Go Big With Moving-Head ProjectorsMoving-head video projectors can project characters anywhere and move them
with full control during a show
Emerging technology in video projection has great promise for future shows featuring CHOPS and other Live Animation characters. Invented and built by High End Systems, this breakthrough of moving video images around a room uses a projector mounted via a controllable yoke and programmable focus and keystone correction, running high-resolution digital files from computer media servers. Now the director can project a character’s image anywhere in the room in real-time, either programmed or spontaneously, and have it look distortion-free, with some nice special effects for good measure. For more information, see High End’s website.
This technology now in its fifth generation supports HD video, and allows show producers to put video images anywhere in a room, from a single projector.
The most recent iteration of the High End moving head projector (DLHD) is a pivoting 7K lumen projector on a yoke, controlled by DMX from the lighting console. At 260 pounds, it is designed to be truss-mounted or stands on its own mount. It has its own embedded Windows computer, with video input, a built-in video camera and includes computer-generated gobos, aerial lighting effects, 400 degrees of horizontal movement and 240 degrees of vertical rotation.
These systems take in the Live Animation input via S-video and SDI interface to their media servers, so Jesch connects his Digital Puppeteer system, and instantly, the character is projected where ever the projector is aimed. The projector can then be programmed to move the image rapidly in succession all around a room or trade show booth from a single projection location.
Jesch’s approach is to send his virtual characters to the projectors, and then move them around the room while he is doing his performance in real time, following presets designed ahead of time. From his animation control booth, he can also operate the computer controlling the projector, so he can have perfect timing, when making a character move from one side of the room to the other in a blink.
According to Peter Scharff of Scharff/Weisberg in NYC, this combination of technologies opens the door to very different and unusual shows that provide drama, captivate audiences and deliver focused messages at trade shows and special events. He said that he and Jesch are still thinking of creative ways to incorporate the elements into shows where the client is looking for a high-impact impression.
CHOPS has also proven the power of the moving head projector system called Catalyst and has gained valuable experience, from a General Session appearance in San Diego for Event Solutions Magazine. The Catalyst was attached to a 10K Roadie projector, flown in the center of the hotel ballroom and controlled from the lighting console.
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