Show Department, Inc. joined forces with Barco/Folsom to stage Toyota Material Handling, USA's 2007 Spring RDAC Meeting and Awards Banquet.Show Department, Inc. (SDi), out of Chicago IL, and their affiliate companies joined forces with Barco/Folsom to stage Toyota Material Handling, USA's (TMHU) 2007 Spring RDAC Meeting and Awards Banquet. The three-day meeting hosted nearly 350 key Toyota dealers and managers at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa in southern California from March 14-16. Show Department combined their own staging expertise with that of their screen manufacturing division, The Screen Works, and production affiliate, Resolution Digital Studios, to create a unique projection screen configuration. With the projection configuration decided, Show Department chose Barco/Folsom technology to deliver the expansive widescreen display to definitively emphasize the meeting theme "Fast Forward."
The agenda for the meeting included a formal State of the Business address delivered by Toyota's CEO, an Awards ceremony, a sit down dinner and live entertainment. The staging configuration and projection capability needed to accommodate all visual support for the planned events. Using a custom rear projection screen designed by The Screen Works, SDi provided a 10 foot high display surface that spanned 70 feet across the stage. The definitive aspect of the projection screen was a 20 foot wide section at the center of the stage that curved out toward the audience like a bell-shaped curve. The screen provided a generous 50 foot wide flat viewing surface (25 feet on either side of the curve). However, it was actually the distinctive curve in the screen's center that turned up the heat on delivering high quality projection and display. Show Department integrated their own widescreen staging expertise along with Barco's latest technologies to deliver the exact projection angles that were necessary for displaying Toyota's dimensional logo, dynamic Fast Forward graphics, i-Mag, HD video and PowerPoint imagery.
Resolution Digital Studios' creative director, Joe Miller, oversaw the production of the widescreen graphics and various media components that became the focal point of the meeting. "The widescreen configuration offered us many creative ways to help Toyota craft and deliver the key messages to their dealer base," explained Miller. "The screen became part of the show, not just a display device, and allowed us to keep the audience engaged visually throughout the entire meeting."
SDI chose Michael Perysian as their engineer in charge for this project, due to his extensive experience with the Encore and widescreen setups involving asymmetrical projection. Perysian described how the clarity of projection display was achieved across the huge curve without distortion. "Six primary Folsom Screenshapers (plus backups) were used to re-map the pixels, both around the curve and across the remainder of the screen surface to maintain equal processing time between all projector feeds and keep the edge-blended image in sync.
Perysian also described how the overall equipment system was integrated on show site. "In total, 250 DVI and SDI connections were used in the setup. Since all PC's, cameras, and video playback devices were connected via digital connections, we were able to eliminate the common problems of A-D and D-A converters such as color shift, phasing loss and processing delay. The quality of the final image depended on keeping a setup like this clean. Encore allows us to do that because the signal remains in a digital form from beginning to end. As we designed this system and chose to use Encore, that was a deciding factor", explained Perysian.
Advances in the Encore code allowed Show Department to do things that weren't possible only a year ago. In this setup, the video processors were used in a "double-stack" configuration allowing for 12 scalable layers plus two background layers and a downstream key layer across six outputs feeding the projectors. An additional two video processors in a "double-stack" configuration were used to re-build the six program confirmation outputs for local viewing on a 50 inch plasma. Additional inputs on that destination were used to view foldback monitor confirmation coming from ImagePro HD's, which were fed from the various routers in the system. "As a rule of thumb, an ImagePro per foldback monitor is the way to go," explained Perysian. "When connected to the Encore, ImagePro's allow for fully scaled foldback monitor destinations with complete routability of any source in its correct aspect ratio, allowing us to fulfill a presenters request quickly at any time."
With the projection screen and dynamic display being the focus of the meeting, a modular 18 1/2 foot by 78 foot scenic set (Atlantis Scenic System) was built around the screen. A portion of the scenic set directly underneath the screen curve was 'cut-away' to serve as a pass through for speakers and performers to enter and exit the stage. Everyone from the CEO to musical entertainment made their way from a draped area just behind the screen. A set of steps positioned beneath the curved section of the giant suspended screen provided access to the stage. For more information visit www.showdepartment.com.