Show Control, Servers and Effects | AVFX Boston

Show Control, Servers and Effects

Software can make complex productions look easy.

Effects that were unheard of, or prohibitively expensive, just a few years ago are now possible on nearly any job. Advanced AV technology essentially eliminates the complexity of manual control by condensing cues into simple button pushes or media-triggered events. The result is a more professional program where the technology keeps many moving parts in sync so all elements are perfectly orchestrated.

AVFX uses a combination of proven technologies to deliver precision cueing in virtually any environment. We use the same types of controller equipment that is used today on Broadway or even Disney productions. Our technology can integrate the control of audio, video, lighting, scenics, rigging, or practically anything into simple manual or triggered cues.

While many of automated shows include large, complex productions, AVFX frequently stages programs that use automation in smaller environments where the delivery of important content in various media is critical. Our goal is to deliver the best audience experience and we select the appropriate technologies to guarantee that result.

Two common scenarios we see for these systems are:

  1. Installations and Trade Show Exhibits where you need to repeat precisely the same show over and over again over time and over days.
  2. Complex Stage Productions that consolidates hundreds of cues into a handful of timed macros.

Video Control Technology

AVFX can control multiple sources of video with frame-by-frame accuracy through a single controller. These cues can then be triggered from a timed video, off of a clock, with a manual remote cue device, with an iPad, or even with automatic sensors like motion sensors or pressure sensitive matts. Media servers, where multiple sources of video are all stored in one device, are also important to the process, as we can store and playback multiple videos on one machine versus having stacks of playback devices cluttering a space.

Why does this matter? Many shows these days, whether trade shows or stage shows, use multiple sources of video for effects or to show different perspectives on the same topic all at one time. It is how modern day multimedia productions are designed. The net effect is one where the audience sees action across multiple screens, as few as two or as many as needed, even into the hundreds. They see all of these elements working in perfect harmony. It is a powerful metaphor for any company to have their message displayed so precisely.

Video Processor Technology

AVFX uses a few different systems for manipulating video images for various show types. At the simple end of the spectrum, we may use a video processor to help us do a large panoramic projection screen, and then insert PIP’s, or picture-in-picture windows, to show speaker support materials and image mag over a panoramic image or video. At the more complex end, we employ a difference set of processing to develop projection mapping programs for our clients. Projection mapping has been a popular effect for several years now, and AVFX got its start with it back in 2001 (before the industry knew what to call it).

Our systems employ popular software and hardware packages that are standards in the industry. We custom build our versions of these systems so our clients get the capabilities they most commonly need at the best rate we can offer. For example, we have a mid-sized mapping system that fills the needs of most of our mapping projects. Most clients are not seeking to projection map a church the entire size of a building, they want to use it for a stage effect or in their corporate headquarters. We have a version of the system that makes those applications very affordable with great results.

AVFX has many examples of how we use these, and other, technologies to bring our clients’ visions to life. Ask us how we can help you.

For more information about our technical capabilities, please contact us to discuss your needs.