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The Future of Creativity and Design–and 4K Staging

Worldstage and Pix Productions Deliver 4K Video Mapping at Adobe MAX

“Adobe MAX is where the creative community comes together to see the latest in Creative Cloud innovation and be inspired by the world’s best creative minds,” said Bryan Lamkin, executive vice president and general manager, Digital Media at Adobe. “This year, we’ll be showcasing amazing breakthroughs in experience design, photography, virtual reality, character animation and 3D compositing,” said Lamkin in his opening keynote.

Of interest to the staging community: advancements in virtual reality, character animation and 3D across Adobe’s video tools gave a look the future of video. The next release of Adobe Premiere Pro CC includes auto-aware virtual reality (VR) that seamlessly detects and applies the correct setting to stereoscopic and monoscopic media. First introduced at IBC, updates to Premiere Pro, After Effects CC and Prelude CC will also include a Beta of Team Projects that allows teams to co-edit and collaborate on Creative Cloud projects. Adobe is also releasing a new Cinema4D renderer in After Effects that will speed up efficiency and quality of 3D content generation. In addition, a new Social Publishing Panel (Beta) in Premiere Pro is powered by Adobe Marketing Cloud technology and enables quick exporting of videos to social channels, as well as data analysis of video content.

And all of was on the agenda at Adobe Max. And all of that could not have been showcased without the help of WorldStage who demonstrated its projection mapping expertise for the fifth consecutive year and for the first time in a full-4K environment. The size and scale of the video mapping element significantly outpaced the previous year’s event where WorldStage’s Christie Boxer 4K projectors made their Adobe MAX debut. Billed as the world’s leading creativity conference, Adobe MAX 2016 drew more than 10,000 attendees, its biggest general session audience ever, to the San Diego Convention Center, November 2-3, 2016. In addition to handling the 4K video mapping for the general session, WorldStage provided all the video, display and audio systems plus production intercoms for the general session.

WorldStage once again teamed with event producer Pix Productions and scenic designer Peter Crawford to deliver 4K video content to a geometric configuration of multi-faceted screens stretching across the main stage. Acting as both display surfaces and scenic elements, the screens were approximately 200 feet wide and 32 feet tall. They showcased the dynamic opener, created by Pretty Damn Sweet, which filled the screens with moving patterns and lights, retro Op Art-style designs, live-action video and animations. The screens also supported keynote addresses and presentations with IMAG and PIP windows. Six 16×9 delay screens were positioned back in the house.

“It was an infrastructure challenge to deal with that much 4K video,” says Alex Bright, display systems EIC for WorldStage. “The scale of the screens was about as big as the convention center allowed, and content delivery required four times the bandwidth of HD for every single projector. However, using the high-resolution, high-brightness Boxers, allowed us to use fewer projectors to cover a large area.”

WorldStage deployed 28 Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors, one of the largest Boxer 4K implementations ever for a corporate event. The company designed a sophisticated delivery system that combined a large d3 Technologies server farm with four Spyder X20 image processors to deliver a full 4K signal path to the Christie Boxers.

The d3 media servers consisted of 4x4PRO’s with four-output VFC cards. “We couldn’t have played back that much 4K content without the 4x4s. The size of the canvas and the amount of pixels we were pushing to them–it was pretty remarkable. You couldn’t even have fathomed it two years ago,” says Bright.

In pre-production, WorldStage used d3 previs to determine the placement of the Boxers, which was critical due to the faceted nature of the set design. “We had to figure out how high to hang the projectors so they didn’t cast shadows on the screens, and we needed to determine the relative brightness required.” WorldStage tapped d3’s QuickCal feature for rapid projector alignment.

Adobe MAX 2016 integrated video display into the functional on-stage podiums, or “demo peds,” for the first time adding yet another visual element to the general session. WorldStage installed a 5×2-configuration of Unilumin 3.9mm LED tiles on the face of each demo ped. The d3 4x4pros fed graphical content to the LEDs.

To capture the conference for web streaming and IMAG, WorldStage also provided an eightcamera HD system featuring both manned and robotic cameras. On the audio side, they furnished a mixed JBL and d&b speaker system for crystal-clear audio for speakers and music.

At Pix Productions Jeremy Nichols was the executive producer, Shaun Boyle producer, Fabian Yeager lighting designer and Stan Dickerson sound designer.

At WorldStage Richard Bevan was the account executive, Jack Dussault project manager, Alex Bright d3 project manager, Florian Mosleh lead d3 programmer, Jason Spencer Spyder operator and Mike Alboher Spyder systems technician.

WorldStage Inc., the company created by the merger of Scharff Weisberg Inc and Video Applications Inc, continues a thirty-year legacy of providing clients the widest variety of entertainment technology coupled with conscientious and imaginative engineering services. WorldStage provides audio, video and lighting equipment and services to the event, theatrical, broadcast and brand experience markets nationally and internationally.

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