The Lord Of The Rings

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Project scope

Toronto (Canada) hosted the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings. The implementation of the classic trilogy by Tolkien, which sold more than 200 million books, includes: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. The entire production cost $27,000,000. The production is owned by Kevin Wallace and Saul Zaentz.

Wallace was responsible for previous Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals Whistle Down the Wind, The Beautiful Game, Jesus Christ Superstar and Sunset Boulevard. Saul Zaentz produced film productions including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Amadeus, The Unbearable Lightness of Being and The English Patient. Zaentz was recently awarded the BAFTA ‘Academy Fellowship’.

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STS has automated the show including various winches and additional axes.

Showdek 30 ton Showdeck: 30 tons

The showdeck consists of a 13 metre diameter revolve with 16 hydraulic scissor lifts and two centre lifts. The scissor lifts move within the revolve. The complete hydraulic system, including the controller, is integrated into the revolve. This includes:

26 winches of which: 
17 counterweight assist house bars for 400 kg;
2 single wire winches for special effects with a speed of 3 m/s;
6 winches for performer flying as part of the STS flight system; 
A winch for five canvases that hang in a circle.

33 axes control the following: 
21 Kabuki Drops, a release mechanism for canvases; 
4 trusses which are driven by an electric toothed belt; 
2 props that move in all directions, fold up and are inflatable.

Command and control: STS AutoStage2000 
The control system consists of 44 inverters, 21 hydraulic controls and digital I / O by two IPCs which are controlled via multiple CAN buses. One of these IPCs is integrated into the revolve. Electronic data interchanges between the two IPCs is through slip rings. There is a third IPC, to SIL 3 specification, which controls the air systems.

The operation takes place at three different STS OptiStage2000 desks, Each desk is equipped with six playbacks, a Querty keyboard, emergency stop, DMBs, as well as the standard operating controls. Each desk has two 15 inch touch screens.

The operator has the various playbacks to control the speed of the programmed movements. This is a proven concept and various other productions have shown its usefulness when dealing with complex moves. It allows the operator to speed up the moves and adapt to the actor without stopping the show.

The emergency stop is fully wired and meets safety category 4. On-line the status of each emergency stop is monitored so that the operator can easily see which emergency stop has been pressed.

Reduce your programming time by 80% 
Given the complexity of the revolve movements, these were programmed using a 3-D animation test package. These movements were then loaded into the new control program through this new programming interface, we have made tremendous time savings and allowed new opportunities for creative directors.