Avolites Powers Paramore Visuals

Photo: Avolites

US rock band Paramore’s latest world tour featured a complex array of projection mapped video screens. The production displays psychedelic visuals were powered by the technology of Avolites’ EX8 Ai Infinity Server and Ai v10.1 software.

Production Designer Butch Allen devised the show’s video display. Three concentric rings of truss and screen loomed over the audience at a 45° tilt for maximum impact. Managing the tour’s substantial projection-mapping system was LMG Touring’s technician Grant Draper. “In terms of video mapping for Paramore, we have multiple planes of convergence and multiple focal points, as everything is on a slant and stepped back on stage,” Draper explained. “There is about a foot and half between each circle of the central screen, meaning that even on the most basic level we are not working with a flat plane.”

Using a modest 6 layers of content, Draper configured the stage’s projection screens using Avolites Ai v10.1’s Autoblend feature. Laying out the mapping as 1 screen surface in the Ai environment, Draper was able to calculate the required warping and blending of the video projection outputs onto the concentric circular screens on stage. “We use 3 Panasonic 32K projectors on the show,” said Draper. “These effectively act as cameras within the Autoblend 3D environment. I just pointed the projectors at the 3D object – the screens – made it fill the full image of the projectors and basically just used it as a line feed of that. I also used geometry correction within the Autoblend environment. Once I go into the warping features within Ai, then on every single output I have discrete geometry control of each object.”

Draper used Avolites Ai V10.1’s Surface Modelling Page to create the 3D stage set and then flipped between Surface Modelling and Stage View Mode to instantly see how the virtual screen transposed onto the real-world staging. By doing so, Draper dramatically cut down his mapping time at each venue. “There’s no way we could’ve done it without Ai’s 3D modelling in the time frame we had,” Draper continued. “What used to take me more than 2 hours to set up now takes around 15 to 30 minutes. This makes a big difference on show day and means less dark time for the whole production.”

Lighting, video and crew for the tour was supplied by LMG Touring, including the projectors and the Avolites Ai system. “We feel that Ai offers a great combination of power, features and affordability – and we had a great design to work with!” concluded Craig Mitchell, LMG Director of Touring. “The support from Ruben Laine at Group One was also instrumental in this tour.”