18 February 2015

In an assembly of icons, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Greatest Hits from Vienna was projected live onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House on February 4 with animated 3D images inspired by the art of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, in a celebration of the artistic and musical heritage of the Austrian capital.


Images courtesy of Technical Direction Company
Images courtesy of Technical Direction Company

The spectacle was a collaboration between the SSO and the Vienna Tourist Board, and was simultaneously broadcast in a live webstream to audiences around the world. Ample Projects, the creators of the award winning Urban Tree project in Martin Place for Vivid Sydney last year, was in charge of the technical aspects, with video services and expertise from Technical Direction Company (TDC).

During the design phase the TDC team created a content template so Ample Projects and the Sydney Opera House Recording and Broadcast Studios were all working from the same plan, TDC technical manager Olin Winton explained. “This also helped to save time on site. We worked closely with the Sydney Opera House production team and other suppliers to overcome any technical issues.”

Fourteen cameras within the Opera House concert hall captured the SSO’s performance, which was beamed by microwave link to projectors at Dawes Point, with the Viennese-inspired 3D animations designed by Ample Projects.


Imagery included a 3D projection replicating Gustav Klimt’s The Tree of Life.
Imagery included a 3D projection replicating Gustav Klimt’s The Tree of Life.

Content projection posed several technical design challenges with the size of the Opera House sails, long throw distances, a busy Sydney Harbour port in the projection path, and multiple microwave broadcast links.

“A finely tuned methodology developed over a number of years has led to locating specific projection locations to project over the ferries and cruise ships that come into port,” Winton said. Isolated projection platforms were designed for long projection throw distances, and multiple signal transmission paths for HD signals, communications and embedded audio for broadcasters were located at the Opera House. Main and backup systems comprised two-way microwave links for the transmission path, and the audio path was retransmitted via microwave and RF to the public viewing site at Campbells Cove in western Circular Quay with the audio delay added as needed.


Sydney Symphony Orchestra conductor Ola Rudner.
Sydney Symphony Orchestra conductor Ola Rudner.

“The smooth lines and white surface of the iconic Sydney Opera House are great to work with,” Winton said. “Depth of field and maintaining a sharp focus across multiple stacked projectors can be a challenge that’s solved using a well thought out projection plan!”

TDC supplied Barco projects and d3 Technologies 4x4pro video servers for the project.



Ample Projects: ampleprojects,com

Technical Direction Company: www.tdc.com.au


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