MagicQ powers Hi-Rez competition
Wednesday, 2 January 2019
expoThe designers gave prime consideration to creating looks that would translate well on camera
USA - Early in his career, Zach Scott found part-time work supplying small audio and lighting packages to a local video gaming venue in Chicago. One of its managers, Brad Weir, later branched out to organise gaming tournaments across the Midwest.
Weir employed Scott for a few years, but eventually the two separated, Weir to pursue his passion of video gaming tournaments, and Scott into lighting, eventually creating his own design firm, Illuminate Collective. But old connections have a way of resurfacing. Seven years after losing contact, Scott received a call from his former venue manager asking him if he’d be interested in working at this year’s Hi-Rez Expo at the Atlanta DreamHack.
Accepting the offer, Scott went on to create sleek, camera-friendly stage designs for Hi-Rez Studios’ SMITE stage. A friend of his, fellow designer Dustin Derry of Stonewolf Studios, crafted the look of the Paladins. Helping them both in this endeavour were two ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium consoles.
“I was brought in to provide design, programming and operation for two identical stages at the Hi-Rez Expo,” says Scott. “With two stages being completely separate, I wanted help from someone who would match my passion for this project, so I called Dustin. We took on both stages from start to finish, as designers, programmers and directors, both of us relying on our ChamSys consoles to achieve looks that matched the intensity of the event and competition.”
Both stages had eight-universe shows with 79 controlled fixtures and 12 truss warmers that were set to the game’s branding colours. With the competition broadcast on Hi-Rez TV, the two designers gave prime consideration to creating looks that would translate well on camera, while still creating a friendly environment for the players and live audience.
“After our initial creative meetings, the main focus was on properly lighting the players and broadcasters for the cameras, but also staying dim enough so people weren’t blinded during game play,” says Scott. “Our vendor, Atlanta Sound & Light, played a massive roll in the overall design of the rig. We collaborated for almost two months on fixture placements and the overall design. For the aerial effects and big looks, I used the broadcast program monitor as a reference for what viewers online were seeing, and I tailored my programming on the MQ500 to have the biggest impact for the cameras.”
Throughout the competition, Scott and Derry had mobile pre-vis rigs setup in their hotel rooms near the Georgia World Congress Centre where the event took place. Scott had a ChamSys Maxi Wing in his room and Derry a PC Wing in his. “We did offsite programming and tweaks throughout the week, so everything always looked right for the competition,” says Scott.
(Jim Evans)

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