It would be easy for a company like TDC – Technical Direction Company, to deliver the same projection technology each-and-every year for Vivid Sydney however it’s part of TDC’s DNA to constantly explore the latest upcoming technology, to refine and optimise its video solutions offering.
TDC’s highly experienced team of project managers, creative technologists, designers, and engineers are involved in redesigning projection to provide more pixels, brightness, better efficiency and from a technical point of view, a greater result for over twenty installations at Vivid Sydney 2023. These are in the form of projection design, mapping and illuminations onto Australia’s largest Museum vessel, the HMAS Vampire for Harbour Life, the Sydney Opera House Lighting of the Sails: Life Enlivened and a fully immersive projection experience at Vivid House to showcase four awe-inspiring artworks featuring Australia’s natural world.
Vivid Sydney Festival Director, Gill Minervini said: “Vivid Sydney is Australia’s biggest festival celebrating creativity, technology and innovation, and this year the festival celebrated the beauty and diversity of our natural world. Being able to collaborate with leading innovative partners like TDC is essential to bringing Vivid Sydney to life and creating a truly unforgettable experience for festival-goers.”
In summarising the technical advancements at this year’s Vivid Sydney, Michael Hassett, Founder and Managing Director of TDC enthused: “I am impressed with how Isaac Mackenzie, head engineer at TDC explained the reasons for certain technology selections using specific routers and servers on particular installations. TDC is constantly trying to find ways of improving and refining the solution. Testing all of our solutions at our warehouse is an essential component of our research and development process.”
TDC newly designed TwLite projection towers house projectors outdoors. They can be rapidly deployed, have improved airflow for projector efficiency and lifespan, and are more robust and waterproof over previous designs. “We are excited with the efficiency TwLite towers provide during installation on site. Made with sustainability in mind, the towers can be reused which is very important,” said Toby Waley, Head of Operations at TDC.
All installations are controlled from a central point so the projection towers do not disrupt audience vantage points. All system design was carefully considered throughout the festival footprint. Lighting of the Sails: Life Enlivened (2023) at Sydney Opera House now has all laser projectors producing 4K resolution to bring the work of Dr John Olsen and Curiious to life. New projector coolers increase efficiency and light output. Fibre optic outputs from the custom media servers improve efficiency.
For Inside Out at Customs House, all laser projectors are upgraded from Barco UDM-W22 to UDM-W30 for increased light output and performance. Fully redesigned, there’s no longer a centrally located projection tower and there’s redundancy for each Barco projector.
In total, TDC is deploying 150 of the latest laser projectors for Vivid Sydney 2023 – the largest such installation ever mounted in the Southern Hemisphere. Laser projectors have more light output than conventional lamp-based projectors, they deliver superior fidelity and sharper contrast using significantly less power than older technologies.
The projectors will deliver unprecedented levels of light illumination to produce an eye-watering billion total pixels each evening, more than double the total pixels in 2022. At the same time, energy consumption will be 150 kilowatts per hour (kWh) lower than last year. Put another way, TDC is able to deliver a 25 percent increase in projection coverage for Vivid Sydney 2023 while emitting less carbon waste than in 2022.
In view with TDC LiveView
Aligning with the theme of Vivid Sydney, Naturally, TDC is deploying its TDC LiveView automated remote monitoring system that will monitor thousands of pieces of equipment to troubleshoot issues and limit staff travel. Operators and engineers are based at a control centre. All data from each installation is provided by TDC LiveView and if any technical challenges arise, engineers are dispatched to immediately resolve any issue.
Drew Ferors, Head of Technical Services and Training at TDC, explains: “TDC LiveView is an automated solution that will monitor thousands of pieces of equipment used at Vivid Sydney across our installations. With it we can collect real-time data such as the temperature of all the equipment sitting outdoors in projection enclosures, along with information on how the kit is performing.”
All TDC projector enclosures are climate controlled for enhanced equipment performance with installations at Vivid Sydney monitored by camera systems that also feed back to the LiveView App.
Now in its 13th year, Vivid Sydney will transform the Harbour City into an illuminating fusion of creativity, innovation, and technology from Friday the 26th of May to Saturday the 17th of June, with more than 300 events and activations across Light, Music, Ideas and – for the first time ever – food.