Dirk Sanders, technical designer for Control Freak Systems (CFS), worked on both the arena and the stadium versions of Bon Jovi’s Because We Can Tour, putting together the complex video control systems. In this second part of our Q&A, Sanders discusses the integration of the lighting and video control systems.

Check out part one here.

LD: What are some of the moments where the control ability is really integrated into the way the content is presented?

Dirk Sanders: We were really successful leveraging the content and the control. Moment Factory’s content for “We Got it Goin’ On,” “It’s My Life,” and “We Weren't Born to Follow,” are good examples because, for all three of those songs, they wanted to leverage all the screens, yet we always wanted to keep keying IMAG up there. So we developed a way where they could, through a keying mask, be able to control where the IMAG goes. It allowed us to transition cleverly the IMAG placement. Like “It’s My Life” starts out with this big machine content where the gears appear to be turning content over all the screens, and then a gear will smash in and sparks will fly, and it will open up to reveal a camera image. That will close up and another gear cog will turn and reveal IMAG on the side screens. We could map out and direct focus with the content linked with IMAG.

One PRG Mbox was configured for dual output and to just play alpha images. That server plays different masks and basically serves up masked images that we leverage in [Barco] Encore. At the same time, the other three Mboxes, each driving a set of screens, plays the other content, and the key is done in Encore. Other times, it's done leveraging the live input of the media, and the content has an alpha channel built in to it. So we can pick the right approach to it, depending on how the layering of the content needs to integrate with the IMAG.