Sydney lights up landmarks with 264,000 lumens


This Christmas will be a bright one, especially for those in Sydney. Technical Direction Company (TDC) are bringing their large-format video projection technology to two locations this Christmas. The two locations are St Mary’s Cathedral and the Merry Go Round  at Martin Place.

To light up the faces of these buildings isn’t an easy task. The brightness of the video projection required to light up a full building is magnitudes greater than your average board-room projector. That projection is a staggering 264,000 lumens of projected light to illuminate the facade.

As a general rule,  a typical light bulb gives you between 450-1,600 lumens.

TDC’s projection on the Cathedral is a massive 75-meter high and is a creative visualisation of Christmas and what it means to Sydney. TDC created astonishing giant 17,640,000 pixel animated images. To manage the full HD content images, TDC’s impressive hardware needs massive processing power – 2 terabytes of content management, 48 cores of processing and 144 gigabytes of RAM.

“TDC projection video designers created special code and electronics so that the entire system is ‘virtually wired’ and controllable using an iPad device.

“Remote monitoring is something TDC has been perfecting for a number of years. It allows for rapid programming, fixes issues remotely in real-time, uses a CCTV camera on-site to see what’s happening and allows scheduling of different shows and operation of each days events,” says Michael Hassett, managing director at TDC.

“Projectors can be turned on or off or even climate control systems can be activated for heating and cooling of all equipment – let’s face it, Sydney can get hot sometimes,” says Steve Cain, head technician at TDC.



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The second location, the Merry Go Round will see the landmark Commercial Travellers Association Building in Martin Place lit up. The giant curved concrete façade appears to spin and pop as the cast of dancing robots and singing mechanical animals swing into action, before the building packs itself up and blasts off into space as a flying saucer with Christmas lights. The building is the perfect canvas for the artistic work by Ample Projects and runs until 25 December 2015.

“As with all of our collaborations with TDC, we are very proud of this award-winning artistic and technical achievement. This show presented new design challenges, and we are so proud of the result. We couldn’t have done it without our technical partners, TDC,” concludes Nicholas Tory, creative director at Ample Projects.

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