Ctrl Fre@k embraces Hippotizer flexibility
Thursday, 21 May 2020
singaporeSingapore’s successful Bicentennial Experience used a rich mix of audio-visual solutions
Singapore - Singapore’s Bicentennial Experience was conceived to illustrate milestones in the island’s history. It employed a rich mix of immersive audio-visual solutions, from the large-scale to the intimate. Originally aiming for 300,000 visitors, by the time of its close at the end of 2019, its creative storytelling had attracted 760,000.
Behind that success was show design specialist Ctrl Fre@k, whose Wee Cheng Low used the power and versatility of Hippotizer to realise the multitude of solutions. A founding partner of Ctrl Fre@k along with Jeffrey Yue, Wee is one of Singapore’s leading experts in video and lighting control solutions, a long-time Hippotizer user and a member of Green Hippos’s Key User Support Programme (KUSP).
Wee’s career path had its beginnings in 2002, when he worked for a time as a theatre technician for a local theatre company. “I had very little knowledge of the industry,” he says, “but I thought it could be a fun career.”
Exploration led him to Green Hippo and its Hippotizer Media Servers. In 2008, he took advantage of a European tour to check in for HippoSchool in London. He has been an enthusuastic Hippotizer user ever since.
Discussing Hippotizer’s “standout advantages”, Wee says, “First, the ZooKeeper GUI is very well designed, with all attribute controls easily accessible. Hippotizer V4 gives the flexibility to customise our workspace, which definitely speeds up programming and operation. Second, V4 maintains the 2D workflow from V3: for many simpler productions, users don’t need to build a 3D stage in the software before starting programming. But if a production requires 3D mapping, we can add SHAPE into the workflow and begin working in a 3D environment.”
Wee points to Hippotizer’s LiveMask feature as an important aid to creativity. “Being able to just draw and mask any area on the projected surface makes working with sets with irregular shapes so simple,” he says. “I always advise designers not to worry too much about unwanted areas, as the masking is done easily in the software. Not having this masking built into the original content is often helpful, because set pieces can turn up with slight differences in dimensions from those originally specified.”
Hippotizer helped Wee with one of his most challenging projects - a 2015 façade mapping show, Share The Hope, for the National Gallery Singapore’s opening festival. “With the building’s complex structure and the projectors’ positions, we had to provide a playback system that could handle high-res content and allow us to mend the shadowed areas with images,” he says. “I’d been working in 2D environments in media servers and the need to mend shadowed areas on this scale made workflow difficult. But the Green Hippo team introduced me to SHAPE and the 3D workflow, which helped to simplify the entire task.”
Another challenge, in 2018, introduced him to Hippotizer’s integration with Notch generative effects. “A theatre play, I Came At Last To The Seas, had several projection surfaces that would fly in and out for various scenes,” he says. “For some scenes there was also a need for live feed with effects and generative content. We put together a system with a Boreal Media Server, Notch and a PTZ camera.”
Now with the success of 2019’s Bicentennial Experience also on its résumé, Ctrl Fre@k has a powerful reputation both at home and internationally, and with support from the Green Hippo team, they are prepared for even the biggest challenges.

Latest Issue. . .

Tweets from our Friends