The Colour Project was commissioned by the City of Liverpool to devise a 30-minute video mapping spectacular as the visual climax to the city’s celebrations to mark the historic visit of all three of the largest Liners in the Cunard fleet.
As part of the Cunard Lines 175th birthday celebrations and to punctuate the occasion for the city, The Colour Project created an evening show for over 80,000 visitors over the course of three nights.
Always looking to the future and confident of its past, the essence of Liverpool was boldly brought to life to celebrate the city and its historic links with the Cunard Line. The three iconic buildings along the Pier Head collectively referred to as the Three Graces were transformed into a video mapped canvas to perform The Amazing Graces.
“Featuring a sea of faces of the people that make up the rich cultural heritage of Liverpool along with scenes from Cunard’s vast history we devised and produced a 30 minute spectacle complete with a specially commissioned score by composer Pete M Wyer,” says creative director John Simms. “The show was developed in consultation with the people of Liverpool with Hope Street Ltd carrying out local research and audience engagement.
“We wanted to create a show with projection mapping at its heart that was capable of reaching out deep into the audience. In order to advance the narrative and expand the themes to the widest audience area we deployed holographic waterscreens, aerial artists, lasers, and water fountains throughout the 32,000sq.m UNESCO World Heritage waterfront.”
A team of five Animators and Motion Graphics artists led by John Sims, devised and built the content over a five-month period. All building, 3D and character animation was carried out in 3DS Max and C4D with the other scenes being completed in After Effects CC and Premiere Pro CC.
The total native mapped area for all three buildings was 12660px X 2640px and the content was played back through four Catalyst Media Servers synced to time code and controlled via a GrandMA2 Lite console. All servers and control systems were ran with fully redundant back-ups.
A further two Catalyst Media servers controlled both the water screen projections and were also utilised to synchronise the water fountains.
All technical infrastructure and planning was conceived and managed by The Colour Project’s director and executive producer Carl Miller.
The projection mapping event used six Panasonic PT-DZ21K and eight Panasonic PT-DS20K DLP projectors to cover the 6,000sq.m combined facades of the Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building. Projectors were mounted from two 7m high, 3.6m.sq projection scaffold structures each stabilised with over 3000KG of ballast to withstand the costal winds.
With the use of a Hiab Crane, two 55kW waterscreens were lowered into the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Link on either side of the waterfront. Each waterscreen was illuminated by a pair of Panasonic PT13K projectors running back to control. The content on each of the waterscreens was synchronised to complement the action on the main video mapped buildings, providing a unique experience depending on where it was viewed from in the audience.
Four Studio Due 2500W City Colours illuminated a pre – programmed fountain show that again synchronised with and punctuated the main action. Two 14kW fountain sets comprising of 12 different aquatic effects were constructed audience centre. Each bowser was filled with 35,000 litres of water daily and a separate daytime fountain show programmed for daylight visitors.
Two 24W OPS lasers and one 12W OPS laser were sited on balconies left, centre and right of the Central Cunard building and programmed and controlled via Pangolin INTRO.
At the climax of the show an aerial artist suspended below a 9m diameter helium filled Heliosphere gracefully traversed all three buildings, wowing and interacting with the audience. Over the course of the three days 48 canisters of helium were used to inflate the heliosphere.
Show manager Steve McEvoy coordinated all elements and ran the show running with Samuel Jeffs programming and operating.