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USA: d3 Media Servers Support Jennifer Lopez At Planet Hollywood

Jennifer Lopez has kicked off the second round of her headlining Las Vegas residency at the AXIS Theater in the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

Jennifer Lopez: ALL I HAVE” traces her show biz journey from hip hop to Hollywood with a live band, dancers, extravagant costumes and sets. d3 Technologies’ 4x4pros were selected as media servers for the show’s extensive video content, which appears throughout the production.

“Jennifer Lopez: ALL I HAVE” seamlessly interweaves different parts of her life – the Actress, the Dancer, the Pop Star – in a series of acts that take the star from her childhood in the Bronx to the glamour of the red carpet. Designed as a proscenium-style show, the production uses video projection to highlight her career and the music that defines it.

“There’s content in every element of the show,” says Nicholas Militello, president/video content producer at It Factor, Inc., Los Angeles. “Even during quiet moments, when Jennifer chats with the audience, video elements help inject viewers into her world.”

Militello had experience with d3 prior to the production and calls the media server “super powerful for large-scale shows, especially those cresting into high resolutions. For me, d3 shines better than any media server out there for content projection. It handles projection, LED, timecode – whatever you throw at it.”

The set offers a number of projection surfaces: a custom piece of projection material frames the proscenium, a house curtain and a fringe curtain are positioned upstage. The most unique projection surface is the giant skirt of Lopez’s gown, which forms a cone shape as she rises from the stage on a ribbon lift to a height of approximately 20 feet.

The production has seven d3 4x4pros on hand. One acts as the master controlling the video content, four are output machines, and two are understudies backing up the master and output machines. A complement of Barco 30K projectors are deployed: five double-stacked projectors for the proscenium arch, six double-stacked for the house curtain and fringe curtain, and three double-stacked for the gown. Content is displayed at 5400 x 1850 resolution. VER is the equipment vendor.

“Since Jennifer is sharing the space with other artists in residence we could only fit elements in certain spaces as they had to coexist with other artists’ props and scenic elements,” says d3 programmer Matthew Cotter. “d3 and its previsualization were used extensively to see how projectors could be mapped and what could be projected where.”

Loren Barton, owner of Bend, Oregon’s Lumentech Inc. and the show’s media programmer, agrees with Cotter on the value of using d3 software to virtually manipulate the set pieces. “The show was built in d3 so we could visualize the media and in MA 3D so we could visualize the lighting,” he explains. “When the dress rose off the stage and the skirt stretched to form a projection surface, I could drive the dress in virtual space in MA 3D and d3 3D together. I could see how the set pieces integrated with lighting and video.”

“d3 was “clearly the right choice” for the show. It allowed us to be flexible and to render several planes of content at once. Nick produced all the content on one template while d3 handled masking and mapping. The content for the fringe curtain would go only to the fringe curtain, the content for the proscenium would go only to the proscenium. He didn’t have to create different media renders, and that was a big time saver,”said Barton.

“I handed over just one file; I didn’t have to cut up elements to match different outputs, which is typical of other media servers,” echoes Militello. “The ability to deliver one file was huge.”

Barton says d3’s SockPuppet feature “made it easy to integrate lighting control” driven by a grandMA2 full-size console. d3’s Direct Timecode Control of media enabled him “to update parameters from DXM directly, not through the timeline.” The Media Management feature, released in the award-winning d3 r12 software release, meant Barton could “update media in pieces, instead of uploading whole clips, and track the history of those updates.”

The team from d3 “lent a helping hand throughout,” notes Militello. “They provided really good support although we didn’t need a ton of help.”

The second round of Lopez’s residency features revamped looks and content. “We added some new songs and swapped out some content, so we have been able to trim the equipment complement on this run,” Militello reports. “We’ve worked closely with creative directors Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo to bring the vision of the show to life. It’s been an amazing experience.”

Cory FitzGerald is the lighting and set designer for “Jennifer Lopez: ALL I HAVE,” and Patrick Eaton is the VER systems technician. All Access Staging ; Productions fabricated the sets.

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