Stage Designs

Lined Dots

Ryan from Generations Church in Greeley, CO brings us this cool dotted design.

From Ryan: When rolling out a new set for Easter and the summer months, we wanted to capitalize on the height of our space, and create something with high impact. We landed on ball-wall panels, with some LED tape integrated. Basically, we knocked off the Big Baller design, and added a run of LED tape to each side of the panels.

• 6 panels, each 4′ wide x 16′ tall.
• Each panel uses two 4’x8′ sheets of asphalt impregnated board from Home Depot. We landed on this for a few reasons. Cheaper than most other 4’x8′ sheets of material, rigid enough to stay square, and light enough to fly easily. Plus it comes black, so less paint was needed.
• Used steel studs to build a simple frame on the backside. This allows us to detach the top sheet from the bottom sheet down the road for storage or repurpose to a different environment. Also lighter than wood studs, and pretty cheap.
• Flew the panels using chain to existing rigging.
• About 200 3″ half sphere Styrofoam balls, tacked on with liquid nails. Built a simple jig template so spacing was consistent.
• A 5m run of LED tape on each side of the panels. We used a thin gauge aluminum channel with a frosted cover over the LEDs to soften the look a touch, and keep them super straight.

Each panel is uplit with a COLORado Batten 72 fixture.
LED strips use a DMX decoder per run, so they are individually controllable.

Also built simple pillars to raise some movers off the stage deck by about 8′, as an alternative to truss.

We replicated the set at smaller scale at a portable campus. Just three 4’x’ panels that are freestanding.

Not including light fixtures and some decoders/power supplies we had from a previous project, our total budget was about $1,800 for two campuses. The styrofoam balls themselves are the most expensive part, when needing almost 2,000 of them.

Live video of our Easter opener, for how the set holds up on camera:

Get Out! Throwback: Discochecks

10 responses to “Lined Dots”

  1. Jevon says:

    This is really awesome guys, good work to the whole team!

  2. Sam Kamnikar says:

    Would you be willing to send a photo of what your jig looked like to get the balls lined up perfectly? Also was that 200 balls total or per 8ft section?

    • Ryan says:

      Hey Sam, I’ll see if I can track down a pic of the jig.

      Ball wise, I was a little off in the original post. Each 4’x8’ panel: 7 columns, 16 rows, so 112 balls per panel. The jigs were built to put a ball dead center horizontally, and then used a 3” gap between the balls working outward, ending with about 4.5” between the edge of the last ball and the edge of the panel.

      • Jeremy says:

        Yes I would like to see the jig as well!

      • Lee Bonner says:

        Could you send a photo of the jig cut outs? Can you make it out of cardboard instead of wood?

        We are in the middle of COVID 19 and preparing to reopen the church and i volunteered to build this for our church in two weeks. Any help you can provide would be great.

        We are painting the styrofoam boards and have ordered 2.5″ half balls. We are also creating 5 panels that are 4′ x 16′ tall. planning 8 columns of balls.

  3. Jaime says:

    That looks amazing! how did you manage to light the 3″ half sphere Styrofoam balls? In the opening video they look blueish and the led lights a warm yellow light… Can you help me out understanding? Thank you!

    • Ryan says:

      Hey Jamie. The balls are up-lit with an LED light fixture. The balls are pretty glossy/reflective and display light really well. We used Chauvet COLORado batten light fixtures, placed about a foot in front of the panel, angled up, and back slightly. Other fixtures would work too, either lighting from the bottom, or lighting from the top down.

      The light strips on each side of the panels are runs of LED tape, so they’re controlled separate from the ball uplighting. That let us have a ton of flexibility in terms of color options.

  4. Bridgette Hammers says:

    Where did you purchase the 3″ half spares?

  5. Ryan says:

    Hey Ryan, love the set! I’ve recently transitioned using LED tape for sets as well, but haven’t found a great way to frost them over to get a more even distribution. What did you use as a frost cover here?
    Also, were you able to find a picture of what the jig looked like for the template to line the balls up? Would be curious how you did that as well.

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