Stage Designs

Throwback: Mountains of Sound

The Arts Team from The Grove Community Church in Riverside, CA brings us this projection mapping on foam pieces. (Originally posted November 2013)

Their goal was to create a versatile canvas onto which they could project various colors and imagery onto a large stage to enhance the look and feel of any series or event. Plus they wanted to keep a modern feel without going too overboard—to compliment what was on stage and not be the main attraction.

They don’t use moving lights or many special effects except for basic theatrical front, back, and side washes and keys, and some LED RGB washes and bars. So they use projection to give them the color and look they want on stage.

The foam panels were EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) Foam Panels.

Their arts pastor came up with a preliminary sketch in Google SketchUp with a scale model of their stage. The idea was to allow this stage to carry over into Christmas with added embellishments like trees, extra Christmas lighting, string lights, etc. The initial concept was to make the foam cutouts look like a modern mountain look, but in the end the concept actually ended up looking more like the “Fortress of Solitude” (ice crystals) than what they were going for.

The sketch was revised to what you see now with alternating height columns of foam, cut and sanded, then mounted onto black-painted panels with Liquid Nails foam board glue.

They used three Panasonic projectors running a triple-wide output from a front-of-house media Mac running ProPresenter. They create an overlay mask in ProPresenter to keep the projection from spilling out.

More than half of the media was created in house for series-specific artwork. On this set they didn’t use any moving animated particle videos or the like as they felt it would be a bit more distracting than they wanted.

To complete the look, a mixture of low wattage and vintage lightbulbs were hung and placed throughout to stage left and right at alternating heights. Later, these will compliment the Christmas design that will integrate into the current look.

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