Technologies: Featured, ProPresenter, ProVideoPlayer, Technical Overviews
Technical overview with Brad Weston
Alpharetta, GA, March 5, 2018 — Passion Conferences collegiate ministry held its annual gathering the first week of 2018, bringing together more than 32,000 students from 700 universities and 35 countries to three arenas. The conference, which has been active for over 20 years, consistently sets new standards for high-quality productions and this year was no exception. As in previous years, Renewed Vision’s software solutions played a major role, with ProPresenter6 and its new PVP3 media server – both now equipped for NDI support – responsible for driving graphics, lyrics and video content across large displays.
“We have been honored to be a part of Passion conferences almost since their inception, and are always interested in hearing their ideas for innovating live worship gatherings,” says Brad Weston of Renewed Vision, who, along with several other Renewed Vision employees worked production on the event. “The 2018 conference brought some really unique challenges, and we were thrilled to be able to provide powerful solutions to those challenges.”
The biggest challenge in each in-the-round venue – Phillips Arena and Infinite Energy Center in Atlanta (the third venue, Washington DC’s Anthem, is a traditional theater venue)– was the use of six large angled trapezoidal shaped screens on which live camera shots, worship lyrics, and pre-produced videos were shown. Trussing was hung over the stage with a central spine and three thrusts 120° apart from each other, with two of the uniquely shaped screens hanging back to back from each of the thrusts. This resulted in two screens being visible from most viewing angles in the arena.
To make the most of the effect, Passion’s requested the text on these screens be angled and aligned to the center. This presented a challenge to Renewed Vision, as the text – typically right or left aligned using ProPresenter – had to be aligned flush to an angle as opposed to a perpendicular line.
“We have a history of doing some special enhancements for Passion for their events, but this year’s challenge was extremely unique,” Weston continues, “The truth is that we have some passionate individuals in our company that love rising to the occasion, particularly when it comes to these kinds of faith-based events. We made some custom modifications to ProPresenter that allowed Passion to achieve the look they had imagined. The results were astounding.”
In addition to the custom work Renewed Vision completed on ProPresenter6, they also made use of the newly implemented NDI playback functionality to power ProPresenter the video streams, including alpha key, to the screen control system that was located approximately 300 meters from the workstations. “The machine they used for screen control didn’t have the necessary number of inputs to handle a separate key/fill, and they were investigating buying more video cards to ingest our lyric feed. Instead, we decided to use NDI and it worked flawlessly, saving both time and money for new expenditures,” Weston adds.
While ProPresenter powered the lyrics and scriptures shown on the screens within the three venues and the graphics on the live web streams (viewed by over 80,000 people), PVP3 made its Passion debut doing video playback simultaneously with multiple aspect ratios and sizes from one location to the other venues. To keep a feeling of cohesiveness across the three gathering locations, it was imperative that elements run on time.
An optical fiber backbone between the two Atlanta-area locations and the Washington DC location allowed for bi-direction communication of audio/video between the hosts in each location. All video packages, however, came from a PVP3 video server at Phillips Arena. Because there was a large variety of produced video content provided for multiple screen sizes and aspect ratios, the flexibility of PVP3 was immediately evident. Some video cues came with separate files for the variety of aspect ratios, while others were only available in a single aspect ratio.
“PVP3’s ability to playback across multiple SDI outputs, and manipulate content on the fly for scaling to other aspect ratios, lended the exact flexibility that Passion needed for this year’s event,” concluded Weston.