Total Production

WorldStage Helps MSG With Floor Projection Extravaganza

December 2015

Months of planning culminated in the recent debut at a NY Rangers game of a projection system from WorldStage.


Additionally, a large-scale lighting system installed by MSG featured more than 100 Philips Vari-Lite and Clay Paky moving head luminaires. For added effect, even the leotards of the Knick City Dancers troupe had synchronised LED lighting features.


To pull off this feat, MSG brought in a team of experienced engineers and designers to specify the system, create content and support its implementation. Work commenced immediately after the end of the 2014-2015 NBA season, and by early September 2015 everything was in place and ready for programming.


Management wanted the visual impact of any new equipment to be minimal and not clutter the ceiling area or impact sight lines to the centre-hung scoreboard. Therefore, the projection system design team, led by WorldStage, based their location plan on existing ceiling lighting bays and placed the projectors above the ceiling, invisible to the audience and a rarity for systems of this type. 


This requirement necessitated very careful modelling of the arena in 3D to make sure that existing holes in the ceiling would allow the projectors to cover the entire 200 by 85ft hockey rink. It also required some extremely flexible custom projector mounts designed and installed by Hudson Scenic Studios to provide a precise degree of rake and tilt.


Early in the planning process, WorldStage recommended a brand new projector design that promised four times the resolution of HD in a compact package that can output 30,000 lumens. 


WorldStage President, Josh Weisberg, explained: “The Christie Boxer 4K is revolutionary in that it uses six metal halide lamps rather than a single xenon lamp to provide high light output from a chassis nearly the same size as previous 20,000 lumen projectors.


“It also requires less power than similar models allowing it to be far more economical to operate.”


WorldStage used 14 Christie Boxer 4Ks with each portion of the ice surface receiving 60,000 lumens across an enormous 21 million-pixel total image area measuring 7,020 by 3,060.


“The advantage of 4K projection is evident in the resulting image, which is much crisper and has greater colour depth than other HD-based systems,” Weisberg added.


Content playback and image warping was handled by an extensive networked graphics system based on d3 Technologies 4x4pro. These media servers were configured as full UHD (2,160 by 3,840) outputs and feed a Harris Imagine router before hitting the projectors. 


WorldStage also provided 56-input multi-view capability for monitoring as well as a custom programmed touchscreen console for the system show operator. 


MSG and the lighting design specialists from Arc3 Design created lighting programming that complemented the video content, expanding video effects across the entire arena. This element was supported by the moving light system installed over the summer that consisted of 150 Vari-Lite and Clay Paky fixtures mounted across the ceiling. Their lighting effects included a 'pulse wave' effect as well as a 'laser bolt' cue that fired vivid blue and red beams up through the audience.


Since no presentation can be effective without great content, no matter how advanced the technology, MSG turned to the team at Batwin + Robin Productions to create signature openers for the Rangers and Knicks teams. Both pieces featured original sound tracks and a mix of dynamic 3D animation as well as still and moving images.


Providing more of a narrative than most of the pieces playing in other arenas, the Rangers’ opener drew on the team’s New York ethos as well as its long and successful legacy in the NHL.


When the Knicks’ dance troupe entered, the video synced with the scoreboard, the court floor and the dancers’ costumes, and lighting pulsated to the music.


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