Loz Upton is In Your Face with The Crystal Method

I just read a press release from Barco about Loz Upton’s design work on The Crystal Method’s latest tour – he’s using a ton of High End gear, and the images with the release are awe-some.

crystal method

I love those ShowBeam 2.5’s!  What a freaking bright beam – I have been dying to get my hands on one.  Or twenty!

From the press release:

Barco lights the nights for The Crystal Method tour

Famed rock band uses the newest creative digital lighting products from Barco to provide layers of looks to match their layers of sound.

Sacramento, CA – 1 July 2009 – Digital and automated lighting pioneer Barco announced today that The Crystal Method has selected an arsenal of creative lighting products to launch a “visual assault” on their current “Divided By Night” tour. The tour could easily be named “United By Light.” The two DJs or “electro-pioneers” making up the group envisioned a virtual visual assault, or as lighting designer Lawrence “Loz” Upton calls it, an “in your face” production. Effectively, the band wanted layers of light to match their layers of sound, so Upton looked to Barco’s lighting product line to achieve his goal. The result is a road show that exemplifies the industry’s newest lighting and control technology.

Upton selected a full complement of Barco products, including 12 StudioPix LED pixilation luminaires, six SHOWGUN automated luminaires, four Studio Beams, two F-100 fog machines, and the new SHOWBEAM 2.5 automated wash luminaire – notable for its Twin BeamTM technology. Two Barco CLM R10+ projectors and two Axon media servers provide the video, and control is provided by a Wholehog 3 console using the Wholehog DMX 8000 Processor.

“People still need entertainment in this economy,” said Upton. “The show is very much in your face, and very effects-driven, so we basically wanted a lot of ‘gas.’ This music is all about layering, which is why we chose the SHOWBEAM 2.5, the SHOWGUNs and the StudioPix, as well as the regular moving lights – giving us layers of looks to match the layers of sound.”

Because video images play a large part in the layering, the band hired a group of artists to create custom content for the Axon media servers. Using the two CLM R10+ projectors, the content is projected onto screens mounted on two circular trusses. “We were able to easily download content into the Axon media server and then run it as a lighting cue. It’s so easy to do, it’s awesome,” noted Upton.

For additional content, images also originate from the StudioPix, which is not only an LED washlight but a hybrid graphics display device. “With StudioPix, you have many lights in one,” said Upton. “You have an effects-driven look, the effects generator, many colors, and on top of that, you can use it as a regular wash fixture or as an audience lighting fixture. In many ways, it’s more effective than an LED audience blinder,” explained Upton. “I’m really impressed with the way that I can manipulate the StudioPix to achieve many different aims.”

When Upton first saw the SHOWGUN luminaire in a video, he wasn’t sure what to do with the LED ring. But after seeing it in a live demo, the ideas began to flow. In this design, Upton matches the SHOWGUN LED ring with the outer LED rings of the StudioPix and the SHOWBEAM 2.5 – letting the rings play off each other in space.
For The Crystal Method tour, Upton also selected Camarillo, California-based Delicate Productions as the lighting contractor. “Everything we needed, they made happen,” said Upton. “There were many design meetings, and it came together really well. They really put a lot of effort and time into working with us.”

The audiences have made it happen as well, noted Upton. “From a lighting gig standpoint, people love the show. We’ve gotten nothing but rave reviews everywhere we go. It’s humbling, actually.”

For more details on The Crystal Method tour and upcoming tour dates, visit

crystal method

crystal method

Setting Up Pixellage – Cat West’s Video

One of the people I follow on Twitter – a gal named Cat West – has published a video on using the Echo software to collage across pixelation luminaires (ie, StudioPix and ShowPix).  It’s a good video – please check it out!

Setting up Pixellage from Cat West on Vimeo.

Also, check out Cat’s blog at Console Trainer.  Thanks, Cat!

High End’s Pixellage Software

High End Systems and Barco have released some software called Pixellage – the software allows the user/designer/programmer to apply an image across several of High End’s pixel luminaires, like ShowPix and StudioPix.

From the press release:

Barco, a global leader in video and lighting solutions, today announces the release of Pixellage, a new software feature for two High End Systems Pixelation Luminaires. This feature allows the SHOWPIX and StudioPix luminaires to display one image across multiple fixtures, providing an eye-catching stage presence, especially on television and for outdoor daytime events. The SHOWPIX and StudioPix luminaires are hybrid LED wash lights and graphic image display fixtures.

When Pixellage is used in conjunction with the latest version of High End Systems’ Echo software, users can easily divide a single piece of content into discrete files and assign each portion to different fixtures for output. This interactive process uses templates, alignment tools and media manipulation functions to provide lighting professionals with the power to create striking imagery across multiple fixtures. The procedure is streamlined with a familiar user interface and simple controls. Once created, the individual files are uploaded to the fixtures and are then ready for playback to create one combined image.

“The Pixellage feature brings the power and flexibility to the Pixelation Luminaire family that the Collage Generator feature brought to the digital lighting family,” noted Chris Colpaert, VP Creative Lighting. “It’s a remarkably creative addition to the lighting professional’s toolbox.”

The Pixellage feature, which previewed at the LDI 2008 trade show in Las Vegas, is now available for download on the Barco website and from



SHOWPIX Images from LDI 2008

I took a bunch of pics of the ShowPix at LDI this year.  I have to say, that fixture is B-R-I-G-H-T.  It’s pretty fast (in my humble opinion) and I was impressed with it.  I spoke with a guy from BARCO who told me that they have released a digitizer for ShowPix and StudioPix now, which allows you to spread your fixtures out in the program and send your images and video across your array of fixtures.  Excellent!

FYI:  All of my images are © Jim Hutchison and Alive Lighting.  Please don’t use without my permission.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

High End Unveils StudioPix


High End unveiled the smaller, more compact version of their new LED pixel luminaire, the StudioPix.  Kind of like an LED version of the Studio Color (except much more excellent, as the Studio Color has no 3W LED’s).  From the news release:

Smaller than its predecessor SHOWPIX, StudioPix features a circular array of 61 homogenous 3-watt LEDs on a 13.5-inch diameter head with an output of 11,500 RGB lumens. The pixels offer unlimited possibilities by projecting not just color, but also displaying images and effects that transform the fixture head into a display device.

Looks like the StudioPix is shipping in the early Autumn.  I’m looking forward to seeing this in production!  More news as it develops.