KC’s Dimensional Innovations Helps Drive Visual Experience For Ted Lasso-Filled Thundergong Charity Concert

December 19, 2023 by Dave Haynes

This isn’t digital signage, but some great set design and supporting creative done by a company that is well known and very active in digital signage and creative technology jobs – Dimensional Innovations.

If you’ve been on YouTube and come across videos of a charity concert involving some of the cast of Ted Lasso, that was in Kansas City and it was guided in part by the folks from DI, which is based in that midwest US city.  This is the event that included Hannah Waddingham and Brendan Hunt (Rebecca and Coach Beard from the show) belting out the B52’s Love Shack.

Chris Riebschlager, director of creative technology at DI, says doing the event “these last two years has been like giving my soul a spa day. The work is fun, the people are beyond fantastic and the energy on show night is unlike anything else I’ve experienced.”

From the DI website:

The seventh-annual Thundergong! hosted by Jason Sudeikis took Kansas City by storm, raising over $800K for the Steps of Faith Foundation – a national nonprofit that provides under or non-insured amputees with life-changing prosthetic care. DI and the DI Foundation are proud supporters of Thundergong!, and we were honored to once again be a part of the fun by adding our own creative flair to the all-star variety show.

Every year, illustrator and designer A. Micah Smith creates a unique theme for the event – primarily based on Jason Sudeikis’ latest niche interests. Last year’s theme was Magic, which inspired our team to help create ‘Hatrick Swayze’, an improvisational and interactive character charged with comic relief, crowd engagement and donation tracking throughout the show.

Leaning into this year’s theme of Pinball, we carefully mounted a 3’ mirrored dome in front of one of the two large LED walls flanking the stage. This highly-reflective physical element – a dead ringer for an oversized pinball – served as an intriguing focal point for the theme while helping drive our creative efforts as we moved forward.

We first greeted the audience with a digital, fully functional 3D pinball game based on the show’s branding and promotional posters. Multiple camera angles within the digital environment yielded awesome “in-game” views – one of which was “locked” on the pinball, creating a mind-bending optical illusion when paired with the physical mirrored dome. DI technical artists captured additional live-action pinball sequences using Unreal Engine to serve as an interactive “HIGH SCORE” moment that showcased growing fundraising efforts throughout the night. 


Music is a key driver of the Thundergong! experience. So, in addition to 3D pinball animations, we created a custom live-rendered music visualization application using TouchDesigner to bring the beats of the night to visual life. A team of DI-ers set up offstage, where we communicated with the show director while manually driving a drum pad to initiate reactive visuals for each performance – resulting in over 22 real-time animations, each inspired by the brand kit and tailor-made for each performance.

“We experienced it ourselves, but everyone we’ve talked to has said this was our best Thundergong! yet. And almost all of those people have talked about the visual production elements taking it over the top,” Steps of Faith Foundation CEO and Co-Creator of Thundergong!, Billy Brimblecom Jr., said. “For DI to work with a little charity like ours is a dream, and they have helped us up our game in such a big way.”


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