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Little Hoglet, Big Control for China’s Lake Installation

Little Hoglet, Big Control for China’s Lake Installation

China – A High End Systems Hoglet 4 is providing big control for a new outdoor multimedia installation in China.

Two times each night, a lake in the park in Liaocheng, Shandong Province comes alive with lighting, lasers, mist, flames and fountains. The free half-hour interaction enthrals up to 10,000 spectators with the colourful, watery spectacle.

LD Theo Cox, a High End Systems Hog 4 lighting console user, chose the smaller, more compact member of the Hog family for this project. “I elected to program with a Hoglet 4, as this was the right piece of kit to leave in permanent situ after the shows were up and running,” he explains. “As well as the nightly timecode shows, there was a requirement to run a few simple cues manually, and a physical console was desired but it had to be streamlined. So with only two kinds of fixtures to program, and no need for lots of playback control, the Hoglet with a touchscreen was the way forward.”

AAV China administered the install of a 150m (492ft) long fountain system, and brought in Cox to co-create the two shows with Tara Winona designing the lasers and Rupert Morse on fountains.

In a control room overlooking the lake, the Hoglet controls all the moving lights, which are mounted in projection cabins built on stilts in the lake and 30 searchlights on the far side. The lights receive data distribution via Art-Net run on fibre under the lake.

A Wings Platinum system controls the overall show. It plays the audio and video elements, triggers the fountain control system and sends timecode to Pangolin Beyond and Hog 4PC.

Commands for lamp strike, test, preshow and so on were sent as snippets of Linear Time Code (LTC), so it was not necessary to even touch the Hoglet to run the standard nightly shows, Cox notes.

“The scale of the site is pretty huge, so running a Wi-Fi network from a couple of Ethernet points around the site and then using OSC with iPad to touch up focuses remotely was a great help,” the LD explains. “As usual for a complex timecode show, I relied heavily on comment macros for triggering repetitive sequences, combined with carefully-planned levels of priority.”

He adds: “As the system needs to be straightforward to run on a daily basis, the auto show-load and start-up macro function were extremely helpful, allowing for automated initial setting of timecode readiness, view, page and so on every time the system is powered up.”

Considering the large scale of the installation, Cox is pleased that his choice of control system continues to be a success.

“Using this little piglet goes to show that Hog 4 cuts the mustard even when in a small package,” he says.

photo: Theo Cox

12th September 2019

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