures were installed into the lower ceiling areas.
Due to the height in the Canberra Playhouse, the existing downlight luminaires were replaced with Four Cell Round luminaires mounted to the stage lighting catwalks and the smaller One Cell luminaires for the Level 2 seating.
“In that space there are also some legacy incandescent battens that backlight wash all the seating levels in the tiered venue and, at this point there is no LED replacement for them,” began Norman. “So we’ve used an ETC DRd Power Control solution including ETC Paradigm dimmers to run all the legacy battens.”
Each Theatre uses the ETC Paradigm Control system including the touchscreen in a table top kit with fly cable to allow operators to place it where they want in the control room. Multiple pages and scenes were created on the touch screens include a custom GUI interface to enable the operators to vary fade times to suit. ETC button plates allow for simple recall of selected presets from locations such as Stage Manager, House Manager and strategic door and cleaner locations.
DMX distribution throughout the spaces is provided via previously installed Pathway Connectivity Pathport Switches and Nodes which enable the existing ETC Gio consoles to talk directly to the house lighting universes as required.
BAR36’s Amazing Transformation
Posted on Wednesday, September 6th, 2017
The Reef Hotel Casino’s BAR36 is a sophisticated venue, combining high end sound design with state of the art lighting and vision system, setting the stage for an atmosphere unlike anything else in Cairns.
BAR36 offers five nights of live acoustic acts every week and then on Friday and Saturday nights, things get more upbeat with a full band, lighting effects and a few more decibels.
Earlier this year, Cairns-based Jam Productions were tasked with redesigning the stage lighting as well as providing the fixtures and creating the content for the large LED screen that forms a backdrop to the stage. The stage is quite small, 4.5 metres deep and 9 metres wide, and so fixture choice was not simple.
Added to that, the venue wanted both an intimate stage and a big stage and so they chose to install an LED screen that, at the press of a button, rolls towards the front of the stage thus making the performance area more intimate. During the day the screen also runs promotional material from the front position.
“The screen solution was great in theory but it meant that we couldn’t place a fixture anywhere!” commented Justin Ogge, Director at Jam Productions. “We came up with lots of ideas to try get around the problem. Also, when the screen is in forward mode, the client didn’t want to be able to see any light fixtures or truss.”
Justin thought of the Ayrton range of products that are low profile but still deliver a lot of bang and were ideal for fixing to the top of the LED screen. Along the top of the screen are four Ayrton MagicBlade R and six MagicDot R fixtures.
“We designed a bracket that we could hook over the back of the screen rigging bar which meant the lights sat really nicely on top of the rigging bar,” added Justin. “Downstage we designed two brackets that are bolted to the wall, you pull the pin out of the top and the bracket drops down so you can easily move the fixtures around. They’re very close to the wall and don’t obstruct the screen, in fact there’s only 200mm between the screen and the wall.”
“I can’t think of any other fixture we could have done this with to achieve the same results,” he said. “The size of the products and what you get out of them is phenomenal. They were perfect for what we were trying to achieve in such a small space and make it look so much bigger than what is really is. Plus wherever they use the screen they can use the whole lighting rig.”
Justin remarked that he very much likes the pastel colours he can achieve with the Ayrton fixtures, colours that are very difficult to achieve with most LED fixtures.
“Even the golds are really good in them,” he added. “I was surprised how good the gold colour was because traditionally you can’t get a great gold out of a LED fixture.”
Four RUSH MH1 Profile Plus fixtures are placed on the floor of the stage whilst out in the room there are four lighting bars with each bar hosting a Martin RUSH MH6 for dance floor wash. The front bar also has four Martin RUSH PAR 2 RGBW Zoom fixtures, chosen for their zoom capabilities in a venue with such a low roof. Justin reports that he was amazed by these and that they easily wash the entire stage. Also on the bars are four ShowPro LED Profile HP’s which are so bright, Justin has limited them in the console so that they can’t run above 50%!
“We don’t need them any brighter than that!” he said. “I love how really even their coverage is with no hotspots.”
A JEM Hazer Pro supplies atmospherics. Justin took an intuitive approach to programming as there are no trained staff on duty for most shows so the lighting needed to be easy to operate and understand.
Brimbank City Council enlist Lightmoves
Posted on Friday, September 1st, 2017
Located in the centre of Melbourne’s west, the Brimbank City Council is just 11km from the CBD with easy access to local transport infrastructure. As a growing multicultural community it offers the land, linkages and location necessary for Melbourne’s growing Western Region to thrive.
Brimbank City Council enlisted Lightmoves to help highlight the main shopping strip in Sunshine, Hampshire Road, and add new atmosphere to the area. Lightmoves were engaged to not only commission the project, but also to design & install the entire system.
Following another successful implementation in a separate project, the Philips ColorKinetics Vaya Tubes were selected as the main fixture behind the installation. Four catenary wires are used to suspend double-sided Vaya Tubes above Hampshire Road to create a beautiful lighting installation that can be seen from any point along the shopping strip.
Brimbank City Council had also commissioned local artists to provide various pieces of artwork along the walls of an intersecting laneway, Macdonald Lane. The council wanted the community to be able to enjoy the artwork at night whilst maintaining a safe atmosphere for the locals. As a result, Lightmoves designed the laneway lighting to provide ample illuminance on the various art pieces, as well as providing general lighting to maintain safety. Utilizing various Space Cannon Elle fixtures, Lightmoves were able to create vibrant colour themes across the artworks, whilst providing a warm & inviting wash throughout the laneway. In addition, extra texture and movement was generated along the laneway thanks to two Grand Lighting Outdoor LED Gobo Projectors displaying rotating patterns across the pavement.
Coloured light shows in Macdonald Lane have been programmed to match the lighting along Hampshire Road, making great use of the flexibility of the Pharos LPC controller. The Pharos LPC has been set to display different programs for different seasons throughout the year, in addition to customised light shows which run on specific dates such as the Lantern Festival and Christmas, just to name a few.
The Brimbank City Council has been amazed by the results achieved through such a simple setup, with locals stopping in their tracks to watch the various lighting displays. Lightmoves and Brimbank’s illuminating light installation is another practical addition to help transform this growing community.
Studio Due and ShowPro transform Garvan Institute Dome
Posted on Monday, August 14th, 2017
The Garvan Institute of Medical Research is one of Australia’s leading biomedical research institutes. The building was designed by architect Ken Wooley and has six floors with the most amazing staircase in the form of a DNA Helix.
The Institute’s Library is located within the building’s Atrium with an oval glass dome on the roof. The space is used for functions and rather than just a dark night sky, it was decided to make the roof dome a focus point with the aid of coloured lighting.
Myall Quint, Electrical Electronics Technician at the Institute, worked closely with Show Technology’s Gareth Mealing to produce an unobtrusive solution that was easy to operate.
A small LED lighting bar that would complement the current architectural design was required. It needed to be 500-600mm in length to match the size of the glass panels and its colour needed to be the same or similar to the current paint work. The Studio Due ArchiBar SL300 RGBW/FC equipped with high powerful LEDs was the ideal solution. Robust and reliable, this IP67 rated LED bar is suitable for architectural and entertainment applications. It has a modern and appealing style which reflects the Italian design.
The eight Studio Due ArchiBars are located around the base of the atrium from where they can shoot coloured light up the walls leading up to the dome.
In order to colour wash the dome itself, the original floodlights have been retrofitted with eight ShowPro LED PAR Quad-18 fixtures. Compact in size and utilising the latest in LED technology, they are bright, look fantastic and are also inexpensive.
It was necessary to have an operating system that could be preprogrammed or used in a live event. An MA Lighting MA2 2 port node was installed with Show Technology providing training once the system was installed and running.
“We have the MA2 software on a computer in the engineering office from where we control all of the lighting,” said Myall. “That MA2 software is really quite impressive.”
CMG add life to The Precinct with ShowPro
Posted on Wednesday, August 9th, 2017
The Shellharbour Club recently opened a dining area entitled The Precinct and CMG Audio Visual were given the task of providing a versatile, immersive look and feel for this brand new innovative food-theatre space. CMG provided a comprehensive AV design for the room, encompassing lighting, audio and video, all to be controlled with a simple user interface by any staff member.
CMG combined architectural highlights, building facade wash and general purpose lighting, all using RGBW colour changing instruments so that the room can go from a bright white cleaning state to a deep moody midnight lounge feel at the push of a button.
Because the room was a converted rock’n’roll theatre, the client wanted to pay tribute to the history of the room and incorporate some of the old technology to create a sense of nostalgia. Getting these items to sit within a cutting-edge 21st century system provided a few challenges, and as they were gradually unearthed from storage and delivered to site during the project, there were a few moments of rapid design adjustments!
CMG decided upon a ShowPro solution as the ShowPro fittings provided a cost-effective, robust solution that was compact enough to install in a wide variety of places and bright enough to provide functional light for the whole space, even in richly saturated colours.
A total of sixty ShowPro Quad 18s provide the bulk of the functional light in the space. The dining spaces are flooded from overhead trusses whilst the streetscape and building facades are front-lit using these fixtures
Added to that are twenty-seven ShowPro Quad 7s to provide the column highlights in a part of the room constructed solely of steel beams. The compact body and tight beam angles really made this a logical choice for that part of the job.
ShowPro HEX16s are uplighting the entry corridor, which is actually a cut-up shipping container. They are hidden behind a pelmet on the floor and squeezed nicely into the concealed space, making the rich colour of the container really come to life, and the source is invisible until you get up close.
ShowPro EX21 units are lighting the windows in the streetscape from behind, changing tones to reflect time of day and to provide some contrast to the colour schemes in the room.
Control features Crestron time-schedule and client interaction via iPad control of all AV elements in the space. There is also provision for the lighting tones to be triggered by the content playing on the large-format projection screen on the wall opposite the entry, for a truly immersive dining experience!
According to CMG, the venue staff have been great to work with, and together they have really enjoyed learning how to get the most value out of such a flexible system. One of the great recent successes since opening has been the bluest room you can imagine for State of Origin, showing on the giant projection screen, complete with triggered colour-coded chase effects for tries and goals!
CMG added that Show Technology has been extremely supportive all the way through the project, from design through to commissioning. No challenge has been too great for them, and in some cases CMG stated that they received the items they needed only hours after requesting them!