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Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports

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Urström at the 1999 Stockholm Water Festival



    To produce a show for 30,000+ people per night in an area covering half a square kilometer takes a lot of equipment. Here is a rundown on the laser hardware and other equipment used to produce the Water Festival show.


Chroma 10 beam system
Chroma 10 beam system being set-up

    The main beam laser system was a 10 watt whitelight laser, located atop a container on a moored barge floating on the Opera side of the site, is powered by a Chroma 10 laser. The laser is equipped with a Laser Animation scanning system with AA PCAOM.
    The beam and graphic images are produced by a Lasergraph DSP which is synchronised by time code fed via a kilometre of XLR cable strung across the bridge from the main control position across from the Royal Palace. This DSP also controls the MicroYAG laser in the "basket" which flies across the water. A DMX controlled dimmer pack in the "basket" was also controlled from this position.


Stereoscopic 3D graphics

Close up of the complex stereoscopic 3D projection system
Close up of the complex stereoscopic 3D projection system

     The 3D stereoscopic laser images are produced by two five watt white light Chroma 5 lasers - one projecting the left eye and one projecting the right eye image. A complex optical system is used to correctly polarise the images and a relay mirror system allows the stereoscopic images to be projected onto the special polarisation preserving screen on either the Opera House or the Royal Palace. These projectors are equipped with Laser Animation scanning systems and AA PCAOMs.
    Each of these lasers also feeds a remote fibre optic projector. The "Accurate projector" fibre projectors are used to project graphic images onto a second scrim flown by wire over the water and also to project beam effects over the water.


YAG beam projector

Adela and Jourgen adjust the scanning system
Adela and Jourgen adjust the scanning system on the Fire tower YAG projector

    A 3 watt MicroYAG 532 nM laser is located in the "Fire tower" at the south east corner of the site. Equipped with a Laser Animation scanning system, this laser is used in conjunction with the Chroma 10 to project beam effects. This laser is controlled by the DSP located in the main control tower at the Royal Palace side of the site.


"Basket" YAG laser

The "basket" rig with YAG laser projector
The "basket" rig with YAG laser projector and DMX controlled lights

    A second 3 watt MicroYAG 532 nM laser is mounted above the "basket" which flies on steel cables from the top of the "fire tower" in the SE corner of the site to a large steel navigation tower (dubbed the "white tower" due to it's colour) located about 12 meters out in the water on the north side of the site. This laser projects straight down onto the surface of the water and is used as a special effect towards the beginning of the show and again at the dramatic climax when a woman appears in a white costume suspended above the water within a cone of green laser beams.
    The signals controlling this laser are generated by the DSP computer located at the Chroma 10 position on the Opera side of the site and are fed through 200 meters of DB25 cable across the water to the laser above the 'basket'.


Pani Projectors

Timm Junker aligns the Pani projectors
Timm Junker aligns the Pani projectors onto the facade of the Royal Place

    The facade of the Royal Palace is illuminated with giant image projections from 8 Pani BP 6 six Kw Projectors. These are controlled by a DMX interface from Dataon which is linked to a DSP to resolve time code from master control and provide code in the event of a cable failure.


Smoke Machines

MDG Smoke machine and Fan in the White Tower
Smoke machine and Fan in the White Tower (master control is visible across the water at the top right of the photo).

    There were 7 smoke machines located around the site, as well as chemical smoke canisters used from a boat to cover the massive area (see Smoke on the water page).


PA System

PA speakers
Crew hoists speakers into place

    There were four massive PA systems located around the site. Each PA scaffold had multiple speaker arrays pointing in different directions to insure proper distribution of the sound for the laser show. Each array is powered by 25 kilowatts of QSC amplifiers per tower for a total of 100,000 watts of sound. The speakers, flown by chain hoists inside the scaffolding towers, were Apogee 3 X 3s. Yorkville TX8 and TX95s were ground mounted for the bass. The sound track is fed from the master control scaffold to the four towers via dual FM links with 'diversity' type receivers in each PA tower so that the audio will not be lost in case of problems.


Quick Links to Report Pages

Stockholm Water Festival Report - Introduction
Sweden and Stockholm - Background and general information
The Site - Orientation to the show area and the challenges it presented
The Crew - The people who put it all together
Tech Specs - The equipment used in the presentation
The Music - An interview with the composer and MP3 file of the soundtrack
Smoke on the water - Covering a lake with smoke for beam effects
The Show - A description with many pictures
Animated Gifs - Gifs showing Palace projections and climatic beam effects
Stadshuset - Stockholm City Hall tour (very large page)
Show Diary - Day-to-day coverage of the trials and triumphs


DISCLAIMER: Some of the information in the Backstage area is provided by the persons or companies named on the relevant page(s). Laser F/X does NOT endorse or recommend any products/services and is NOT responsible for the technical accuracy of the information provided.  We provide this information as a service to laserists using the Backstage area. 

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