use case // 2022
Green Space Dark Skies is one of 10 creative projects that took place across the UK from March to October 2022 as part of the UNBOXED initiative: a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of creativity shaped across science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics.
The Green Space Dark Skies project, which was inspired by the 90th anniversary of the 1932 Kinder Scout Mass Trespass, invited people from all walks of life to become ‘Lumenators’, carrying specially developed programmable, wireless, low impact lights around some of the UK’s most iconic National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty after dusk.
The lights themselves – developed technology partner, Siemens – were fully trackable and programmable thanks to Stage Precision software, which allowed the designers to create digital choreography using the thousands of participants as their own living, breathing pixels on some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes.
Green Space Dark Skies required a level of pixel mapping and coordination that no media server would be capable of, according to Pod Bluman of visual specialist, Bluman Associates.
First, the GPS information from each of the lights needed to be recorded, then displayed visually as a 3D map, before the team could apply real time content onto those ‘pixels’ using Notch. Bluman contacted Stage Precision (SP) to see whether its software could be customised to perform such a specific task and, as always, SP was more than up to the challenge.
over thousand participants on 20 projects
tracking and pixel mapping all light fixtures in real-time
“At a time where it seems there are fewer boundaries to make ambitious projects like this happen, Stage Precision is the universal glue that holds all of these systems together. It’s really powerful and useful for complex applications like Green Space Dark Skies. It facilitates creativity and gives event designers and creative technologists more options”
– Bluman Associates, Pod Bluman
“Stage Precision understand how critical even the little things can be, and they’ve got a real wealth of lived experience. Even though this job was unique, they’ve done live tracking of objects in 3D space using other technologies and knew exactly how to apply that knowledge to this exact challenge that others might have shied away from.”
– Bluman Associates, Pod Bluman
SP developed a completely new and unique version of its software for Green Space Dark Skies, working alongside Bluman to successfully meet the project’s specific requirements. Even with the relatively simple pieces of choreography finalised on the day of each walk with event producer Walk the Plank, a high level of intricacy could still be achieved. The team could rest assured that each pan and colour shift could be done with confidence because the lights would always be where the SP interface said they were.
“This can only be achieved because it’s the technology that’s doing the synchronisation and coordination rather than the people themselves,” said Bluman. “There were a few little tweaks needed at the beginning, but we’ve been using it in anger on shows since March and it’s worked really, really well.”
For the duration of the project, the software development process went hand-in-hand with the development of the lights themselves, so all of the necessary testing and improvements could be implemented without delay.