Shaderlight sets the stage for star studded concert designs

StarLight Visual is an entertainment design firm that specializes in the set lighting and visual displays for major touring concerts.  They are at the cutting edge of music concert design so need to ensure their concepts translate into a show-stopping backdrop for some of the biggest artists around.

Jonathan Goldstein, Lead Designer at StarLight Visual, started using SketchUp to develop his ideas a couple of years ago.  One of the most difficult elements of their business is the ability to communicate with clients on a visual level so since discovering Shaderlight he hasn’t looked back.

“My passion is to bend, meld and twist the idea of modern art, architecture, and visual media into forms that have not been seen on stage”

Using SketchUp and Shaderlight to develop their ideas is the first step for taking sketches and building something that would resemble a real life show.

AK-VMA-4 (1)

“We typically start by adding in our venue, in most cases this is a sports arena, we then layout our staging and scenic and go from there. Our scale can range from a show to fit in a hockey floor arena layout to a festival ground so we are ALWAYS dealing with huge scaled items. The best approach for our first layer of designs is to begin with the chalk render, it gives us a generic feel to our model and allows us to keep the canvas a bit open ended creatively so it doesn’t lock our client into a specific outputted rendered image.”

AK-Chalk-VMA-2 (1)

Projects can be won or lost on the quality of images as Jonathan cannot always be in front of the client when they are viewing the design proposals. Images have to speak for themselves, too cartoonish or lacking in detail and the client can take this literally.

“In our latest project we had to simulate a theatrical sharks tooth scrim – a netting based fabric material that is weaved open to allow light to pass through. In the renders we created we were able to pull off the transparency in a way that felt realistic and we were able to really make the client understand the concept behind the visuals and lighting.”

A quick turnaround is vital and to improve productivity Jonathan and the team are using Shaderlight’s cloud rendering to produce complex renders and animations.

AK-VMA-3 (1) AK-VMA-2 (1)

“Shaderlight is quick and works seamlessly with SketchUp. The integration and simple interface is very intuitive but the Cloud rendering is our most favourite new feature.  Our workload sometimes meant that machines could be tied up for a whole day rendering.  The ability to send jobs to the cloud have not only freed up our local machines but mean we can render more detailed visualisations that simply wow our clients.”

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The images used in this case study are the actual renders created for the Alicia Keys performance at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards.   StarLight Visual Designed the Set and Lighting for the performance. (1)

Here is the video of the live performance.

If you’re in the USA you can watch the video here.

Starlight Visual have an impressive list of clients and their state of the art set designs for Electric Zoo Festival 2012 have recently appeared in Rolling Stone.  Jonathan’s work with Rihanna also featured on the cover of Live Design Magazine in Oct 2010.

“We are currently working on the Alicia Keys ‘Set the world on fire’ World Tour and we just finished Mariah Carey’s Australian Tour.  Following this year’s success, we have also been brought back as the production design firm for the Electric Zoo Festival in 2013.  All of these projects have been and will be designed using Shaderlight and SketchUp as our primary 3D visualisation tools.”

You can read more about Jonathan Goldstein and Starlight Visual’s work on their website.

 About Lead Designer, Jonathan S. Goldstein


To date Jonathan and SLV have traveled for clients around the world 3 times to remote destinations such as Singapore, Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, and Hong Kong just to name a few! He has been able to collaborate and work with some of today’s top musical artists , fashion designers, photographers and directors.

Of recent years Jonathan has worked with musical artists such as: Rihanna, Donna Summer, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Trey Songz, Kid Cudi, Mariah Carey , Alicia Keys, Karmin , Armen VanBuren, and many more!

SLV’s work has been seen with musical artists on the 50th Grammy Awards, Saturday Night Live, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, The Late Show with David Letterman, The American Music Awards, VH1 Do Something Awards.

SLV’s work has also been featured in the Glow in the Dark book by Nabil Elderkin and the 2009  release Last Girl on Earth book by Simon Henwood both published by Rizzoli.

About Kate

Commercial Director at Shaderlight Ltd
This entry was posted in Case Studies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Shaderlight sets the stage for star studded concert designs

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