Stage Designs

Throwback: Big Baller

Andrew Hunt and his crew from Blue Ridge Community Church in Forest, VA brings us this great alternative to the pit ball concept. (Originally posted July 2012)

They bought a bunch of half-ball styrofoam balls online. This kept them from having to cut each one in half. (You can easily get them at your local craft store or save money online.)

Andrew had already drawn them up in Sketchup so they knew the spacing before starting. They marked off the spacing on some 4×16 panels and used a chalk line using Irwin Dust-Off chalk to make the grid. They applied Liquid Nails to the back of each piece of styrofoam and centered each piece at the cross hairs of chalk. Once they were all applied, they used our eyes to make small alignment tweaks. Then they dusted off the chalk. They let them sit overnight and hung them the following day.

The 4x16s are recognizable as they’ve used them for several other designs in the past. They like to recycle as much as they can. They painted them black and used them as a structure for the styrofoam.

Cool idea: Imagine projection on these using smaller balls. Cool LED wall alternative.

I Am Multi-Purpose Poke Stage

66 responses to “Throwback: Big Baller”

  1. Bridgett says:

    4×6 panels of what?

  2. Jon says:

    So what size were the balls?

  3. Jared says:

    I like this, simple and clean. Good job!

  4. Orlando says:

    Like.!!!

  5. David says:

    What kind of lights are used here?

  6. Dan says:

    I like the look; would like to hear more about how it’s lit. The pattern looks like it’s one light, but the spill and some photos look like it’s 3 lights per panel.

  7. Andrew says:

    Are those LED Pars lighting up the panels? Great set idea!!!!

  8. Andrew Hunt says:

    To provide a little more detail:

    • The panels are foam insulation board available at Lowes/HD etc. They come in 4×8 sheets and they are glued together in the middle. We also applied 1/2″ drywall trim to the edges to create a nice clean edge to the panels.

    • The diameter of each half ball was 1.5″, they are half styrofoam balls.

    • 1 ETC Selador Paletta per panel, toplit. The movers are High End Studio Beams.

    Hope that helps!
    Andrew

  9. Mike Fowler says:

    Awesome design! I would like to do something similar for my youth group building. What kind of light fixtures are being used?

  10. Austin Whelan says:

    Hello. Incredible. Site you bought the styrofoam balls??? PLEASE & THANK YOU!

    • Ryan says:

      Looks Great! I would also like to know the web site you used to purchase the half balls. Not having much luck finding them.

      Thanks,
      Ryan

  11. Kevin says:

    I’m a beginner stage designer for our church plant. we currently have a large theater stage at a college. We have an upcoming event and like this design. If we build the same height, what type LEDs would you recommend using? Par cans, bars, or panels? we can buy them for the event and reuse them often We have DMX light board already and a few par 38 LED’s. ANY HELP IS APPRECIATED.

    • Andrew Hunt says:

      In my opinion you could use almost any professional or semi-professional LED fixture to light it. A few things I would be concerned with are:

      1. Brightness of the fixture – the brighter the better
      2. How narrow the beam is (you should be able to calculate this for most fixtures)
      3. Amount of light hitting the design from other sources…i.e. downstage frontlight washing out the balls, competing with your LEDs.

  12. Andrew Hunt says:

    Sorry it took me so long!

    http://www.plasteelcorp.com is where I purchased them.

    I believe these were the actual product:
    http://www.plasteelcorp.com/foamshapes/smoothfoam_styrofoam/10065.html

    There are 256 balls per panel, 1536 total.

  13. Jeff says:

    Can someone email me a set of the plans (if available)?

    jeffcox800@yahoo.com

    Thanks!

  14. Jordan says:

    Did you paint the panels black? If so what kind of paint did you use? Do you remember what kind of cement you used to put the two panels together?

    • Andrew Hunt says:

      Hi Jordan,

      Gorilla Glue for the panels, Liquid Nails for the styrofoam. Yes, we painted them black. Any flat black paint will work for ya.

  15. Jordan Moore says:

    where did you guys get the panels from?

  16. Love the clean lines of this design. It adds a level of sophistication to the environment without being distracting. Great job Blue Ridge Community Church!

  17. Paco G says:

    Hello Andrew !!!
    We just took this great desing idea and we will use it to remodel our church in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
    Actually, we started today !!!
    Thanks for your help, God bless you !!

  18. Martin Underhaug says:

    Hei Andrew! Your stage looks awesome!

    The Sketchupfile u added here, it dont have the elements/walls, or, I dont get them when I download the file. Can you send me a sketchup file of the stage?

    Thanks mate, God bless!

  19. Mike says:

    Hey Andrew,
    I wanted to know what the distance you had between each ball, but especially the distance around the edges so we can keep the same distance from one board to the other.

    Thanks,
    Mike

    • Ryan Gordon says:

      Hey Mike! Andrew sent us the google sketchup drawing so we could perfectly line up the balls. Our panels had to be to 4′ x 12′ so we modified the plans slightly, but it was the easiest way to make sure everything looked great.

  20. Ryan Gordon says:

    Andrew – Sorry I never followed up with a pic of how it turned out.

    Here’s a link to a video of how the panels look in our sanctuary. They turned out AWESOME, so thank you! And yes, we did do FF5’s “Wobble” as a part of our worship service, but only because I try to keep things fresh and the congregation on their toes :)

  21. Josh Wyatt says:

    You could use black Choroplast which runs about $11 per 4×8 sheet and come out cheaper than the Lowes panels and then painting.

  22. Jen Young says:

    This is brilliant! Thanks everyone for the supply details, too. I’ll be building some panels shortly for our stage! :)

  23. go here says:

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  24. Aaron Phetteplace says:

    Hey Andrew, I know its been awhile cense you posted this stage design, but I was wondering if you could let me know how much space you put in between each of the balls? Thanks so much.

  25. Dustin says:

    Hey Andrew,

    How many Balls in Total did you end up using?

  26. debo Ijiwola says:

    Lovely design Andrew. I’m wondering how you made the 4ft X 16ft panels to stand on their own. Did you attach them to a wood frame or did you hang them from the ceiling. If you hung them, what material did you hang with? Thanks! You can email me at deboijiwola@thecitylight.org.

  27. Nicolas says:

    How did you hang your panels? I’m thinking aircraft cable but how should I attach it to the Styrofoam sheets?

  28. http://www.flickr.com/photos/cplace/8942502238/in/set-72157634087794355/

    We used this for our live recording last May and are putting them back up for Easter this year. We LOVE this design!

  29. Victor says:

    Quick question, what was the distance between each ball?

  30. Isaac MacDonald says:

    We used this set at Elevate @ Calvary Baptist in Winston Salem, NC. Check out the pictures below!

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/isaacmacdonald/sets/72157644432432824/

  31. Alex says:

    Hello all,

    We used 4 black Choroplast to build two colons, with a total of 600 half styrofoam balls in both colons.
    We also built a cross in the middle of the stage.
    I made sure to register each step, You can see them on the following pictures:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/129455006@N08/

    You can check out the final result on youtube:

  32. Janny says:

    I know that this has been a while, but can someone please send me the sketch file. Thanks alot. olajdia@gmail.com

  33. Bill Ohlsson says:

    Does there seem to be a preference for the half ball size? When you go to
    http://www.smoothfoam.com I see there is lots of different ones under their
    balls category.

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