David Horner, the programmer working on the entertainment production shows for Nieuw Amsterdam, sent us this interesting post about new technology being used to preview the lighting without having the set.
What we are doing is creating a replica of the ship’s show room in a virtual 3-D world. This computer-generated model has the ability to give a visual repetition for everything that is on the stage. It lets us control all the theatrical automation that is in on the stage, such as curtains, turntable, stage lifts and scenic pieces that fly in.
The software’s main feature is to let Lighting Designer Brian Monahan be able to start programming the 80 moving lights and more than 200 other types of lighting units on the stage. With show director John Charron and myself, we are able to sit over 5000 miles away from the ship and start laying in the looks of each of the new shows.
To be able to have the time to do this helps us create high-end shows for the Holland America Line passengers to enjoy when the ship is in operation. This technology is only starting to be used on Broadway and in the West End, so Holland America Line is very much ahead of the game in this, as it will be the first time that many new features within the software are being used.
Visual Connection Ltd of the UK, the company that has provided the virtual 3-D drawings and equipment to make this possible, have been working with the software manufacture and beta versions of their software. This is all because of the Nieuw Amsterdam project to incorporate lighting, video and scenery together in a virtual world to make it ready to be transferred into the real world for passengers to enjoy in less than a couple months.
The hardware, left, and the suite set-up.