Scanning Radio City Music Hall

Measuring the Historic New York City Venue in 3D


navis-02 DWP Live recently had the pleasure of laser scanning the historic and renowned venue, Radio City Music Hall. The survey collected high resolution spatial measurements and created an “as-is” 3D digital model of the venue’s features including: lighting racks, projector platforms, proscenium, ceiling “rings”, chorus stairs, stage, mezzanines, and every single seat.

point-cloud-02The fieldwork included 55 scanner setups using a Leica ScanStation P30. With each scan taking between 2-3 minutes, the scanning effort concluded in less than 8 hours.

The ceiling rings were modeled from the laser scan data, known as point clouds, creating highly accurate surface mesh objects. These digital surfaces were utilized as the “virtual canvas” for projection mapping during the Rockettes’ shows this holiday season. The mesh model of the ceiling rings allows artists to shine visual effects exactly where they wish without distortion onto the first four rings, which are highly complex, twisted, scalloped extrusions. In addition to their non-uniform shape, the rings have regions of small slat openings that are very difficult to model accurately without the benefit of laser scanning.

The remainder of thpoint-cloud-01e music hall was modeled by tracing over point clouds in Autodesk Revit software aided by Leica Geosystems Cloudworx for Revit and Jetstream. The Revit model was converted and delivered in Vectorworks format and will serve many purposes for the venue’s management. Accurate plans of audio and lighting equipment, show planning, and seating arrangements are just some of the thing that will benefit from the laser scan.revit-01

Bottomline, the benefits of having a 3D digital model of the entire venue allow for even more creative imagery and versatility to be used in future shows.point-cloud-03

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