Robe at the Circus

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Robe DigitalSpot 5000s were in action for a spectacular 360 degree projection created by lighting and media designer Matthias Kern of Kernfusion on the latest Conelli Circus season in Zurich, Switzerland.

The two and a half month winter season has been running in the city for the last 25 years, and is staged in the 900 capacity tented, located on a small “Bauschänzli” island next to Lake Zurich.

It was the first year that Kernfusion was asked onboard to design lighting and visuals. The show's director Roby Gasser was very keen to show movies and images for the intro and at the end ... And also during some of the acts.

Staged in the round, their only option to do this so everyone in the audience could see, was onto a big sphere 5.5 metres in diameter and 10 metres high suspended in the centre of the venue. This was moved into several different positions during the show, hence the need for a video projection system that could be easily and quickly moved into new line ups.

"The solution of using a digital moving light was obvious," states Kern, who was aware of the Robe DT Digital Series, but was yet to incorporate the technology into one of his shows.

He contacted Robe and looked at all the DT series options - the DigitalSpot 3000, 5000 and 7000 - and decided the 5000 would be perfect for the application and size of the venue. "The multi-functionality of these fixtures immediately struck me," states Kern, "and the fact that they can also be used as standard moving lights as well as video projectors".

The five DT5000s were rigged on special brackets over the audience around the sides of the tent, each with a 9.2 metre throw distance to the sphere, with each DigitalSpot covering a projection area of approximately 4 metres wide.

The different video sources were all created by Kern and uploaded to and stored in the DT5000 heads, then soft-edged together using the fixture's powerful and useful Picture Merging facility.

The fixtures were run via ArtNet from a Compulite Vector Orange console that also ran the show's lighting. "They were extremely easy to programme and use, and were the perfect solution for this show, both creatively and budget wise," confirms Kern. No other video kit was required at all.

The DigitalSpots were supplied by Hansjörg Liechty based AudioTech.

Kern will definitely be using them again, and comments, "It's great to see a manufacturer with this foresight and enthusiasm for bringing new technologies to the market".

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