Avolites recently helped set and control the scene at the 20th Annual D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Awards ceremony held at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Presented by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, the event celebrated the best in interactive entertainment in the video gaming industry for 2016.
As one would imagine, a production honoring video gaming designers must incorporate video in order to display the work being honored. Show designer Chris Wu of Hatch.IM once again created the set, which consisted of various sizes of video screens to provide a more immersive environment, while Joshua Schultz returned to reprise his role as the event’s lighting designer, operator and programmer.
“The concept for the show and key look is to take all the trailers played on the big screens and feed them back into the server and out to the entire lighting rig so that it comes out as one giant canvas,” describes Schultz, who used two Sapphire Touch consoles tied into two Titan Net processors with two Ai RX8 media servers to drive the video content.
Schultz has been a longtime Avolites devotee, citing the Sapphire Touch as his “go to” desk. “I love the Sapphire’s ease of use and being able to jump on it and go without having to think where I have placed or patched anything—it’s all right in front of me. The pixel mapper and key frame generator are powerful tools I constantly use for building shows.”
Morpheus Lighting supplied the consoles, processors and lighting gear. As the video-centric rig also featured new LED technology—including the Aryton DreamPanels and Chauvet Epix Bars and Strips—the number of required DMX Universes rose in number.
“I had 56 Universes,” Schultz says, “so the Titan Net processors allowed me to take the load off the console and put all of it on the processors.”
He chose the Ai RX8 media server for several reasons. “It’s a powerful server that lets me do whatever I want,” he explains. “If I want custom content, I drop it in and go. If I have specific looks I need to happen non-video, it’s all in the way I designed my map. Brad White from Group One came out to help out a lot. We were able to space all our fixtures in a 3D world and see what was happening in real time. For me that was key—being able to see if pixels were off and spacing was correct. I could not have done it without him.”
Schultz says his experience with Ai has always been good. “The RX8 media servers are so powerful with so many different features that once you really start to dig into them it opens a whole new platform for you to explore. I chose the Ai so that I could integrate the whole front end as one Avolites network with everything communicating seamlessly. Anything that changed from one end to the other would change throughout the entire system, so it made my job that much easier.”
The LD says he appreciates Avolites’ support. “Avolites has always supported me in any endeavor I’ve dived into and it’s the continued support that allows me to push the boundaries of their software, whether it be Titan or Ai,” he says.
That’s another reason why he continues to use Avolites. “It’s hard to not use a product you love,” he points out. “And that’s what Avolites is to me. I know the product inside and out, and I learn new things every time I’m on them—finding the little hidden things or new additions in each update. The ease of use and powerful features are what drive me to their products.”
He adds, “Whether it’s Sapphire Touch, Tiger Touch, Arena or Quartz, it all works the way I need it to.”
Schultz has also used Avolites consoles on other recent projects, including programming Las Vegas’ latest production of Raiding the Rock Vault at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.