The Detroit skyline is a canvas for nightly light shows during the Motown Winter Blast, all leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5. As the host city for the Super Bowl XL, the Motor City is pulling out all the stops to entertain the crowds pouring in for the festivities.

Starting tonight, Februay 2, the Detroit skyline comes alive with a show featuring 50 DMX large-format fixtures -- Syncrolites and Space Cannons--positioned on the city's largest skyscrapers, all under the control of a Flying Pig Systems Wholehog 3 console.

The lighting designer is C. Dall Brown, Dallas-based theatrical and architectural lighting designer who designed a July 4 spectacular in St. Louis last summer. For this gig, LD Chris Stuba was also brought in by Fantasee Lighting as a consultant for his experience with "Power Up! Houston"--a similar skyline show.

Board operator/programmer is High End Systems' Brad Schiller. "The pure scale of this project makes it very interesting and different than 'typical' shows,” Schiller says. “The concept is to enhance the city's excitement for the Super Bowl by having the sky filled with moving beams of light. Then at regular intervals, a special 'light show' will be presented in the sky for all to enjoy. We will also create special cues for whichever team wins the big game."

The Wholehog 3--with a backup Hog iPC--is set up in a room at the top of the largest building in Detroit. Radio DMX devices will transmit the DMX signals across town to all the fixtures.

Brown and Schiller spent a week preprogramming at High End Systems' Austin, TX headquarters. Says Schiller, "We are using an ESP Vision system to visualize the 'venue' and lighting rig for preprogramming. In addition, we are using a beta version of Vision 2.0 with this project. Dall has created a 3D model of downtown Detroit with all the buildings rendered in actual size!"

Early this week in Detroit, the real fixtures were connected to the desk, and Brown and Schiller had two nights to touch up the looks before tonight, when the light shows begin. The shows run nightly until after the big game.