In 2022, Artistic Director Es Devlin asked Luke Halls Studio to design and create visuals for the United Arab Emirates’ 51st National Day Show at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). Devlin, along with the executive producer and directors of the show, wanted to showcase the nation’s past, present, and future, highlighting how its historical journey has helped form its goals for days to come.
With a projected “time tunnel” at the show’s centre, the Luke Halls team created video for four main surfaces, aiming to join them harmoniously. The runway–a projected floor–bridged the two other main projection surfaces, the “past” and “future” portals, which were made up of circular doorways at each end of the runway.
Throughout the show, the doorways would open and close to reveal cast and props from different moments in time. The team used LED pixel tape to form a ceiling throughout the show and connect the portals above spectators’ heads. The studio’s main goal was to extend the stage’s runway into the screens as much as possible and create the feeling of an endless road.
The team used Notch to generate an underwater seascape and a colourful hyperdrive animation, iterating and rendering quickly despite their massive canvas. They also used the VYV Photon media server, pre-rendering everything except for a few live effects generated by Photon. In the words of Video Designer Charli Davis, both the audience and creative team were impressed by the detail and immersive nature of the video.