Stage Designs

Bumps in Shapes

Steven Bolt from Northshore Community Church in Kirkland, WA brings us this use of great texture.

From Steven: When designing this set, I knew it was going to be up for a few different series that our church was going through so I wanted it to be dynamic and adaptable. It came together with the help of an amazing volunteer team and influences from Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, WA and NewSpring Church in Greenwood, SC. This set took us about 3 days to build and around 150 man hours. We had done a few different sets with Coroplast, and while I love the color gradients you are able to achieve with smooth surfaces I really wanted to do something with depth and texture. Thats when I saw the “Coming in Waves” set that NewSpring did. That led me to amazon where I found a wide assortment of 3d textured panels for a reasonable price 12x 20″ by 20″ tiles for ~$80. After purchasing those, I started to look around at different designs and orientations that I could put them in. I recently had visited Crossroads Community in Vancouver and remembered a really unique set that they did using video wall that I thought would play nice with these tiles.

After deciding on the squares and chevron design, I looked at what I would need to light around the edges of the panels. I wanted to light the edges so that the different facets of the panels would pick up different light and allow us to do some cool lighting splits. We ended up installing 2″ by 2″‘s around the perimeter and lining it with strips of the supernight PCB 5050 LEDs. It took around 19x 16.6′ sections to complete it. They were $9 a roll on amazon. I didn’t want to spend a ton of time soldering or using those connectors, so we had a couple feet of waste on each roll. I also decided to use some projection on the squares cause everyone knows the more CMG, the better. For a number of reasons we ended up using PVP for content. The combination of projection in addition to the edge lighting on the squares really turned out great but the set definitely didn’t need it if its not in your budget.

Now for the details.

Day 1 Construction: We used 12 sheets of 4×8 OSB board @ $19 a sheet and 25x 8′ long 2″x2″s @$2 per 8′ stick.
Each square took 1.5 sheets of OSB, we made one cut at 48″ by 62 1/4″ Then took a second sheet and made a cut that was 14 1/4″ by 62 1/4″ to make a full 62 1/4″ by 62 1/4″ square. See the diagrams below.Then we attached them with 2x4s and 2x2s on the back for stability. Around the outside we cut 4x 2″ by 2″s to 60 3/4″ to make a boarder around the outside. On the inside of the 2″by2″ we stuck the heavy duty mounting tape and attached the LED tape to that. The LED tape was cut into 2x 118.5″ sections.

For the chevrons.. Each took 1 sheet of OSB. The first cut was at 48″ by 62 1/4″ and then the remaining was rotated down and but at 14 1/4″ by 48″. Again we attached them together with 2x2s and 2x4s to give it some rigidity. We made i diagonal cut on it for the portion we didnt need. The diagram makes this one easier to understand! Then around the outside we did the same thing with 2x2s. The cuts for each chevron were 2x @60 1/4″
2x @21 1/4″
2x@39 1/2″

That completely lined the outside of the chevron. Then we did the same thing with the LED tape and lined it with 2x 118.5″ sections.

For the long strips on stage, they were just 1 sheet of OSB each. They were cut to 22 1/4″ by 96″ and then the second cut was 22 1/4″ by 67″. Again outlined with 2x2s and LED tape attached.

Attaching the panels was fairly easy. We used Liquid Nails Extreme Heavy Duty Construction Adhesive ($4 a tube) using a caulk gun. The biggest time I have from this was to leave a little extra space on your cuts. The tiles are 19 3/4″ by 19 3/4″ and I made all my cuts based on that. The problem is that there is quite a bit of deviation on this. So cut as if the panels are 20 1/4 by 20 1/4 and leave a little fudge room. It will save you tons of time!

DAY 2 Painting and Rigging: We have a guy on our team, Chris, who recommended a paint for us to pick up at Sherman Williams Paint Promar 200 Flat White that would work similarly to a paint on projection screen. This helped a ton, the panels come “White” but painting them with this helped a ton! Then we painted all of the exposed wood with the same Promar 200 flat but Black.

For rigging them we used 1/8″ black steel cable and these little guys called grapplers. If you use 1/8″ cable a lot and haven’t used Grapplers, your not livin’. They saved so much time and are highly recommended for this! We attached the cables to the frames just using eyelets that were driven into the 2x2s.

Day 3 Lighting and Projection: For the LED tape we used the 12v power supplies that ships with the tape and the standard 3 channel DMX decoders. On our set we used 9 decoders total, on Amazon they run $20 a piece. Another huge tip is to always solder and heat shrink for LED tape connections. Ive used a few other methods and this by far is the most reliable way to do it. Takes a while but its worth it! For projection, we used 2x Eiki LC-X85s and pushed content to them from Pro Video Player with a mask. We didnt need anything too fancy sense were not pushing any critical content through them, just motion backrounds and stuff. I got the projectors on ebay for $700 with the lens.

Overall we spent:
6x boxes of the textured squares at $80 a box = $480

19x LED Tape rolls at $10 a roll = $190

Home Depot Supplies, 6 tubes of liquid nails @$3.50 a tube, 12 sheets of OBS @$18 a sheet, 25 2x2s @$2.25 per 8′ stick, + $50 for paint cloths, screws, caulk guns, gloves, ect. = ~$400

9x DMX Decoders @$20 per decoder = $180 (We already owned these)

2x Eiki Lc-x85 projectors @$700 a piece = $1400. This was totally optional, we already owned one so it was a pretty easy decision.

Total for someone starting from scratch is ~$2650 with out the projectors its only $1250.

Throwback: Compressed Throwback: 3D Coroplast

5 responses to “Bumps in Shapes”

  1. Andrew says:

    Does anyone know of a source for similar textured coroplast? I’m looking and can’t find anything.

  2. Luke says:

    Does anyone have a link to the Grapplers mentioned above?

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