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News in pictures 7 July 2010

DWR supplies LED lighting for Supersport HD studio; Christie delivers cutting-edge visuals at Canada pavilion at G8/G20 Summit; double layer projection to show heart's inner workings to millions of Museum guests; LDPi hits light fantastic at top award ceremony.

South African lighting sales and distribution company DWR has supplied over 400 LED fixtures for an eco-friendly installation at the new HD hub of satellite channel Supersport.

Located in M-NETs Studio 6 in Randburg, Johannesburg, this is the first of its kind in South Africa, setting new standards with eight Philips Vari-Lite VLX wash luminaires, plus over 400 Anolis LED units which are integrated into various set elements in a stunning design by Michael Gill. With sustainability a key issue, this whole elegant, highly versatile lighting rig can be run off 2 x 15 amp plugs.

Gill, who collaborated closely with lighting designer Joshua Cutts of AV Unlimited, wanted “something contemporary and totally different that utilised the best technology in the world.” The lighting can be used either to make the space function as one huge area or to split the studio up into eight different segments.
The Anolis LEDs – the majority of the 400 pieces are ArcLinks – are installed underneath selected floor panels and behind the back wall set pieces – which are finished with either glass or opal perspex fronts. Together, these constitute 105 different sections or ‘light boxes’ all over the set – all are individually controllable.

Robe CitySkape 48s are used for highlighting set pieces and toning the trusses and slick metalwork that also shapes the set structure. The eight VLXs are rigged on to the top of vertical trussing sections running around the gently curving back wall of the set.

The new studio was launched in time to broadcast comprehensive coverage of the 2010 Football World Cup, It was a bold move to make by Supersports and a big investment, but with the lower running costs and the low maintenance of the LEDs, the short-term investment will pay off in the future. Other benefits of the installation include minimal heat output from a huge amount of lighting – so less air con needs to be used to keep the studio at a comfortable temperature.

Visual technologies specialist Christie has played its part in delivering compelling visuals at the Experience Canada Pavilion during the 2010 G8/G20 World Summit in Toronto, 23-27 June.

Christie’s High Definition projectors and MicroTiles technology helped showcase Canada as a prime destination for business, investment and tourism. Housed within the International Media Centre located in the Heritage Court of the Direct Energy Centre, the pavilion is designed to promote Canada to over 3,000 international media.

In collaboration with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) and Lord Cultural Resources of Toronto, who was selected to develop, design and implement the Canadian Pavilion, Christie brings cutting edge projectors to promote Canadian tourism and show 2010 FIFA World Cup matches in high fefinition on 30-foot and 16-foot screens.

A virtual football challenge, projected onto a 10-foot screen, will also attract sports enthusiasts to the Pavilion. The interactive videogame will engage delegates from the 2010 model G8 youth summit in Gravenhurst, Ontario in real-time football matches with media. 

Christie’s MicroTiles modular display technology will be a focal point at the Pavilion, presenting stunning visuals to showcase Canada as a modern and innovative country. With its simple building block design, 75 Christie MicroTiles, configured in three unique building shapes to create a Cityscape facade, will display high resolution video to assist media with story development about Canada.

Norway’s projectiondesign has supplied seven of its high resolution DLP projectors to the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago for its stunning new Giant Heart within the You! The Experience exhibit.

Located in the Museum’s Abbott Hall, You! The Experience comprehensively showcases the connection between the human mind, body and spirit in the 21st century. The 15,000-square-foot exhibit provides a fascinating, hands-on opportunity for visitors to explore and optimise their personal health, fitness and well-being. The Giant Heart is a focal point of the exhibit, and allows guests to see different interior and exterior views of this amazing virtual organ-it can even beat in time with a guest’s own pulse.

Conceived and designed by Thinc Design with AV systems integration carried out by BBI Engineering, Inc., the Giant Heart uses a specially-developed steel projection surface. This acts as a projection screen for two projectiondesign F12 and three F22 projectors. These units project a single, seamless moving image, with content coming from one of four different pre-programmed movies, each designed to emphasise a different aspect of human heart function. All computer-generated, 3D animated media for the Giant Heart was produced by scientific animation specialist firm XVIVO. 

Concealed behind the large front-projection surface is a two-channel rear-projection screen utilising two additional projectiondesign F22s. Designed to show the inner workings of the heart, this screen is normally invisible, but can be partially or entirely revealed by visitors via a touchscreen interface, thanks to a soft, central image mask within the external projection surface that can be faded up or down. Four videos, each showing a different aspect of cardiac activity, provide content for this second projection screen. The videos for both screens are stored on customised Delta Media Servers from 7thSense.

In addition to selecting which types of heart activity they want to view, and in what proportion, Museum guests can also synchronise the multimedia show to their own heart rate, using a pair of hand grips on the Giant Heart’s control console.

Edinburgh-based lighting design specialist Lighting Design Partnership International (LDP International) has scooped a top industry award for its work in illuminating the Bahrain World Trade Centre – a striking 240m twin tower complex that dominates the Arabian Gulf.

LDP International was awarded first prize in the ‘Best Use of Exterior Lighting’ category at the PALME Middle East awards, which celebrate achievements in the categories of AV, audio technology and lighting design.

The towers were built by the multinational architectural firm Atkins. It is the first skyscraper in the world to integrate wind turbines into its design – the turbines produce up to 15% of the towers’ electricity.

Douglas Hamilton, lead lighting designer on the project, said the lighting design enhances the iconic architecture with particular emphasis on linking wind turbine structures that form the buildings’ focal point. 

He said: “From the start we wanted to create a fully integrated lighting solution which emphasises and enhances the strength of the Atkins design. The coastal location of the building provided us with inspirational opportunities for interesting play and interaction of movement of light, enhancing the iconic features of this recognised building.”
Based in Edinburgh, LDP International is a new generation specialist lighting design consultancy group, providing professional lighting design services at an international level world-wide.