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projection mapping The Human League concert tour design

The Human League of Projection Mapping

At the end of 2018, The Human League toured the UK with a concert design that featured projection mapping for the band's first time, with creative content and equipment supplied by Really Creative Media (RCM).

Show designer Rob Sinclair and lighting designer Liam Griffiths collaborated with RCM and tour manager Simon Watson to ensure the success of the projections. The stage design featured stacked 3D giant cubes. The band played inside some of the cubes on set, so that meant projection mapping onto front and rear surfaces.

Six months before the tour launched, Sinclair enlisted RCM's Jack James to create video content that would make the cubes feel 3D and bring in movement, color, and life. “Whilst working with a 3D set was challenging to create content for technically, it was an opportunity to explore some of the old favourites of the projection mapping world, such as rotating the cubes and making the whole set fall down and rebuild itself, all synced to the track," says James.

projection mapping The Human League concert tour design

Six Panasonic RZ21K 20,000L laser projectors at FOH and two Panasonic RZ31K 30,000L laser projectors displayed the content. “There was quite a variation in the size of the venues," RCM director Nick Dew explains, "so we had the option to swap between the RZ21K and the more powerful RZ31K, depending on what levels we needed to consistently achieve the wow factor for all of the audiences." Daniel Williams programmed the two Catalyst V6 media servers during tour rehearsals.

For the European leg of the tour Colour Sound Equipment supplied a lighting floor package and a 9m x 3m LED screen, which hooked into the venue’s ‘top’ house lighting rig each day.

Griffiths synchronized both lighting and video via an MA Lighting grandMA2 console. The whole show was run to timecode from one of the music track machines—the first time a Human League tour had used timecode to run a show.

Lighting director Chris Steel worked with Color Sound's Jon Rickets and Chris Brown to install three trusses over the stage at each venue. Thirty-one Claypaky Sharpies were distributed across the mid and back trusses and served as the main beams for their tight beams with minimal spill onto the projection areas. GLP impression X4 Bar 20 LED battens were also rigged on the back truss. Forty-six Chauvet Professional Rogue R2 Washes were utilised almost exclusively for looks on the grey cyc upstage.

projection mapping The Human League concert tour design

The front trusses were lined with 16 Claypaky Scenius Unicos for key lighting the three singers; more Scenius Unicos were positioned down the sides of the stage in floor positions. These lighting fixtures were selected for their shutters, which helped keep light concentrated onto the cubes.

GLP JDC1 strobes were integrated in the set and positioned inside the scenic cubes for accent looks that complemented the video content.

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