CAST BlackTrax Ltd. confirms that its BlackTrax Solution, installed in August 2013, easily exceeded expectations of the demanding 2013 Christmas Program at Trinity Fellowship Church.
Trinity Fellowship Church (TFC) is a non-denominational mega church ministry based in Amarillo, Texas. Its Worship Centre is a 3,750 seat auditorium set up as a theatre in the round featuring a 46-foot diameter circular stage and four 32-foot HD projection screens around the wall and has 10 satellite campuses in Texas and Oklahoma. TFC shares its message to over 14,000 members by making extensive use of its state-of-the-art lighting, sound, and video system.
BlackTrax is the multi-award-winning realtime tracking technology solution that delivers precise streaming 3D & 6D positional data to controllers for targeting the connected automated robotic technologies already used extensively in event and entertainment production, and houses of worship. Using proprietary IR and RF, BlackTrax delivers dynamic streaming positional data with six degrees of freedom (x, y, z, plus roll, pitch & yaw) to 3D & spatial audio, automated lighting, multimedia servers, and robotic cameras – all at the same time, in realtime.
TFC Technical Lighting Director Russell Kollaja explains, “We had the cabling in place ahead of time. BlackTrax was brought in and installed in about 3 hours. That was amazing. But the first serious advantage was found in the system setup and calibration. Whereas a typical calibration for 30 moving lights would have taken two days in Autopilot, BlackTrax accomplished this in less than three hours. The CAST team provided incredible support and training on site, making the process painless.”
In fact, TFC immediately started to use BlackTrax. The system is now in place to handle the multitude of services and productions that the church holds. Currently one service is held on Saturday evenings and two on Sunday. Because the Saturday service caters to a smaller crowd, the 46-foot diameter stage is draped off halfway – an alteration that is easily accommodated by BlackTrax, which can be programmed to have limits set in place for lighting, video or cameras.
Several months after installation, the TFC team concedes that BlackTrax continues to deliver even more than promised. TFC Executive Director of Operations Michael Wells says, “BlackTrax not only allows us to track more performers – we typically use up to eight BTBeacons – but we have the possibility to track far more. We couldn’t possibly accommodate and manage more than 12 follow spot operators in the auditorium but with BlackTrax, we can conceivably use every automated light in the rig as a follow spot. For example, if we have a procession down one of the aisles, we can use over 200 lights and track subjects over the entire main floor. Overall, it just opens the door to so many dream scenarios. BlackTrax also allows us to be specific about the boundaries of what we want to light. We can tell BlackTrax exactly where we want our limits.”
Another huge benefit that TFC experienced with their first Christmas production in the round is that they didn’t need any stage markings since the actors simply wear a very small tracking beacon. The actors have more freedom to concentrate on conveying the emotional impact of the script and are not worried about being in the right spot at the right time. This takes a lot of the pressure off everyone and also cuts down on rehearsal time. Kevin Penrod, TFC’s Lighting Designer and Programmer, says, “The 16-bit tracking of BlackTrax is amazingly smooth and fast. Our former AutoPilot system was problematic and choppy. As a result, our quality has gone way up.”
Wells concludes, “Overall, I’m extremely pleased with the performance of the BlackTrax system to solve so many existing challenges in lighting, but I’m even more excited about the possibilities for the future. The potential that BlackTrax provides is not just evolutionary, it’s revolutionary.”
About BlackTrax... BlackTrax is the multi-award-winning realtime tracking technology solution that delivers precise streaming 3D & 6D positional data to controllers for targeting the connected automated robotic technologies already used extensively in event and entertainment production, and houses of worship. Using proprietary IR and RF, BlackTrax delivers dynamic streaming positional data with six degrees of freedom (x, y, z, plus roll, pitch & yaw) to 3D & spatial audio, automated lighting, multimedia servers, and robotic cameras – all at the same time, in realtime.
Anything tagged with the FCC and CE certified BTBeacon (patent pending), which comprises a gyroscope, accelerometer, and tiny wireless radio, to which an IR LED is attached, is tracked in a space up to 150ft (50m) in diameter at over 100 frames per second by overhead BTSensors, while its orientation is communicated by RF directly to the BTServer. The BTBeacon’s inertia measurement unit provides redundant 3D positioning via its tiny radio transmitter should the IR line-of-sight between the BTBeacon and BTCams become momentarily obstructed.
BlackTrax is a complete 'tracking solution', which means either CAST or a BTExpert will ensure it is properly designed and installed to deliver optimal results, as well as provide onsite training and ongoing support.