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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Christmas 2018 Slide Designs The Wonder of Christmas

9 responses to “Throwback: Mountains of Sound”

  1. Geoff McLarty says:

    This is a great design! Did you use short throw projectors?

    • Ian says:

      Thanks for asking! We actually have Panasonic DW6300US (6k lumens) series projectors with stock zoom lens mounted up top off the catwalks front projection at a nice extreme angle with the appropriate keystone.
      -Ian at the Grove

    • Hi Geoff,
      Also, if you look at a few of the wide shots, you can see our projectors peeking down under the catwalk.
      -Adam at The Grove

  2. Brendan Jones says:

    Awesome-looking and innovative!
    The Grove is lucky to have such an excellent Cel-Arts team

  3. Joshua says:

    Beautiful projection mapping!

  4. Alan Smith says:

    What are you using to project on the middle screen? So clear and crisp.

  5. I want to decorate the backstage of my church. 11796 S. Glen Dr Houston TX. 77099.
    832 887 7105

  6. Ryan Murphy says:

    Great design guys!
    We are thinking about doing the same idea(isn). You mentioned you made backgrounds, any chance you would be able to share them? Let me know, email me at!

  7. Liz Landis says:

    Hi! This a great stage design. Would like to make it for Easter Service if you will share the design. We use a gymnasium for Easter Service in Bismarck ND so need a wide design to use in conjunction with screen, stage, band, and light set up for dual service with Charity Lutheran and Surprise Church at Shiloh Christian School.

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