Prior to the recent release of ArKaos MediaMaster Pro 3, the team at BAAC Light in Melbourne, Australia gave the new software – complete with its new Video Mapper extension - the ultimate final beta test.
An amateur production of Hairspray the Musical staged by one of Victoria’s largest non-professional musical theatre companies, PLOS Musical Productions, provided the ideal opportunity due to the requirement for a fully projected set. Large moveable set pieces constructed from polystyrene called for a media server solution capable of individually mapping over 90 different projection surfaces as the set pieces were moved into numerous configurations for each scene.
BAAC Light co-founders Andrei Chlebnikowski (Projection Designer) and Brad Alcock (Lighting Designer) opted to upgrade their MediaMaster licenses prior to the official release in order to have access to the newly developed Video Mapper extension that was still in beta.
The setup for the show consisted of three MediaMaster Servers running on fully spec’ed Mac Mini’s with dual solid state drives outputting to four projectors. The first two servers were a pair of main and backup machines running the MediaMaster Pro 3 beta and the Video Mapper Extension. Using Matrox dual-head-to-go graphics adaptors, these machines provided coverage for all the stage elements to be mapped.
As the software was still in beta, running a hot swappable backup machine seemed prudent, but was never required during the entire run – MediaMaster Pro 3 and the Video Mapper remained rock solid.
The third server ran MediaMaster 2.2.6 (as no mapping was required for the final two projectors to which this server was outputting). Two large TV set pieces positioned on either side of the stage had live camera feeds from on-stage projected onto them during the numerous “TV Studio” scenes as well as pre-show TV commercials from the Hairspray era.
Given the large number of projection surfaces to be mapped, the large amount of artwork involved and a small technical production window in the theatre, the majority of the surface mapping and media server programming was completed in BAAC Light’s pre-production studio. This was achieved by loading CADs into the Video Mapper as background images which showed the projection surfaces to be mapped for each scene in their correct positions. From there, over 90 individual projection surfaces were created.
BAAC Light then, for the first time, used MediaMaster Pro in Simple Mode, which moves the assignment and manipulation of images away from the lighting console and performs it within the MediaMaster application itself. Given the amount of pre-production work, all that was required when each set piece was positioned during the plotting sessions was for the mapping of each surface to be quickly fine-tuned to the actual physical surface.
Operating in Simple Mode still allowed for lighting console control over the intensity of each individual projection surface and for all projection cues to be incorporated into lighting cues to allow for single ‘GO’ button playback of all cues.
Andrei and Brad were both extremely impressed with the performance of the new features of MediaMaster Pro 3 as were the capacity audiences that enjoyed the production.
For more information on BAAC Light, visit www.baaclight.com.au