Editor's Note
SD Editor Jacob Coakley
SD Editor Jacob Coakley

My editor's note this month was used to announce our new Illuminations blog, which will highlight diversity backstage. You can read my intro to it here, and check out our first interivew, with lighting designer, projection designer, and puppeteer Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew here. 

Read more: Video Tips for De-Stressing

Answer Box
The pixel-mapped dress in performance.
The pixel-mapped dress in performance.

One lighting designer leaned in pixel-mapping and new technology to make a brand new Christmas Angel

The musical Rent, as with all industry changing productions, has earned iconic characters and popular moments for which audiences have developed firm expectations. At the University of Northern Iowa, director Jay Edelnant, costume designer Amy S. RohrBerg, and I (lighting designer) wanted to break those expectations. The character Angel Dumott Schunard is traditionally introduced in a Santa Claus costume for the musical number “Today 4 You.” Our costume designer wanted to break with tradition and have Angel enter dressed as a Christmas Tree. As a lighting designer, one instinct is to offer Christmas tree lights as an option, but I wanted something new. So the decision was made to pixel map on the dress. When pixel mapping, you have individual control over each LED pixel in the dress as opposed to LED strips where the set of LEDs are controlled as a whole. The goal was to make the LEDs in Angel’s dress look like regular Christmas tree lights upon entering. As "Today 4 You" started, we could chase across her dress, show animations, and strobe, enhancing the exotic and creative personality of Angel.

Read more: Changing the Iconic

Tools of the Trade
 Vectorworks 2017 is now available in its English-language version.
Vectorworks 2017 is now available in its English-language version.

Vectorworks has released the 2017 versions of their software, including Spotlight. Updates include a new Resource Manager to enable designers access their resources from multiple content locations. In Vectorworks 2017, project sharing enhancements integrates customer feedback from its initial release in Vectorworks 2016 and frees designers to work anywhere at any time with cloud integration that allows them to save project files in Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive and Box. It also offers more options to customize multi-user workflows with the ability to check out individual objects or layers. Addtionally, Vectorworks has implemented a unified symbol library, the addition of fixture modes, enhanced Vision Data Export Mapping and a new Send to Vision command, designers will enjoy the benefits of a reduction in repetitive design tasks for previsualization workflows with Spotlight and Vision 2017 software. 

Read more: Vectorworks Releases 2017 Version

Tools of the Trade
The new Atom G Clamp (left) from Doughty Engineering and their new Super Lightweight Clamp
The new Atom G Clamp (left) from Doughty Engineering and their new Super Lightweight Clamp

Doughty Engineering’s new Atom G Clamp is designed for smaller luminaires. The clamp fits 10mm to 25mm diameter truss and has an 8mm diameter fixing hole. Their upgraded Super Lightweight Clamp has new eyebolt features and has a captive knob, so it can’t fall off. (A nuisance when working at height.) They have also increased the SWL to 100kg. 

Read more: Doughty Engineering Introduces Atom G Clamp and Super Lightweight Clamp

Tools of the Trade
d3 Technologies adds real-time generative effects playback in their latest release.
d3 Technologies adds real-time generative effects playback in their latest release.

D3 Technologies released their latest software update: r14. New features include real-time generative effects and device recording. Other improvements include improved DMX patching, sACN and CITP support, cue lists, as well as various under-the-hood performance updates. Notch real-time generative effects playback lets users edit and create high quality real-time content in a node-based environment, then transfer and play back in d3 without time-consuming rendering. Notch content is rendered in real-time on the GPU, so it can also apply effects to your live video capture / IMAG or be made responsive to live stage data, such as audio, MIDI, automation or BlackTrax tracking. Other notable features include d3’s cue list, which have been completely revamped, allowing users to trigger any cue in any track, and edit cues within the cue editor without having to jump to the track.

Read more: D3 Releases r14 Software Update

Industry News
Ivins, Utah’s Tuacahn Center for the Arts recently upgraded its house sound reinforcement rig from L-Acoustics’ dV-DOSC to Kara
Ivins, Utah’s Tuacahn Center for the Arts recently upgraded its house sound reinforcement rig from L-Acoustics’ dV-DOSC to Kara

Tuacahn Center for the Arts upgraded their speakers this spring, and chose an L-Acoustics Kara line array system to replace their previous L-Acoustics system. The environment at Tuacahn is brutal on speakers—intense heat, rain and more—but the previous L-Acoustics rig handled it so well, when it came time to upgrade, they were happy to Poll Sound’s recommendation of the new Kara system. 

Read more: Tuacahn Sticks with L-Acoustics

Changing Roles
Thierry Pouliot Fletcher is the new director of business development for Show Distribution
Thierry Pouliot Fletcher is the new director of business development for Show Distribution

Thierry Pouliot Fletcher joins Show Distribution as their new director of business development. Fletcher comes to scenic, rigging and automation company from MDG. He also serves as treasure for CITT, has worked at Solotech  and is an IATSE member since the age of 16. 

Read more: Thierry Pouliot Fletcher Joins Show Distribution

Industry News
The 2016 Knights of Illumination Award Winners
The 2016 Knights of Illumination Award Winners

The ninth Knights of Illumination Awards were held on September 18 in London. Among other winners, Mark Henderson took home the Hawthorn Award for Musicals for his work on Sunset Boulevard at the English National Opera. The Elation Professional Award for Plays was given to Jan Versweyveld for Songs from Far Away at the Young Vic. Full list of winners in Dance, Opera, Projection design and more after the jump. 

Read more: 2016 Knights of Illumination Award Winners Named

Changing Roles
Stage Left Theatre ensemble members Jason A. Fleece and Amy Szerlong will now lead Stage Left Theatre.
Stage Left Theatre ensemble members Jason A. Fleece and Amy Szerlong will now lead Stage Left Theatre.

Jason A. Fleece and Amy Szerlong will be the new co-artistic directors at Chicago's Stage Left Theatre. 

Read more: Stage Left Theatre Announces New Artistic Directors

Industry News
NATEAC attendees at the 2016 charity dinner at Sardi’s
NATEAC attendees at the 2016 charity dinner at Sardi’s

There were 150 attendees at the North American Theatre Engineering and Architecture Conference (NATEAC) charity dinner at Sardi’s this year, and together they raised more than $11,000 for Behind the Scenes. 

Read more: NATEAC Raises $11,000 for Behind the Scenes

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