A Wall of Colour: Bringing A Church Stage Design To Life

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Once a year the Jesus Army holds a national event in the north of England called “Sheffield Praise Day”, which as the name suggests is held in Sheffield. We hire out a sports hall and this gives us some flexibility with the layout. A team gets together to design the stage and then implement it, and after seeing a CSDI post about video mapping onto boxes I thought it would be interesting to try it out.

The design
After scribbling some initial ideas onto paper I handed it over to the experts to improve – Tim, Sam, and Josh, and they worked on making the panels and designing the stage. The theme for this event was “Crossing the Line”, so Josh incorporated a walkway that enabled people to go through a door in the middle of the wall, and down to the stage.

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The ideas come to life in Sketchup

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Capture Polar software was used to pre-program the lighting

Panels for the video wall
Material: correx (a coroplast equivalent) - 8′x4′ (1200 x 2400mm) sheets cut down to 4 foot squares, 4mm thick, with a bevelled edge so the squares stand out.
2″x1″ (50 x 25mm) timber on vertical sides of each panel. Panels all held together by a metal hinge to join 4 of them together in each corner.
Attached to the main top truss by velcro straps – 10m drops 50mm wide velcro. Loops on panels stuck to strap, and screw put through strap into the wood.

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The panels being made in the workshop

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The back of the panel – each one is scored 50mm in, and then folded back into the score so that the panel slightly protrudes

Setting up

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Testing the panels and fixings in our local church auditorium

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The usual discussion about replacing most of the PA with moving lights

Lighting Fixtures

  • 6x ADJ ViziBeam 5R
  • 8x Martin Mac 101
  • 6x Showtec ArcBar3
  • 1x 8cell Molefay
  • 2x 4-bar ACL
  • 6x Showtec Sunstrips
  • 2x Robe 148LT & 6-Bar Par for stage wash
  • 4x StudioDuo LED600 & 6no. CYClite for audience wash

Visuals
I’m part of a team that creates visuals for events, and this year as we had a big screen to project onto we made some videos to play before and during each meeting.

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The event ident video playing while the congregation crosses the line

I was particularly keen to show something of the city of Sheffield, as some people travel hundreds of miles to sit in a hall for the day which doesn’t seem very fair. So the week before I went round the city with Viv, and made a short video which encapsulates a little of what Sheffield is like.

As the panels were square and we knew their layout it meant we could map our content accurately.

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Editing knowing where each of the panels would be

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Voilà! It fits! People’s happy faces mapped to each panel

We used two Barco FLM-HD20 projectors at the back of the hall behind the congregation. These are full HD 20,000 lumens beasts, and made a big difference to the brightness and clarity of video on the wall. Supplied by XL video.

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The projectors double stacked for extra brightness on the panels, due to the width they had to cover

Resolume Arena 4 was used to map the video accurately on each panel.

Crossing the Line
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A family goes through the door holding one of the pieces that made up a long line for people to step over

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Perhaps the most powerful moment in the evening, as we remembered the martyrs

A short video of a couple of songs from the event and showing the church stage design:

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