A CIRCULAR screen tilted at 45 degrees towards the audience dominated the stage for Paramore’s Tour Three, which visited London’s The O2 (cap. 21,000), Glasgow’s SSE Hydro (13,000) and Manchester Arena (21,000).
Production designer Butch Allen devised a truss comprising three concentring rings to support the screen, while imagery had to be pixel-mapped to compensate for the slope of the screen using an EX8 Ai Infinity Server and software by manufacturer Avolites.
The system was managed by production service provider LMG Touring, who provided crew, video and lighting for the tour.
“As everything is on a slant and stepped back on stage, we have multiple planes of convergence and multiple focal points,” says LMG technician Grant Draper. “There is about a foot and half between each circle of the central screen, meaning that we are not working with a flat plane.”
Using six layers of content, Draper configured the stage’s projection screens using the Autoblend feature in the software package Ai v10.1. By mapping the feature as a single screen surface in the virtual Ai environment, Draper was able to calculate the required warping and blending of the video projection outputs onto the screens on stage.
“We use three Panasonic 32K projectors on the show,” says Draper. “These effectively act as cameras within the Autoblend 3D environment. I just pointed the projectors at the 3D object [the screens] and used it as a line feed [to map the surface].
“There’s no way we could have done this in the time frame we had without Ai’s 3D modelling. What used to take more than two hours now takes 15 to 30 minutes.”