Art of Aardman chooses ETC fixtures for International Tour

Date Posted: 2/12/2024

International touring exhibition ‘The Art of Aardman’ has selected ETC luminaires, ETC Puck and Gadget II to light the much-anticipated ‘Shaun the Sheep & Friends’ showcase.

Aardman and the Art Ludique museum in Paris partnered up to create the exhibition ‘Art of Aardman’ which celebrates the intricacy, humor and artistry of the studio. With over 50 individual sets, 350 concept drawings, props and famous characters, ETC fixtures lit the ‘Shaun the Sheep & Friends’ showcase which runs globally from Paris to Melbourne and Seoul, and more. The exhibition gives a behind the scenes look at the show and its iconic characters, including the display of original sets and storyboards.

The team at Aardman faced the huge challenge of being able to exhibit the same display in showcases across the world alongside pre-programmed lighting and design. They required a robust system that could be set up by their crews with minimal tech support, remote access as needed as well as a fire flicker effect with mimicked light to run within one of the cue options across all international venues.

To achieve this, the team decided that ETC lighting equipment was the right choice to meet these requirements. ETC entertainment fixtures were selected to light the sets including ColorSource PAR, Source Four LED Series 2 and Source Four Mini LED as well as ETC Puck control and Gadget II. Studio Manager at Aardman, Nathan Sale commented: “We only use equipment that we have extensively tested for stability and reliability because of the risk of having to re-shoot. I had to choose a product that we had faith in being able to go on tour and work for 10 hours a day for the next five years or more.”

The team had been briefed to recreate two iconic scenes from the Shaun the Sheep movie on the ‘Under the Arches’ set: one where the scene is set in broad daylight and another at night. This set had a camera which created a live feed to a monitor so the audience could also see the live lighting transitions in-camera. The daylight scene was created using ETC’s Source Four LED Series 2 fixtures as the key lights as well as ColorSource PARs as the fill light bounced off a reflector board. The night-time scene introduced Source Four Mini LEDs as pillar lights to add atmosphere and ColorSource PARs as the key lights.

The team at Aardman had used ETC Pucks and Gadgets within their animation studios for several years and knew these would be effective and reliable choices for the exhibit. With an ETC Puck controller users have the advantages of PC-based lighting control running the Eos family software, but with added security as it installs only ETC applications and no other software. The portable Gadget II connection also ensures an essential, quick and easy connection which was needed for the rigs on the various sets.  

Aardman’s Nathan Sale adds: “I had great support from ETC during the initial fit up. Any questions I had were swiftly responded to. Even on a Sunday at 10pm, Jeremy Roberts picked up to help me offset one of the lamps that wasn’t looking perfect. The show has now been touring for the last seven years and has been faultless. We send a team to clean and check the equipment on a regular basis but during that time we have not had to swap anything out.”

ETC Regional Sales Manager Jeremy Roberts comments: “It’s been great to be a part of the Art of Aardman tour and see ETC gear used in the showcase. The extensive testing and reliability of our products made them a firm choice for the exhibit, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it. Thanks to Nathan and the team at Aardman for their ongoing support of ETC.”

The venues that the Art of Aardman tour has been exhibited at include the following:

  • Musée Art Ludique, Paris, France
  • Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Melbourne, Australia,
  • Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DPP), Seoul, South Korea
  • Seokpajeong (Seoul Museum), Seoul, South Korea
  • Munhwa Broadcasting Corp (MBC), Daegu, South Korea
  • Forum Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
  • PAFF! International Museum of Comic Art, Pordenone, Italy