Upcycle Final Report: Scale Model EDM Stage

The above videos are demonstrations of my Upcycle project in action.

I enjoy learning about lighting and stage design. For my upcycle project, I created a miniature scale electronic dance music (EDM) projection stage. A projection stage is generally a structure with three-dimensional surfaces on top of which images are projected from a video projector. Projection stages are often found on electronic dance music stages, and greatly help to define and tie in the aesthetic created by other lighting elements on stage.

My aesthetic is modeled after other EDM stages I have seen in the past. The general visual aesthetic combines moving graphical elements, whose colors are complimentary, with some of the elements timed with the music. I created an original design for the structure, but was inspired by stages created for Amon Tobin, Deadmau5, and Datsik. Reference to these inspirations can be found in the following videos:

 

The stage is mainly constructed out of cardboard, reclaimed from furniture boxes, as well as a central “DJ area” made out of white computer paper. The current model is designed to be a scale model of a larger stage design. It has large areas towards its back where large images or video can be projected, and smaller, foreground features that allow highlight projections to stand out.

 

An image of the projection stage.

 

 

 

 

My design loop approximately followed a traditional format, and used an iterative approach. I began by sketching possibilities for features for the stage, eventually settling on one aesthetic in a final sketch. Then, I created a first version of the stage, with the main floor and minor components in place. Drawing from my sketches once again, I decided to add a large backdrop to create more three-dimensional spaces in the upper area of the stage. At this point I experimented with the current model, seeing how projections would look with the current mappable area. I then chose to add additional (mostly) forward-facing surfaces, that provided more compartmentalized space to create projections, and was satisfied with the final aesthetic. In the end my main methodology was to add features incrementally, and test the aesthetic along the way.

Below is a graphic illustrating my design loop process:

After finishing this stage I am pleased with the result. Functionally, the stage meets the specifications that I set out for it, which were to create a scale model of a larger EDM stage, with surfaces for the stage that allowed the projections to create the illusion of depth. Artistically, the stage met my expectations as well in its psychedelic design and in its serving as a representation of a scale model EDM stage.

I plan to continue to work on this project by creating additional projection-able surfaces that extend along the sides of the stage towards the audience. With these additional surfaces, I hope to create the illusion that the video animations wrap around the field of view of the stage viewers. Additionally, I would like the visuals to feel like they are coming from behind or above the stage, and plane to create more surfaces along the top of the stage that point outward and downward towards the audience.

Below is a video of my presentation, showcasing the stage project:

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13 Comments. Leave new

  • Amazing idea for a project! Projection mapping is such a cool leading edge technology being used in the entertainment industry. It is very neat how you adapted this technology and used it for this project. Recycling cardboard and paper was a good call to create the scale model EDM stage. I enjoyed reading about the process of creating the graphics involved and how to actually set different areas up for projection, good job!

    Reply
  • This was a really great idea, and it came out looking exactly like a miniature stage light show. I thought the idea to use cardboard for the flat surfaces, and the final project looks like something made out of much more expensive material. The description of your design loop was also very well done and it was interesting to get some insight into the process. Overall, great project!

    Reply
  • Excellent work! I am curious about how you mapped the lighting to the smaller screens of the stage, was it all just one projection?
    Regardless, I am impressed with this project. The varied textures and visuals of the projections worked flawlessly with the stage design. I especially enjoyed how the visuals would work alongside the cardboard inserts- they added a layer of depth that added contrast in 3 dimensional space.

    Reply
  • Emma Hammerton
    February 19, 2017 8:54 pm

    Also, your report is concise and explains your motivation well, but it lacks a little in describing your design process. Some photos of you assembling your project would be a really wonderful addition!

    Reply
  • Emma Hammerton
    February 19, 2017 8:42 pm

    I really love how you used depth perception to enhance the complexity of your project. I did not see the final product nor that it was made out of cardboard before watching the videos, and I probably would not have known at all. This is a very creative use of Upcycled materials. Were you inspired to produce this because you enjoy listening to EDM music, or would you rather be on the production side? Would you want to be a part of creating actually EDM stage sets? Would you consider painting the entire set white to get a bit more full color? It came out fantastic!

    Reply
  • Crazy cool. The idea that was actually created was very simplistic which was good in this case because it really added to the presentation. The projection mapping was insane. More pictures throughout your presentation would have been nice instead of just the final video.

    Reply
  • It was great that you used a sketch to get and idea abut then moved on from that sketch to something else. It would have been great to see how you built the stage. Also, it would have been nice to hear a little more about you projected onto the stage.

    Reply
  • This is probably my favorite upcycle project. I am into edm music as well and i think your project looked very professional and well edited. It was a great use for recycled cardboard. One thing you can change would be to try to make a bigger stage, it would look even better. Great aesthetics as well.

    Reply
  • I have absolutely no idea how you made the projections, but you nailed it. This was done incredibly well. The cardboard stage stands out on its own as it is very well made, the lights just add that much more to the project. I’m blown away, nice job!

    Reply
  • I like how you incorporated a lot of engineering techniques when you went through with this design. The lights are made with a special technique that I had no idea was do able. I also like that the stage you made out of cardboard looks like a miniature real life stage. You used aspects that I have seen at concerts before. I love all the different colors you incorporate also, and they go along with the music being played. This is awesome. Good job!

    Reply
  • This is very unique and interesting design you have accomplished. Despite the plain cardboard surfaces, the textures were almost completely unapparent in the video of the light show you created, that is surprising and well-done. I think this unique demonstration is a great way to demonstrate something which is normally big and expensive to produce. I think you could really use these types of projects to showcase these skills.

    Reply
  • I like that you use the sketches as a base for your prototype and that you allow yourself to grow from that sketch. Also, amazing job on the lighting effects on the stage! It looks as if it were professionally done. Really good job!

    Reply
  • I’ve seen Amon Tobin before in concert, he’s got a really cool concept going where he incorporates the visuals as a major part of his music. It’s really cool he’s one of your inspirations, shows that sort of stage is making advances. Really impressed with your ability to actually turn it into a mini stage with lights, was not expecting that at first.

    Reply

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