BlackTrax Dazzles the Beauties at Miss Nizhny Novgorod Contest

In Nizhny Novgorod, they take their regional beauty contest very seriously, investing substantial time, effort and planning to produce the most innovative and spectacular production of any regional beauty contest in the Russian Federation. As Russia’s fifth-largest city, and long a national centre for technology, research, engineering and IT, Nizhny Novgorod prides itself on being at the leading edge of production technologies – nobody more so than multimedia, projection and laser show specialists, Dream Laser, who once again in 2016, provided their expertise and ideas for a dazzling beauty show.

In what is believed to be a first for Russia, Dream Laser combined dynamic image content with live 3D projection mapping onto a full-stage set of scenic elements that moved into different configurations throughout the show. Driving the four Full HD Christie Roadster 3-DLP® projectors that covered the set, Dream Laser used its recently-purchased d3 4x4pro media server for the dynamic mapping and image processing.

To track the set pieces through 3D space in real time, the media server was coupled to Dream Laser’s other brand new tool, a full-stage BlackTrax system from CAST BlackTrax Ltd, with its 10 infrared BTCameras in the grid, and 3-LED infrared BTBeacons attached to each of the eight set pieces. A further 3-LED BTBeacon was used to track the location of a video panel on stage to enable the d3 media server to stream position-dependent content to its screen.

Although it has extensive experience with 3D mapped projection at scales ranging from small objects to huge buildings, this was Dream Laser’s first attempt at dealing with the live tracking moving objects. A lot of time went into planning, modelling and experimenting with the BlackTrax and d3 systems to ensure that they were fully understood before the show got onto the stage. What soon became apparent was the need to carefully choreograph the movements of the set pieces so that they didn’t obstruct the BTCameras’ view of all three LED BTBeacons on each set piece during moves. Extensive movement rehearsals, five days in Dream Laser’s warehouse and three days on the stage before the show, together with a last-minute system update from d3, resulted in the show going smoothly and being highly acclaimed by for its looks by both audiences and contest organisers and winning a “Beauty of Russia” commendation for the presentation.

In hindsight it seems that the way to reduce object movement problems in future productions, such as the 2017 Miss Nizhny Novgorod contest, now in planning, is to add additional infrared LED BTBeacons to moving set pieces so that no matter how complex the scenery movements, there are always the critical minimum of three LED beacons visible to the constellation of BTCameras on the walls and in the grid.

The team at Dream Laser are really taken with their new d3 and BlackTrax tools and excitedly looking for opportunities to turn them loose on future shows.


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Contact: Katinka Allender
K-Communications & Associates