Photo: Using Avolites Ai media serves, DMDs7udios created unique looks for each artist performing at this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards broadcast live via the NBC Universal/Telemundo network
From the inside of a DJ-fueled dance party to the outside of an awe-inspiring, massive new museum, Avolites Ai media servers have the power to transform interior and exterior spaces to meet the technical and emotional needs of any project. DMDs7udios, the Miami-based leading user of Avolites Ai media servers in the US, has deployed Ai S8 and R8 media servers on a number of recent projects that underscore Ai’s power and flexibility.
Annually celebrating the best in Latin music, the Billboard Latin Music Awards once again turned to DMDs7udios this year to provide media screen direction, programming, content, and media server services for an amazingly complex set design by Telemundo’s Scenery Department that included Ultra HD video surfaces and a wide variety of LED technologies. Using six active Ai media servers, DMDs7udios was able to provide 24 physical video outputs that DMDs7udios Principal Scott Chmielewski says gave his team the creative options they needed to quickly create highly individual and unique looks for each artist’s performance without missing a beat on this fast-paced show, which was broadcast live via the NBC Universal/Telemundo network.
“There were so many artists and a very short time to rehearse them all and program the lighting, and the Avolites Ai media servers gave us what we needed in terms of content manipulation and output configurations,” Chmielewski explains. “Even slight changes in each performance could require changes in the programming, but Ai let us build, update and fix things on the fly. That kind of speed and power translates into incredible creativity.”
The Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture is scheduled to open to the public September 24 as a primary exhibition space for African American history and culture as well as a centerpiece venue for ceremonies and performances. During a preview event of the 400,000-square-foot, $540 million building situated on a five-acre tract adjacent to the Washington Monument, DMDs7udios provided projection-mapping services that immersed the entire building in images that portrayed 150 years of African-American history.
The event utilized four Ai media servers to map the entire building with 24 projectors provided by ScreenWorks for high-resolution (4K+) content producer Quixotic, using every output of the Ai servers nearly simultaneously.
“This was a very large-scale project, and the timeframe we needed to accomplish covering the thousands of architectural and geometric points was very tight,” observes Chmielewski. “Ai’s Autoblend technology leveled the field of this complexity, however, and enabled us to stay on schedule.”
Ai’s edge-blending capability assured that the mapping covered every aspect of the structure quickly and efficiently in what Chmielewski estimates would have taken four to five times longer without. An anecdote that underlines Ai’s considerable power reveals that when one of the projection towers was accidentally bumped the night before the next evening’s event—the last time any adjustments could be made before morning—the projector was refocused quickly and accurately using Ai’s software tools. “That’s not something that we could have done with any other media server,” he says.
Baltimore music venue The Rockwell Modern Tavern now has as much to look at as it does to listen to. The performance club’s 70’-foot-long, exposed-brick walls are covered with dozens of complex and irregularly shaped projection surfaces that Chmielewski aptly refers to as “shatters.” These custom-made projection surfaces are each eight to ten feet tall and between six and 18 inches wide, and spaced so that projected images seem to fit exactly on their dimensions without spilling over onto the walls. That’s because they do—the incredibly precise mapping capability on the singular Ai media servers using all eight outputs used in this installation allows each shatter to be exactly illuminated, creating an immersive, 3D visual effect as over 100 very high resolution (14K X 1080) scenes change constantly.
“Any imprecise mapping would produce visibly negative results,” he says. “Ai gave us the ability to map each shard perfectly.” In addition, Ai allows DMDs7udios to remotely monitor and update the content of the projected images. Using a web cam mounted in the club, they can visibly check on the system’s performance, and using a network connection they can send new content to the media server. For instance, when Prince passed away in May, DMDs7udios was able to send a visual “playlist” of images that were projected in a tribute to the late artist.
“Avolites’ Ai media servers are a core foundation for our media server services at DMDs7udios,” says Chmielewski, noting that the company has just moved into a new facility with design and previz capabilities in Miami Beach. “We have the largest inventory of Ai servers in North America, and we couldn’t do most of what we can without it.”