Up Close and Technical at the Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo

Courtesy of Janco Haywood.

Formative were once again contracted to provide expert technical management services to Aidan Bennets Design for the Paramount Ground stand at the 2016 Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition held at Waterkloof Air Force Base, situated on the outskirts of Pretoria.

The 2016 iteration of the stand was built on the solid foundations of the 2014 show, the major change being a transition from Projection to LED Technology, supplied by LED Vision in the form of two highly impressive brand-new ROE BP 3.91mm screens with a total resolution nearing 6k, all run via Brompton M2 Processing and fed from d3 Technologies v2.5 Servers.

The lighting, supplied by MGG, was designed to make the stand ‘pop’ and stand out, and given its close proximity to doorways and the serious weight restrictions on the venue, required ultra low-weight fixtures that could provide both vivid colour and adequate punch to deliver high quality camera shots for the many high profile launches and announcements on the stand during the course of the show.

The design of the stand featured scale models of many of the Paramount Group’s flagship products, each individually and carefully downlit with 25 tightly-focussed Selecon SPX 15-35 Zoomspots, controlled by the d3 servers via an MA Lighting MA2 System with a Command Wing and a 4-port node, the aim being to synchronise highlighting individuals models to the ultra high resolution custom video content displayed on the screens, such that as a product was featured on the screen the respective model was high-lit on the stand.

For general coverage and dynamic key light Formative relied heavily on an additional 14 Robin 1200 LEDWash, and for area-specific lighting on the stand Formative went with 25 of the ever-reliable Robe Robin 600 LEDWashes, which at trim of 8.5m deliver excellent light output relative to the throw distance, and with their fantastic weight and power consumption figures were the clear choice.

Audio requirements on the stand were for even coverage, spilling onto the walkway around the stand without interfering with the stands nearby, which called for a discrete truss-mounted down-firing solution, with a 3×3 grid of JBL PRX 710 Power Speakers run on separate sends to deliver maximum gain before feedback by isolating the various presentation areas from each other, with a neat stack of JBL VRX918 subs mounted behind the screen to deliver the low-end rumble that gave the video content an imposing “acoustic mass”.

Thomas Peters, Technical Project Manager at Formative programmed and operated the entire show on a backbone of Luminex Gigacore switches to create VLANs for the different network types and pass data between them, to allow everything to communicate with everything else and ultimately run the entire show via a bespoke iPad application created specifically for the stand, giving him immediate single-point wireless remote control over video, audio and the lighting from anywhere on the stand.