Ohio University Gets Visual Assist with ArKaos MediaMaster Pro

by Naomi Crews

ArKaos Pro MediaMaster at work on Ohio University Commencement CeremoniesJeremy Schaffer, Associate Director of Operations and Production for Event Services at Ohio University, credited ArKaos' MediaMaster Pro as both versatile and user friendly for a variety of events staged on campus. The technology supports productions staged at the school's Baker University Center.

ArKaos MediaMaster Pro goes to University

BRUSSELS, BEArKaos MediaMaster Pro has been chosen as the most versatile and user-friendly media software for Event Services at Ohio University. More details from arKaos (www.arkaos.net):

Event Services is responsible for providing production support in Baker University Center (a student center with state-of-the-art conference and event spaces),  Templeton Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium (a 2000-seat concert hall), The Convocation Center (a 13,000-seat arena) as well as offsite locations.

ArKaos MediaMaster Pro has been used in support of the many university and community events that take place on and off-campus since it was first introduced by Jeremy Schaffer, Associate Director of Operations and Production for Event Services.

“We use Arkaos MediaMaster Pro for many different events from corporate and social functions to our University Commencement Ceremonies,” says Schaffer. “Primarily we utilize MediaMaster Pro to create multi-frame projections from a single source; for example, we used it to drive four LED video walls at the Commencement Ceremonies in the Convocation Center on our Athens campus at the end of this year’s spring semester.  We also utilize MediaMaster’s Video Mapper and Hog 4 CITP connectivity to create interesting mappings of surfaces in our Ballroom and other event spaces.

“The Ballroom, like many of our event spaces, has natural video surfaces in the form of blank walls, interspersed with doorways and windows. We can use these to completely transform the room with video projection. MediaMaster’s Video Mapper allows me to map surfaces, break the surfaces into multiple ‘windows’, and add and blend textures and video content quickly and easily. It literally takes about ten minutes to create imaginative backdrops across multiple surfaces to enhance this multipurpose environment. The Video Mapper gives a huge impact for the minimal cost and time you need to put in!”

Schaffer references one particular event, the Bobcat Family Reunion, as an example: “All we needed was a console and a computer running MediaMaster Pro to create a number of picture frames into which we were able to stream multiple changing photos and videos that represented the family.  We simply hooked the video into the lighting console and controlled the sizing, pan, tilt, etc of the image from the Hog 4, just as if it were a moving light. It’s an extremely compact, flexible system to send out on the road and doesn’t require our technicians to be media experts to operate it.”

Schaffer and his colleagues first discovered ArKaos at LDI 2013 when looking to upgrade their lighting equipment across all campuses. “We were operating from a Hog 4 control platform and became intrigued by media servers and the newly emerging video mapping technology. We followed up by renting some LED video panels with an integral ArKaos MediaMaster Pro licence from local suppliers, Sound Rental Services, for use on our Commencement Ceremonies. This was our first experience of ArKaos and, at this stage, we used the technology in a simple fashion as media management triggered using the Hog 4’s cueing software. Instantly we were hooked!”

Schaffer’s team was so impressed that the University purchased its own ArKaos MediaMaster Pro licence and two projectors which are now constantly in use, both in teaching and event environments, across the main and all regional campuses. “We had intended to introduce MediaMaster Pro into our auditorium venue for use on large concerts but our current units are always too busy on events. We will therefore be looking to increase our number of ArKaos licences in the near future!” says Schaffer.

The University places a great emphasis on training the students in the latest and best technologies and has installed a Hog 4 and MediaMaster Pro software in the student training area to encourage students’ creativity and lead them away from the limitations of using old fashioned banners to dress event spaces. MediaMaster Pro has proved easy to learn with an intuitive interface that the students love.

“There’s no steep learning curve to overcome,” explains Schaffer. “Students and technicians only need a couple of projectors and a computer with MediaMaster Pro installed to grasp the basic concepts and begin to map video onto walls. We have looked at many systems out there and there is nothing easier than Arkaos to learn and master.”

Students are often sent out to operate the shows at alumni fundraising events where MediaMaster Pro is the perfect tool to showcase the talents, technology and training that the investors’ donations go towards.

“MediaMaster Pro also makes life easy for us on a professional level,” says Schaffer. “Content can be imported by simply dragging and dropping thumbnails onto the console using the CITP protocol and then running from there. New content can be added easily without any need to adjust the cue stack which is invaluable when clients arrive at an event with last minute content and really saves time. It’s great for show backup too.”

ArKaos software also has the advantage of being operable from a laptop because of its compact, portable nature. “All you need is a decent laptop with a good graphics card,” says Schaffer. “This is great for training courses when students can practice post-training session back in their rooms, or for technicians to program their shows in their hotel room while travelling. When we were first learning the system we were able to grab any item that came to hand back at the hotel – mugs, notebooks, etc - and use them to practise mapping after a training session. There was no need for a large hunk of hardware!  All in all MediaMaster Pro is an extremely flexible, user-friendly tool.”

More information on MediaMaster Pro and any ArKaos products can be found at www.arkaospro.com

All enquiries in North America should be directed to A.C. Lighting Inc as the exclusive distributor for ArKaos products and software for North America, at www.aclighting.com