Gian Carlo Vannetti is an experienced lighting designer based in Novellara, Italy, who specializes in creating theatrical lighting designs using Obsidian Control Systems' ONYX platform. With nearly 30 years in the entertainment technology industry, he has had the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects, from big and small Italian artists to festivals, corporate events and more.
Passion for lighting control
Gian Carlo's passion for lighting design began early in his career when he found himself attracted to the lighting console, despite starting out with more basic tasks such as prepping cables and loading trucks. "I really love all the features in lighting control software and all the lovely things you can create with cues and timing," he states. "I try to follow the music and re-create somehow that feeling so people can also participate visually. That's what makes me shiver and feel good! Trying to create something that makes sense in that moment!"
Over time, he gained experience operating a variety of consoles, including Coemar, Avolites, Martin Case, Whole Hog, GrandMA, Jands Vista, and ChamSys. This eventually led him to Obsidian Control Systems' ONYX platform and he now owns several ONYX-driven products including an NX Wing™, NX Touch™, M-Play, NX DMX™, and Netron EP4™.
Currently, Gian Carlo works on the theater side of the industry, collaborating with a dance company that has a unique and creative approach to light. He explains, "There is a lot of 'dark' so a light at 5% has and makes a huge difference!" He began exploring ONYX in 2020, intrigued by its features and capabilities. He states, "I started studying ONYX a bit deeper, looking at it with curiosity, clicking on everything and trying to get answers to my questions so I could achieve my way of programing. I discovered that inside the software it has qualities that other consoles don't."
At the time Gian Carlos was taking his deep dive into ONYX, the DyLOS pixel composer had yet to be fully implemented which he says gave him a chance to concentrate more on the rest of the software's features. He appreciated the software's GUI aspect of the system and some features he used atypically like the 2d Plan, etc. "I then started to talk with Obsidian personnel, ask questions and make suggestions of my own because I also wanted to help, even in a small way," he said. "I saw improvements in the software and was happy to see that it was continually getting better."
Then came DyLOS and other improvements like CITP implementation for Capture Visualisation software and more. "That's when I realized that ONYX was going to be a game changer!"
ONYX on productions
Gian Carlo is using ONYX on three productions, "Indaco," "Boomerang," and "Canova Svelato," with a fourth, "H2 Omix," coming in May. They all feature transparent screens that reflect video and imagery but also create a mirror effect when dancers are near, complementing the choreography with stunning visuals. Two on-stage projectors pass effects through transparent screens toward the audience with one at FOH for mapping of the entire theater. "My way of creating these types of shows is through ONYX with a cuelist that has a lot happening, delays and timings on fixture parameters, and if I need some unique FX I have DyLOS. It has really given me the chance to be more creative."
In conclusion, Gian Carlo believes that ONYX is a great control platform with entry-level options to large format desks that are easy-to-learn. He believes that ONYX has the potential to be the future of lighting control, and hopes to see it used more widely in a professional productions and tours.