Tech Talk: Digital sets the wave of the near future
Ways to extend the life of an event to span multiple business unitsby Warren K. Kong | Published in January 2010 Columns | digital | technology
Ways to extend the life of an event to span multiple business units
Digital Lighting seems to be the newest toy in the event market. DL3s, Hypnotizers and Axons are all digital lighting products that allow your lighting designer to completely customize the lighting to your event. But are they right for your event?
First, we need to understand the capabilities of Digital Lighting products like the DL3, by Barco/HighEnd Systems. It is important to remember that these products are meant to be controlled by your lighting director. This is because they are developed to help enhance the overall feel and look of your event as it pertains to lighting. There is an old saying, in the technicians’ world: “You can use a Shure SM-57 to put a nail in the wall, but wouldn’t a hammer work better?” Meaning that there are proper tools for each job. Too often, producers seem to think that digital lighting can replace other AV-related items, like screens or projectors, PowerPoint or videos. In most cases, this simply is not true. While it may be possible to achieve the results you are looking for with digital lighting, there may be other solutions that are better for a particular situation.
When used correctly, digital lighting can be a powerful tool. As an example: If you were to design an all-white scenic element, you could create many different looks on the set by adding digital lighting, including different colors for different divisions of companies or different logos or titles for each region of attendees. The possibility for custom branding is limitless. Digital lighting can allow for odd-sized projection surfaces such as circles, triangles or even cut shapes. Digital lighting also can keystone correct video, when you are in less than ideal situations. Keystoning refers to the look of video image as you project it from angles other than straight on. Many digital lighting products have programs built in to help with this problem.
For many years, lighting at an event has been considered an enhancement, a non-critical part of an event. Lighting seemed to be in direct relationship to the budget: No budget, no lighting, but you still had a meeting. With the advent of digital lighting, for the first time lighting has the potential to become an essential part of any meeting. The flexibility and high level of manipulation allows digital lighting to go places that was previously difficult or impossible. Digital lighting quickly will become a part of any basic meeting or event.
Digital Lighting has specialized uses and can be very flexible when you’re in tight spots. Consult with your technical director or lighting designer to see if it’s right for your applications. As digital lighting starts to become more of a requirement for many events, it’s crucial for you to understand its uses and applications. Don’t get carried away with this exciting tool; many times