Founded in 1908 the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) organised the first World Championship games in 1930, taking place in Chamonix, Berlin and Vienna. Since then the Ice Hockey World Championship games, claimed to have become the ‘biggest annual winter sport event worldwide’, take place in different countries each year.
In the Championship this year 16 countries were competing for the title over a total of 64 games played from 4th – 20th May 2012. The preliminary games took place in this year’s official game venues; the Hartwell Arena, Helsinki and the Ericsson Globe Arena, Stockholm, while the finals were fought out in Helsinki’s Hartwell Arena which is well known for hosting a wide variety of events every year, from concerts and live events to conferences and sports events.
Incidentally, this is where Hippotizer was introduced to several of the people who were involved in this ceremony and who have made Hippotizer their media server of choice over recent years. Johan West from Red Green Blue RGB Oy, Green Hippo’s exclusive distributor in Finland, explains: “In 2007 I introduced Hippotizer to Peppe Tannemyr in this same arena (during the Eurovision Helsinki) and he has been the exclusive Swedish distributor for Hippotizer for several years now. Same with Morgan (Brown), he had never heard about Hippotizer before then.”
For the event, Designer and Programmer Mikki Kunttu created a 7 minute projection piece called ‘Resonice’ that included the official IIHF design of the 2012 games, references to the various teams and countries involved as well as the sports history.
Mikki explains his premise for the content design: “Generally speaking the title ‘Resonice’ tries to describe my approach in one word. Ice hockey as a sport resonates through our society in a very positive way and has a lot of influence on the whole country. The main themes for this work were firstly the history of the World Championships and the history of Finnish ice hockey. The ice hockey world has a lot of respect for its past and its legends and I wanted to underline this in the piece. I also wanted to add a fantasy factor which is where the skaters come in. The last part was a full on fire and lightning-style display with a certain gladiator theme to kick off the games. Kind of what you would expect in this type of a show. Ice hockey is considered to be the national sport of Finland, and for me as a fan to get to work for the national team is a dream job. It’s like getting a call from The Rolling Stones, you know.”
Johan provided three Hippotizer HDs to facilitate the seamless projection into the 60mx30m ice rink. Using the Hippotizer’s UberPan component and running all units on 8 layer dual mode, they created a 3-projector wide by 2-projector high UberPan canvas with six BARCO HDX18K projectors. The projectors were facing straight down onto the ice which allowed for one smooth projection covering the entire 1800sqm surface. The entire UberPan configuration was controlled from one of Green Hippo’s GrassHopper units serving as the ‘UberPan/ZooKeeper main’ which in turn received its commands over ArtNet from the MA2 Light console. The entire sequence, plus a total of 110 moving heads, 18 strobe lights and the sound were triggered via Timecode.
Johan comments: “We wound up running UberPan with a yet un-released DMX component on Hippotizer software version 3.1.0 SP1, so we had to create a fixture profile to get this done. As usually this was a worst case scenario; Mikki on the lighting console with a constant 14 layers of content per Hippotizer, however those still ran at 55-60fps!”
The custom content created by Mikki was used partly split and un-split depending on what it was expected to do, for example ‘Zooming’ and other similar effects. This is a very high profile event and with some of our best Hippotizer technicians being responsible for the set-up, programming and operating this opening ceremony was a tremendous success! Just have a look at some of the amazing images!
Concept and designer : Mikki Kunttu
Graphical content : Mikki Kunttu, Peppe Tannemyr, Lennart Wåhlin
Programming : Mikki Kunttu
Operator : Morgan Brown
Video equipment supplier : RGB Oy / Johan West
Photography: Ralph Larmann
Music : Tuomas Holopainen / Nightwish
Skaters : Rockettes
Choreography : Kaisa Nieminen
3x Hippotizer HDs
6x BARCO HDX18K projectors
2x MA2 Light consoles
1x ProTools 10 station
1x ProTools 003 rack