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Proyecciones Digitales takes theatre sets to a whole new level with Christie projection mapping
Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2016

CYPRESS, Calif. – (October 13, 2016) – Christie®, a leader in creating and delivering the world’s best visual and audio experiences, is pleased to announce that its 1DLP® projectors are playing a starring role in Franciscus, the hit Argentinian musical currently running at Teatro Broadway in Buenos Aires. The show boasts a technical level never seen before in South America and includes a spectacular stage set, designed by Proyecciones Digitales and mapped by 11 projectors from the Christie H and Christie Q Series.

The two-hour show is packed with eye-catching lighting effects, high-quality images mapped simultaneously, a live band, high-flying acrobatics and stunning wardrobe changes. With over 50 artists on stage, 12 musicians playing live, 40 technicians, seven dressers for 600 costume changes and thousands of sensory stimuli, this show is arguably the best Latin-American musical of the year.

“Right from the word go Franciscus was envisioned as a multidisciplinary spectacle” explained Maxi Vecco, co-director general and designer of the stage video, “and, in this regard, the video set the tone for the other elements in the set design, as well as the narrative, cinematographic and musical passages. We believe that with the use of this element alone we were able to inject a sense of energy and modernism to a story set between the Middle Ages and the present.”

The project involved mapping the whole stage, measuring around 480 square metres on eight different levels including two side walls that advance from the stage towards the stalls, the proscenium, four different levels of wings, a Peroni tulle backdrop and a backdrop in mid stage. In addition, a 12 x 6.5 meter LED screen at the back of the stage had to be integrated into the mapping.

“The client’s brief was not only to map the stage set and underscore the sense of depth, but also to create an illusion of a single screen on one single plane for the projection of various films, despite all the different levels and angles of the surfaces on which we were going to project,” pointed out Laura Molina, manager of Proyecciones Digitales’ special projects division.

Proyecciones Digitales looked after all the technical issues of the show, ranging from the screens on which to warp and adapt the videos to the mapping, as well as the projectors to use, where to install them, the types of lens, what concentration of light they would guarantee, pixel size, and how to calibrate the images to the different projection surfaces and textures and how to synchronise the various video cues with the sound and light deck.

To this end, they used nine Christie D13WU-H projectors (WUXGA resolution, 12000 lumens center) and two Christie DXG1051-Q projectors (XGA resolution, 10400 lumens center). They were attached to a batten at the height of the Super Pullman, and special supports were designed to be able to mount sets of two projectors in tandem. Some projectors are also used in portrait mode. In total they produce an incredible 130,000 lumens on stage and a total resolution of 20,000,000 pixels RGB.

“We recommended Christie projectors because of their quality images, versatility in setting up and their calibration software, all matched with their proven reliability,” said Laura Molina. “It was a very tough challenge and we needed tried-and-trusted equipment that would guarantee high quality reproduction. Furthermore, we needed to use some projections in portrait mode and the client also wanted the reassurance of equipment with a world-class reputation. These features of Christie projectors justified our choice and allowed us to carry out this project with such confidence.”

Four video servers were used to playback the AV content, one to control the system and the other three for sending signals to each projector. Despite having a LED screen and another eight planes of projection, the video servers managed to create the illusion that there was just one single screen.

Vecco maintained that the “quality of the image in the mapping was stunning, really clear and bright. It managed to wed to perfection with the lighting and the LED screen. The projections added visual poetry to Franciscus and a whole other level of production values.”