PHOTO : JAG GUNDU / ROGERS SPORTS & MEDIA PHOTO : JAG GUNDU / ROGERS SPORTS & MEDIA
ON THE FAR LEFT AND RIGHT YOU ’ LL SEE A ROW OF FOUR SCEPTRONS ON THE EDGE OF AN EMPTY DARK SPACE – THESE ARE WHERE THE CAMERA HIDES ARE LOCATED
ONE OF THE NEW AND UNIQUE VIDEO CONTENT PACKAGES FOR THE SEMI-FINALS PERFORMANCE BY SHADOW ENTERTAINMENT
them to know is that Canada ’ s Got Talent is huge , it ’ s a big deal .”
After all , he adds , the judge panel for this season is a star-studded Canadian cast that includes comedian Howie Mandel , rap pioneer Kardinal Offishall , comedian / actress / TV personality Lilly Singh , WWE legend Trish Stratus , and country music star Lindsey Ell . “ I mean , we ’ ve got some major stars on this show . We wanted to make sure that people got the impression that us , Rogers , and Fremantle , and MEMinc , and everybody – we ’ re here to play ball and it ’ s going to be big-league . So , we wanted to make sure that we put a lot of gear in there , but we held back a lot on how we used it . So , [ for auditions ] there ’ s one look ; but that look is video and it ’ s animated and the Sceptrons are sparkling . It ’ s very engaging , and that ’ s exactly what you want to do – and then stop there .”
Nadon explains that ultimately with it being a talent show , a big goal for the look was to remain engaging , while obviously making sure not to upstage the talent .
20 | Summer 2022
That said , Kapler reiterates Nadon ’ s prophecy of what ’ s to come . “ Once we shot the semi-finals in January , it was amazing ; the whole venue changed , and it was like ‘ This was worth it .’ Once we once saw full content changes , and every act had its own individual look , it really brought it up to the next level . We also added a whole bunch more lighting as well in the semis , and it really was enhanced .”
By the time you ’ re reading this , the semi-finals will have begun airing and you ’ ll be able to see these evolutions for yourself .
Now , the execution is one thing , but as the primary designer , I had to ask Nadon about his process for actually conceptualizing and creating his designs before they come to life .
PLP : Having gone over the design itself , can you tell me more about your previs and rendering process ?
Alex Nadon : We use SketchUp to do most of our designs and we do the set design as well as the lighting design , so obviously it starts with the set . We also do all the broadcast graphics and the logo design – and it ’ s really great to be involved that early from a branding perspective – that ’ s where we start .
The design starts mostly in SketchUp , and AutoCAD for technical drawings , so we do some porting back and forth to SketchUp and AutoCAD , and then a variety of different render engines to get the look straight , to get it coloured , and get the actual colour palette and get the shading right . And then we use that to pitch to the client and get that worked out .
From a previs perspective , we use grandMA and its previs , but we do find it very limiting as to what fine-tuning you can actually do with it . So , it ’ s great for putting your cue structure in , but as far as actually setting your levels and palette , it ’ s a bit misleading sometimes just because the exposure of the monitor could be off or other factors . Especially when it comes to shot lights , if you ’ ve got JDCs or something in your rig and you punch them at 50 %, it might look like it ’ s going to be really bright in your MA visualizer , but you get there and go , “ Oh my God , I need punch these way up ” …
But we very much have moved into a heavily timecoded world to coordinate everything together , especially on this show , because we ’ re lucky enough to get the tracks enough ahead of time ; we can stripe them with timecode and get the video content team the track and get the lighting director the track , and we know that it ’ s not going to change , which is amazing because it makes such a difference when you ’ re able to lock in the timeline and lock in the shot . And you are able to then spend more meaningful time editing your content and tweaking your lighting cues so you ’ re confident that you ’ re not going to be doing this all over again .
PLP : I suppose that would also leave more time for things like verifying that your colours actually appear in the space in the way you expect , and that things like the speed of different fixtures or animations work in the context of the venue relative to the rendering ?
Nadon : Yeah , that ’ s right – and making sure all the performances are unique . I mean , you go from one act that ’ s got a bunch of dancers on stage doing a very beat-heavy , rhythmic song , to somebody playing the violin ; and then you go to somebody doing standup comedy . So , it ’ s really cool to make sure that you ’ re keeping track of that variety and diversity of acts on the show and making sure that the looks are [ also diverse ].