For the 2005 Robin Hood Foundation annual gala and charity auction, a celebrity-studded event that auctions off spectacular gifts to raise millions of dollars for the organization, performance environment design firm Artfag designed a lighting and video system that included eight screens controlled by two Vista Systems Spyder video processors.

Clarkston, MI-based High Resolution Engineering provided the AV solution for the event, held in New York City’s Javits Center. HRE partner Greg Byrnes deployed two Spyder systems and two routers to present Artfag’s immersive visuals on eight screens.

According Spike Lloyd, head production designer at ArtFag, the challenge was to get six different sources to the eight 64’x18’ screens in multiple configurations. Content destined for the screens included videos about the foundation and its work–the auction is intended to raise money for inner city kids; one-minute vignettes showcasing the auction items; and IMAG of the speakers and entertainment. Content was sourced from various playback devices including HD and SD DoReMis and laptop computers.

"I was really pleased with how Spyder worked," Lloyd reports. "It’s definitely a superior system for manipulating images the way we did. We used two Spyders to handle six HD signals. Spyder provided a virtual pixel map so I could look at everything at once and lay it all out–it was amazing to be able to preprogram and lay out the show. And Spyder allowed fast, last-minute programming adjustments with no problems."

Video production company Nocturne Productions provided the equipment and technical know-how to meet the video challenge. "We needed pretty wide screens and had to be able to route HD and Standard Definition video to all screens simultaneously," explains Nocturne’s head of LED and projection, David Panscik. "Spyder is definitely the superior product among all the contenders. It has a better interface, more flexibility and can do things that other similar products can’t. To do the eight projection screens, we used 16 projectors edge blended. We couldn’t use a really large projector onsite, so we used two smaller Digital 28sx projectors side by side. Spyder stitched together images seamlessly."

The Robin Hood Foundation targets poverty in New York City by partnering with and funding the best community-based groups; 100% of every donation goes directly to programs helping poor New Yorkers.