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SGM’s 3D pixel tubes used for National Theatre set installation

SGM’s LED technology has featured in the design of a sculpture in a brain science institute with 68 of the LT-200 2m tubes used.

SGM’s LED technology has featured in a lighting sculpture in a brain science institute with 68 of the LT-200 2m tubes used. This forms part of designer Bob Crowley’s set for the new Tom Stoppard play The Hard Problem at the Dorfman Theatre, part of the National Theatre on London’s South Bank.

The Theatre’s lighting operations manager, Marc Williams, and control supervisor Daniel Murfin selected SGM’s 3D pixel tubes to convey the effect of brain pulses, which was the idea behind the design.

Hired from SGM customer, Blueprint Events, the LT-200 tubes are brought to life by a collaborative team which also includes lighting designer Mark Henderson, lighting programmer Kate Greaves and lighting supervisor, Paul Knott — who was also instrumental in programming the effect.

The ‘brain’ graph itself is divided by 20 ‘nodes’ which are made up of SGM’s tiny LD-5 LED Light Domes, supplied by SGM UK.

Marc Williams commented: “This is the first time we have used the pixel tubes — and it gives us the 3D effect we wanted. We needed a reliable plug and play system and the LT-200 is all self-addressing.”

The production team can only use it for 30 second bursts during the 10 or 11 scene changes to prevent it from interfering with the main thrust of the play, which deals with the serious subject of consciousness and evolutionary biology.

Daniel Murfin said: “By using mapping techniques we can create lots of different layers with underlying colours and pass lo-res video through it, which with a pitch of just 227 pixels across is virtually nothing!”

Mark Henderson added: “The effect works really well, and produces a nice combination. The lighting team had done a lot of research – and there is nothing else like this 3D effect on the market.”