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  • Writer's pictureCollin Christenbury

Behind the Scenes: The Axis at Planet Hollywood - A Digital Marvel Unveiled for Britney Spears' Icon

As the Lead Motion Designer and Animator, my journey into the world of digital marvels began with a passion for crafting immersive visual experiences that transcend the ordinary. Throughout my career, I've had the privilege of working with industry giants and iconic brands, contributing my creative touch to projects that redefine the boundaries of entertainment. One such milestone was my pivotal role in the creation of the groundbreaking LED digital marquee for The Axis at Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, designed to set the stage ablaze for Britney Spears' historic residency, "Piece of Me."

A Creative Odyssey

My career trajectory has been a creative odyssey, marked by collaborations with esteemed clients and brands that shape the landscape of entertainment. From the adrenaline-fueled world of the World Series of Poker to the vibrant realms of Playtika and the allure of Hustler, I've lent my expertise to projects that demand innovation and excellence. Caesars Entertainment, Planet Hollywood, Harrah's Casino & Resorts—the list of illustrious clients goes on, each contributing to my growth as a designer and animator.

The Axis: A Canvas for Innovation

The Axis at Planet Hollywood emerged as a canvas for innovation, and my role as the Lead Motion Designer and Animator allowed me to infuse this iconic venue with a digital energy that would leave a lasting impression. Beyond the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas Strip, my creative journey unfolded against the backdrop of a theater that has witnessed the evolution of live performances—from the Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts to The Axis and now, the Bakkt Theater.

Britney Spears' "Piece of Me" Residency: A Turning Point

The turning point in my career came with the opportunity to contribute to Britney Spears' "Piece of Me" residency. As the lead animator for digital signage at Caesars Entertainment, I spearheaded the design and animation efforts for the LED digital marquee, ensuring it would become a dynamic centerpiece for one of the most iconic residencies in Las Vegas history.

Screen cap of the content at The Axis at Planet Hollywood that I animated & designed for the Piece of Me residency.

Complexity in Designing for a Digital Marvel

Crafting animations for The Axis's unique wedge-shaped LED digital marquee, a marvel built by Panasonic, required navigating the complexities of design. The challenge lay not only in creating visually stunning content for a massive LED surface but also in understanding how each pixel would align seamlessly on the distinct geometry of the marquee.

Animating for Impact: Enhancing the Visual Spectacle

Animation became the heartbeat of the digital marvel, designed to enhance the visual impact of the performances. From crafting eye-catching graphics to orchestrating mesmerizing transitions, every animation was meticulously planned to synchronize with the rhythm of the music and the energy of the crowd, elevating the overall concert experience.

What the final render looked like that was uploaded & ingested into the video player.

Uploading and Playback on The Axis: The Technical Symphony

The scale of The Axis's digital marquee demanded a sophisticated system for uploading and playback. Collaborating with Panasonic and third-party contractors, my team and I implemented a robust infrastructure capable of handling the enormous data load of high-quality animations. Seamless uploading procedures and playback mechanisms ensured the content flowed flawlessly throughout the residency.

Understanding Multi-Panel LED Displays: Operation and Integration

Optimizing the performance of multi-panel LED displays required a deep understanding of their operation. The Axis's marquee comprised multiple panels, each contributing to the overall visual spectacle. Integrating video players and other hardware components seamlessly ensured synchronized playback across the entire surface, involving technical aspects like resolution, color calibration, and refresh rates.

Schematic for the 44 foot long, Panasonic, wedge shaped 10 panel LED digital display.

Collaboration Across Departments: The Key to Success

The success of the digital signage project hinged on effective collaboration across departments. Large cross-department teams were involved, necessitating seamless communication and collaboration. From design teams to technical experts, everyone worked in harmony to meet tight deadlines and deliver a flawless digital experience for Britney Spears' residency.

Leadership Amidst Tight Deadlines: A Creative Symphony

In the face of tight deadlines, my leadership as the lead animator involved not just creative contributions but also strategic decision-making and effective time management. Juggling multiple tasks, overseeing the animation team, and ensuring every element aligned with the overarching vision, I led a creative symphony that culminated in the timely completion of the digital marvel at The Axis.

A Digital Triumph at The Bakkt Theater

In conclusion, the transformation of The Axis at Planet Hollywood into a digital marvel stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and effective leadership. As the Bakkt Theater takes its place in the entertainment landscape, the legacy of The Axis will continue to resonate, reminding us of the dynamic intersection between entertainment, technology, and creative vision on the iconic Las Vegas Strip. The LED digital marquee not only added a new dimension to live performances but also showcased the potential of cutting-edge technology in elevating the audience experience.


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