Adobe Summit Enhances Its Reputation For Visual Impact With AV Support From WorldStage

Adobe upped the visual ante once again for thousands attending its annual Adobe Summit, The Digital Marketing Conference (formerly Adobe DMS), for the first time this year at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas.  WorldStage marked its fourth consecutive year providing AV support for the summit’s giant panoramic canvas, which dominated keynotes and general sessions.

Held March 19-23, Adobe Summit presented thousands of attendees with the latest strategies and information designed to increase their knowledge and grow their businesses through digital marketing.  Adobe executives discussed the “experience business” wave, enhancements to Adobe Marketing Cloud and the new Adobe Marketing Cloud Device Co-op. Keynote speakers included actor and philanthropist George Clooney, Comedy Central CMO Walter Levitt and world cup champion soccer player Abby Wambach.


Under the direction of Nicole Williams and Joe Buchwald with the Adobe Events team, PIX PRODUCTIONS, with scenic designer Peter Crawford, once again delivered the visual impact that Adobe Summit attendees have come to expect.  This year the backdrop was a convex-shaped, 30,000-plus pixel display utilizing a pair of 104-foot screens flanking a 253-foot center screen. This huge landscape canvas supported guest speakers, Adobe execs, and software and tech demos on stage.

“The convex, overlapping screens provided enough image real estate to provide every seat with a great view of the proceedings. In addition, they provided natural portals for stage egress.” notes WorldStage project manager Jack Dussault. “The unique and successful design, which required projection on screen areas blocked by other screens, required some head scratching but the bright minds from WorldStage, including our President, Josh Weisberg, went to work to determine how best to achieve great visuals on these super-wide overlapping screens.”

WorldStage deployed d3 4x4pro media servers with VFC cards, each with 16 HD outputs, to accomplish the complex projection mapping.  “Having more outputs from fewer machines was definitely helpful for a show with screens the scale of this year’s Adobe DMS,” says project manager Randy Briggs.

Dussault agrees. “We had 40 channels of d3 playback. To do 40 channels last year required a 12-foot wall of servers. With d3’s density of outputs per box, our footprint was much more manageable for this event.”

The d3 systems also utilized a 10Gb Ethernet connection for media transfer, which was “extremely helpful speed-wise when dealing with the large file sizes dictated by such a large canvas,” adds Briggs. d3’s previs features came in handy for showing clients actual content on the set rendered in 3D during prepro.

WorldStage also engineered an interface between d3 and a lightbox comprised of intelligent lighting instruments located on the upstage side of the large 3D Adobe center logo. “In d3 there were 160 pixel mapped sampling points to extract color values from the running video. d3 directly output some of these sampling points as rgb color values and our d3 programmer Florian Mosleh wrote a program using TouchDesigner to convert some of the sample points to cmyk color values, which is what was required by some of the moving light fixtures,” Briggs explains.

“The video content drove the lighting.” says Dussault. “It saved the lighting technicians countless hours of coming up with the corresponding color for the stage lighting to complement every video.”

WorldStage provided many other key pieces of equipment for Adobe Summit, including five Spyder X20 frames, 36 Christie HD20K projectors for the wide screens and four Christie Boxer 4K projectors for the delay screens located on the sides of the room mid-house. Audio gear included over 200 JBL and Meyer speakers, a Yamaha CL5 mixing console and 20 channels of wireless mics.

At PIX PRODUCTIONS Jeremy Nichols was the executive producer, Shaun Boyle technical producer, Gemedy Campos associate producer and James Kern creative director.

At WorldStage Richard Bevan was the account executive; Neal Gass video EIC; Paul D’Amour camera switching; Mike Liti engineering assist; Jason Spencer and Jon Tanner Spyder screen switching; Greg Jensen audio systems engineer; Terry Nakamura, Charlotte Ibarra, Luke Frey and Andrew Taylor projectionists; Patrick De La Cruz and Joel Bucholtz demo engineers; and Florian Mosleh and Michael Kohler d3 programmers.

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