Special Event Design

Throwback: Destroyed City

Paul Snyder from Fairfax Community Church in Fairfax, VA brings us this cool design that changes each week. (from Nov 2011)

They wanted a stage that would change throughout the series. The series was called “Restore” and their key art was an image of a destroyed city with a hand holding a polaroid. Within the polaroid, the city was completely pristine. So during the 5 week series, they wanted our stage design to morph from destroyed to restored.

They took two graphics and printed 2x2foot tiles–one version of the restored city and one of the destroyed city. They then hung the tiles on a grid (repurposing their grid from the Love Illuminated series) and each week they switched a few tiles.

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30 responses to “Throwback: Destroyed City”

  1. Jacob Parodi says:

    What did you use to print the tiles on?

  2. John Falke says:

    We found a printer that printed and delivered all 80 2×2′ panels for $6.25/each. I believe they were printed on vinyl and mounted on foam core panels and then supported by our grid.

    • andy cass says:

      do you mind sharing the printer company information?

      • andy cass says:

        thank you john for your reply

        here’s another: when you had this printed what was the design size and the DPI?

        • Brian Casey says:

          I believe that John supplied us with a relatively low resolution image 2500 pixels x 1600 pixels or so.

          We use a variety of upscaling applications along with Onyx ProductionHouse X10 RIP to take these lower resolution images and blow them up to the final 600dpi resolution image. It’s been awhile, but I believe that John’s final image during printing was somewhere in the realm of 12 gigabytes of data, but it looks really great.

          On rare occasions, we’ll do some minimal manual manipulation to try to reduce artifacts or pixelization, but our in-house upscaling has been something we’ve been working on for over 12 years and we’re really proud of it.

          A few people contacted us from here and we just did the upscaling portion, sent them the file back, and they sourced the panels from local print shops. There are many ways to skin this cat, but the final product is a site to behold in person.

    • Donna Addicott says:

      where did you get your images? trying to find a very similar image and perspective…

  3. John Falke says:

    This is not a printer we use regularly but our Communications Director had used this printer when he was in Florida at a previous church. He contacted them via email and told them our project and they gave us a quote of $500 for 80 uniquely printed 2×2′ polypro banners. The website is http://www.tree-fox.com | Enjoy!

  4. Brittany says:

    just a quick question:
    why did you guys just use a stationary image?

  5. John Falke says:

    Hey Brittany, I’m not sure if you’re asking why didn’t we use a projector or why we didn’t just print one big banner? We didn’t use a projector because we don’t have any extra and wanted it to be a backdrop for the band (our center screen is a bit higher and not as big). We didn’t use one big banner because we switched out the panels every week so it would slowly become more restored over the length of the series. Hope that answers your question.

    • Brittany says:

      i was asking about the projector. I wasnt sure if you were using this for only a one time deal, a short series, or for a long period of time. i do apologize, im on my cell, so i think some of the commentary under it got cut off or something because I could have answered my own question! this is a great idea, though. Kudos on creativity!

  6. Richie Allen says:

    Did you design the photo at 300DPI and full-size? That would be a MASSIVE file in Photoshop…

    We’re thinking about doing something similar, but I want to make sure I can find or create large enough photos to make it look good.

    • Brian Casey says:


      We did the print here for John’s congregation, and have done likely another dozen jobs since he kindly posted this information.

      We handle all of the artwork upscaling and tiling work, so it’s pretty easy if you have a reasonable looking image. One of our projects was to take a really low res Powerpoint image (1200dpi x 800dpi) and blow it up to 8 panels wide by 6 panels high (24″ x 24″) and the resulting panels were really beautiful.

      We’re also able to work with congregations who don’t have huge budgets because of some of our founders’ donations to our print ministry department. Although I’m not here to promote our services only — if you want to do this with a local print shop, we’ll gladly share our “secrets” with you or them so you can get it done easily, inexpensively, and with a lot of power on the presentation.

  7. John Falke says:

    Our design was only a few thousand pixels wide and then it was blown up by the printer. Since people were 30′ or further from it, it looked really good. You can download our graphic files for free here: http://www.openresources.org/restore

  8. Leah says:

    *_*….. lovely!
    this is really just…. great :D

  9. Robby says:

    What was the sheen of the finished prints? Glossy or matte? I know some printed foam-core stuff I’ve used in the past ended up being way to reflective for stage use.

    • Brian Casey says:

      This particular job, as well as all stage printed jobs, are printed with a strong matte finish. It is highly non-reflective in terms of hot-spotting, but the albedo is high so it does brighten up well under spot stage lamps. So far, after many years of doing similar church prints, we’ve never had someone complain about hot spotting.

      On very wide angle viewing, some colors may appear off, but that will happen much worse with video projection and there isn’t any print technology that can correct for this.

  10. John says:

    Matte finish on the prints.

  11. Devin says:

    Where did they get the grid holder from? Was that made

    • John says:

      We built it out of 2×4’s, sort of like a grid. Painted it all with a flat black. Put it on black rolling platforms that we had from a previous set. Used triangles on the back to support the grid. We had the grid in two sections, a 8′ section (left 3 panels) 12′ section (right 5 panels) This allowed us to roll it out from both sides backstage during the video bumper and put it together in the dark. The entire thing had black duvetyne (cloth) behind it.

  12. Rob says:

    How did you attach the pictures to the frame?

  13. John says:

    We used velcro strips so that we could easily change out the panels.

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