Protec BlackTrax a robot and performers at NAS opening ceremony
UAE: The fourth annual Nad Al Sheba (NAS) Sports Tournament was recently staged in Dubai, with an opening ceremony kicking off the proceedings at the Nad Al Sheba sports complex, a multi-purpose indoor arena opened by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, president of the UAE Olympic Committee. The event saw production agency, HQ Creative, enlist the technical services of Protec to assist with the tracking of the show’s host, a 40cm-tall robot named NASO.
NASO performed its hosting duties upon a moving platform, sharing the stage with 16 performers. Protec deployed Cast’s BlackTrax to track the performers as well as the robot’s platform, using lighting effects and video.
‘We connected BlackTrax cameras with strategically placed BlackTrax beacons and hid them inside each of the performers’ costumes,’ explained Aaron Russ, lighting designer at Protec. ‘During rehearsals we were able to adjust or add the beacon markers on the performers to ensure they could be tracked whatever sort of acrobatics or body angles were presented to the cameras. We also used a BlackTrax beacon for the little robot presenter so BlackTrax could track the robot and keep all the cueing in time.’
During part of the ceremony, a virtual football pitch was projected onto the stage while the 16 performers raced around on hover boards. BlackTrax was integrated with d3 Technologies media servers to create custom graphics that were projected over each individual performer, as each of them was tracked and allocated a dedicated spot.
‘All stage elements were covered and thanks to BlackTrax everything was where it needed to be, on time, every time, without the possibility of human error. The stage was bright and vibrant and we were given very positive feedback from both the client and the viewers,’ added Mr Russ. ‘By using BlackTrax, no one missed a cue.’
The ceremony was reportedly deemed a success, while BlackTrax was described as providing a creative solution, saving the production both time and costs. The yearly tournament takes place during Ramadan and features seven sporting events, including archery, volleyball and wheelchair basketball. After the opening ceremony had concluded, Sheikh Ahmed, along with several other sheikhs, attended a goalball match that pitted Abu Dhabi Disabled Sports Club against Al Ain Disabled Sports Club.