Vivid Sydney 2016

(Royal Botanic Garden)

Preparation for the creative technology elements started 11 months prior to Vivid Sydney. TDC - Technical Direction Company worked collaboratively with all project stakeholders. The project ensured that only in Sydney were visitors able to experience an event on this scale, size and technical complexity.

TDC relished the huge logistical challenge of coordinating 9 different sites:        
•    70 video projectors, from 40,000 lumens through to 22,000 lumens.        

•    Over 30 technical staff employed full time. 

•    11 kilometers of projection.

•    20 million pixels

•    20 kilometers of signal and power cables. 

•    22 media servers. 

•    Three different automation platforms servers running on unique software code. 

•    All sites remotely monitored with realtime remote reporting. 

•    A total light output of 1,750,000 ANSI lumens brightness.  

•    800GB video footage being played back continuously.   

"We installed sensors to measure even variables like temperature," explains Drew Ferors, senior engineer at TDC. "24/7 TDC Live View manages the integrity of projectors sending an alert in real-time if there's unforeseen issues providing critical technical updates remotely.”

"To manage the animations, we used d3 technologies media servers for a number of our sites," says Steve Cain, head engineer at TDC. "Two features that d3 media servers offers is 3D visualization and footprint features to show ‘hotspots’ and ‘coldspots’ in projection mapping areas. It makes my life so much easier. The software is from the lighting design world so is a great tool. We can visually represent the object or building using a 3D fly-through showing how the projection will be laid out on the site to the millimeter of accuracy. This was particularly useful for when we worked at Taronga Zoo where we had to alter projector tower locations. Working in 3D, we could move the projection towers and see the results instantly.” 

The Matter of Painting 

The Museum of Contemporary Art at The Rocks served as a canvas for one of Vivid Sydney’s illuminated artwork. Western Sydney artist, Huseyin Sami, joined forces with Paris-based artistic collective, Danny Rose, to create the illusion that the facade is actually being carved, cut, and painted.     

Sydney’s Hidden Stories 

A new Reality Viewing Platform used Huawei’s latest smartphones and tablets in an augmented reality experience at Custom House. TDC created a 3D model of the building to plan a giant projection area of 32 by 18 meters. Spinifex Group delivered 6 minutes of animation that mapped the building, using its intricate architecture.

Royal Botanic Garden  

Projections at the Royal Botanic Garden presented a fresh challenge for TDC in terms of media serving and engineering. The projections incorporated Ample Projects’ 3D scans and mapping onto the giant Moreton Bay fig trees. 

Taronga Zoo 

For the first time, Vivid Sydney incorporated the Taronga Zoo Centenary Celebrations. Ample Project's eight-minute long projection show and 3D mapping featured projection technology and mapping provided by TDC.   

“We projected onto the ground to add depth using bugs and critters," explains Cain. "Due to the nature of sculptures and trees, we’re using ultra-short-throw lenses on our projectors. It was technically challenging from that point of view. We used Ample Projects’ 3D modelling for the entire site prior to the project using the d3 4x4pro Media Server and the results speak for themselves.”   

Jaguar Launch 

The artistic presence of Jaguar at Martin Place left car lovers and newcomers alike in awe of the artwork created by Spinifex Group using an array of LED screens and mapped projections onto the new F-PACE, with projections that are audience activated. 


At the historic Cadmans Cottage, visuals and projection were designed by Propaganda Mill for a 10-metre performance area that was transformed into the bow of a vessel. The installation took visual input from across the full width of the building and the graphics evolved in realtime depending on the interaction of participants.   

X-Factory, Central Park Sydney 

The façade of Sydney’s first brewery, Carlton & United Brewery received a dramatic makeover by TDC. Ample Projects also worked in conjunction with a group of University of Technology students who produced over 30 minutes of additional content for the Central Park precinct.   

Laser-Dragon Water Theatre   

TDC provided video projection onto three water-screens that are mounted on a 13m robotic arm floating high above 56 fountains, arranged in snake-like coils. The moving water screen took the shape of a fearsome dragon and characters from Commedia Dell’Arte’s 16th century theatre.

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