For the annual Festigal children’s entertainment show, Stage Design Israel came to Kinesys to realise the director’s vision for incorporating automation into the show. The show called for a total of eight video screens, two on each side of the stage (the show was in the round on a square stage), with the ability to track side to side and move up and down.
The Festigal show is staged annually around the Hanukkah holiday and attracts some of the biggest names in children’s entertainment in Israel.
Stage Design Israel purchased a system including eight motorised beam trolleys, eight slave beam trolleys and 16 Liftket ½ ton chain hoists, all converted for use with 24 Elevation 1+ variable speed controllers along with K2 3D graphical automation and motion control software.
As the equipment was going into immediate use, training and technical support specialist, Andy Hicks, travelled to Israel to co-ordinate the initial on site training with the Stage Design crew, headed up by Tsah Eliahoo.
Stage Design developed and manufactured lightweight aluminum I Beams with ‘smart’ connections to any truss, allowing for maximum headroom and making the installation very quick and easy. Each of the eight trolleys on the 12m square truss configuration had a group of three Elevation 1+ units, one to control the motorised trolley for horizontal movement and one each for the two Liftket motors attached to each LED screen for vertical movement. Cable management for the trolleys was handled by an in house system supplied by Stage Design, hung on the back cord of the truss allowing the trolleys to move unhindered. This system also carried all of the power and data cable for the video screens.
The data side of the Kinesys system ran from the control computer running the K2 software, down a snake (including Ethernet, emergency stop and power), into a PD-ES unit, up to a truss-mounted Array 485, which then distributed the data to each group of daisychained Elevation 1+ controllers, with a data terminator in the final unit of each chain.
From each trolley, two Liftket 500kg 20m/min hoists were suspended, giving the attached LED screens vertical travel in addition to the horizontal travel afforded by the beam trolleys. The variable speed capability of these hoists ensured smooth and fluid movement along with millimeter accurate positioning and repeatability. This proved invaluable whilst programming the cues in which two LED screens were brought together to form one screen, as it allowed controlled accelerations and decelerations to be programmed in, stopping any potential pendulum motions or collisions.
The entire configuration was programmed in K2, using parent and child constructs with the beam trolleys as the parents and the LED screens as the children. This arrangement allowed individual limits to be set for each screen and trolley as well as allowing the screens to be run in for maintenance without breaking alignment.
The 3D visualization features in K2 allowed the director to give detailed cue instructions to the operator before rehearsals, resulting in the ability for cues and looks to be programmed in advance. This in turn saved a lot of time during rehearsals and left the available programming time on stage to fine tune the pre programmed cues, rather than building them from scratch. With over 150 different positions programmed in the final show file, this time saving proved invaluable.
The show tours between 3 venues during its month long run, playing to over 500,000 people in over 100 shows. The Stage Design crew carried out regular checks and maintenance on the system to ensure safety and reliability over this period of time in a humid environment.
Eyal Lavee CEO Design Group concludes, "Within the Design Group we have huge faith in this system, and believe that creative minds will find many ways to integrate Kinesys into all types of designs for events, tours, exhibitions, theatrical shows and TV productions, etc."
Video courtesy of Design Group Israel