Lucid Technologies Showcases VFX Demonstrations at #HSL30

Lucid Technologies gifts #HSL30 with advanced visuals and VFX demonstrations. Photo: Lindsey Cave.

At the recent 30th birthday celebrations for HSL at the company’s Blackburn HQ, Lucid Technologies delivered the gifts of innovation and visual impact – the perfect present for HSL MD, Simon Stuart and his hard-working team who, across the span of 30 years in the lighting industry, have provided the very same gift to others.

Lucid Technologies’ contribution sparked two main areas of the event. Delineating the event’s expo space with picture-frame gallery videowalls to highlight the companies supporting the event, the team also created an immersive and interactive demonstration of the latest in video technology, for attendees on the tour of HSL’s impressive 165,000 square feet premises.

On opposing walls of the expo space, the vibrant backdrop was created on 2 60m LED video walls. Content was supplied to the 60m x 2m LED displays from a Disguise GX2 media server running animated backdrops, which enabled promotional video supplied by the exhibiting companies to be placed within the ornate 3.9mm static picture frames.

In the immersive feature area, Lucid amazed attendees with a wider range of its capabilities, integrating automated movement into Notch-created 3D virtual scenarios, demonstrating their proficiency with Blacktrax, the six-dimensional infrared motion tracking system.

The full 3D video scenes were delivered from the Notch-hosting Disguise GX2 media server via five 12K projectors: 2 focused on the main wall, one on each side wall, with the fifth providing overall fill on the main wall for greater coverage.

Also rigged were six Blacktrax cameras set up via a Cat-6 cable and calibrated to calculate the positional coordinates of the room and the trackable items within it. Blacktrax transferred this positional data into the Disguise server distributing it to Notch. At the same time, Blacktrax combined information from an Avolites Sapphire Touch lighting desk controlling four Robe Pointe spotlights. All processing for Blacktrax was handled by Lucid’s custom rack with networking systems by Luminex.

Lucid presented a number of scenarios demonstrating Blacktrax integration with both lighting and digital media platforms, and also how Blacktrax’s tracking accuracy can be combined in 3D video-based scenarios.

As Blacktrax calculates very accurately where the trackable person or object is located but does not take full control of the moving head light – leaving manual lighting functions such as colour, speed and focus to be fully controlled by the lighting desk – Lucid indicated how a lighting designer could integrate significant mood changes created by lighting into a video backdrop without cross-fading to a completely separate video file. By adding the lights to a projected room scene in Notch, whilst exposing the colour function of the lights to the lighting desk, the colour of the lighting changed whilst the rest of the projected scene unaffected.

Showing off the more advanced capabilities the Lucid system, the team demonstrated how a force attractor from Notch, fitted to a Blacktrax trackable person, could pull the particles of a fully 3D projected grid. The effect is one that could be used in the theatre, for example, to make piles of leaves on an Autumn day feel the effect of a performer passing by.

Finally, three Blacktrax stringers attached to a hard hat calculated the positional centrepoint based on X, Y, and Z-Axes to shine a virtual light to the hat’s position in the 3D cave scene. As the hat moved through three axes, so did the beam of the virtual light.

Lucid Technologies MD, Klean Dalton, commented: “As a young company, we’ve benefitted from Simon’s encouragement and HSL’s support so, to add our gifts and skills in support of the celebrations for Simon’s fantastic achievement and #HSL30, is an honour.”