If you want to see what the future of live sound and show production may look like, arenas are a good place to start.
No, not the big-time music productions put on by artists across the country. It’s what’s happening on some NBA courts that has plenty of people abuzz.
At least six NBA organizations are now showing off striking and sophisticated 3D projections on their courts. The results are impressive.
Among the ways the teams have used the state-of-the-art projection system include:
- The court appears as wooden planks that move and fall away
- The court looks like a collection of shapes that waver and change color
- Team logos pop up and the sections of the court appear to come up from below and player banners are projected on the floor
- Highlights are projected and the court appears to explode
- Use sound to accentuate the effects
The company behind the visuals—typically used during pregame hype sequences—is Washington, D.C.-based Quince Imaging, which also provides services for live events, corporations, governments and other groups. It promises to offer “the latest in image projection, widescreen and 3D technology plus the most impressive video graphic content available in event production today,” according to its website.
At times, the technology is used to basically turn the court into a massive jumbotron, which can display images and scenes from the team and town, according to Business Insider.
For the Cavaliers dedication to retiring center Zydrunas Illgauskus last year, Quince Imaging used a combination of 3D mapping techniques and video to produce the montage. The system featured 16 high-definition projectors and fans’ reactions were relayed in real time via Twitter on two screens in the arena, according to the company’s website.
This innovation would seem to open the doors for other advances in live sound and show production. The Quince Imaging website features projections on bluffs and buildings, for example.
The 3D effects have also made their way into the NHL, where the New Jersey Devils have shown off the technology on their home ice.
“Watching this for the first time is really hard to explain… you have to think of the first time you saw an IMAX movie, or went to Disney, or saw one of the 360-degree screens,” Hugh Weber, Devils president of business operations, told NJ.com. “It’s crazy, just a new experience that most people haven’t seen before.”
The technology isn’t cheap—it was a “seven-figure investment” to install the system at the Devils arena, Weber said.
The NBA teams that have used the technology are: Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. The Atlanta Hawks were set to debut their own soon, according to Deadspin.