More than 50,000 fans packed the Dominican Republic’s Olympic Stadium in November to experience The Festival Presidente, the Caribbean’s largest international music festival. On the festival’s opening night, Latin music star Gabriel performed in front of epic LED screens displaying florid, fast-paced graphics, powered by Avolites’ Ai R8 media servers.
Yamil Charif of YC3 Lighting Design worked with a team of South American creatives, including lighting design partner Richard Vincens, to create the vivid Gabriel set. He initially programmed it using an Ai template at his Miami studio using dummy content before the real content, designed by a team of animators, was delivered just days before the event.
With a team of people inputting ideas and many last-minute developments, Charif needed to continue programming the R8 servers right up until show time. Due to the number of artists performing at the festival, including Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias, Charif’s programming time on site was limited so he programmed both off-site and on the fly.
“Some of the final content was only delivered a day before the show,” he says. “Thankfully, the R8 servers are very strong because they are intuitive. You can tweak parameters as you go, producing really fast results. With the R8s you have versatility – by just right-clicking on a clip you can make changes to it or add timecode time to it. It’s not complicated at all.”
The R8’s rock-solid processing power delivered the “spectacular, cartoon-like” graphics, which were inspired by Gabriel’s album artwork. The content was mapped across the stage’s three super-sized LED screens – two batwing style screens at either side of the stage and one large, central display at the back.
“The Ai software also allows you to 3D map your screens via its built-in 3D Stage Visualizer, so I was able to program the entire show off-site, before being connected to the onstage screens to test it in the real environment.”
Once the team arrived at the venue, the content was tried out and some tweaks were made. “If the artist wants me to change content last-minute, I need a machine that is able to do that,” says Charif.
For Gabriel’s show, Charif used one R8 as the main server and a second as backup. He utilised the R8’s Extended Display Identification Data (EDID) capabilities so he could disconnect and reconnect servers when other designers worked with their artists.
“Using EDID made it pretty straightforward,” he says. “You can disconnect and reconnect and the output will always be emulated on the computers. We connected all the outputs to the switches; then disconnected when somebody else came through to do their part. But when we reconnected again, everything was still set up the way we had it.”
The Avolites Ai R8 server offers 8 display port outputs and up to 12 layers and 8 outputs depending on project configuration, with top spec, fully featured Miami licenses. It also supports MIDI/LTC Timecode inputs and Art-Net and Color Kinetics KiNet output protocols.