Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Centre (photo: Rachael Cady)

USA - The exterior of Philadelphia’s 21,000-person capacity Wells Fargo Centre has been lit up with rainbow colours installation to mark Pride Month, with ClearLED X-BAR LED bars driven by tvONE's Green Hippo brand of Hippotizer Media Servers.

Lighting and projection designer Rachael Cady was asked by Mark Fink at Green Hippo dealer and integration expert Barbizon Lighting to create the installation in collaboration with the Wells Fargo Center team. It will run throughout global Pride Month.

As part of a recent upgrade of the exterior lighting, Barbizon specified a Green Hippo Hippotizer Amba+ MK2 to run the LED bars, with surround screens that for June are displaying the Progress Pride Flag LGBTQ+ colours. The effect is further augmented by Acclaim Linear One DMX uplighter fixtures reflecting the rainbow theme. The LED bars were supplied by Jones Sign company and the content was created by the Barbizon team.

“The Amba+ MK2 was chosen for its versatility and ability to easily map to the non-traditional positioning of the lighting bars,” explains Cady. “We also chose it for its ability to listen to a variety of commands to execute the various looks that the Centre was looking for. We needed a one-button automation solution that would not only change the architectural lights but also execute the content in the Hippotizer. Video mapping and the other geometry and image warping capabilities made it possible to make content in a traditional raster that we could then place exactly where it needed to go to render correctly.”

To realise the content, Cady utilised Hippotizer features including VideoMapper, colour correction, saturation, and effects like Shutter to make everything align perfectly. “We also used the Hippotizer’s relay feature to send content from one mix to another for ease of programming,” adds Cady. “All the control commands are received via TCP/IP through MultiController and control timelines, and presets in the machine.”

The team at the Centre is operating the system throughout the month, controlling the LED bars and uplight fixtures using an ETC Mosaic system. “It’s an expansion of a control system already in place that now controls the Hippotizer, so they were very familiar with the interface and how it worked. I did a lot of programming on the Hippotizer to make things work in a very simple, one-button interface.

“I also created an operations page on the Hippotizer itself enabling direct control via ZooKeeper. The IT department at Wells Fargo set up a secure platform for us to login remotely to do any small adjustments or changes anywhere there is internet.”

The result is an eye-catching display of LGBTQ+ support, beaming a message of inclusion and allyship that can be seen not only on approach to the centre, but also from the nearby highway. The installation is also fitting as the Progress Pride Flag originated in Philadelphia.

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