Issue 27



14 December 2014

As households across Australia’s suburbs struggle with tangled strings of festive lights and teeter on ladders, spare a thought for the Technical Direction Company. For the fourth year in a row the Sydney-based video services provider is bringing Lights of Christmas to the city, transforming the iconic St Mary’s Cathedral into a massive 3D projection surface for stills, animation and video across the 75-metre high by 33-metre wide sandstone façade.


“Preparation and planning for video projection mapping is everything,” says TDC’s special project manager Kain Jones. “Working with a 3D model of the façade, we previsualise the entire building and accurately map every pixel onto the architecture of the cathedral. This ensures the precision of our delivery.”

“It’s always a great challenge to tell a story that is not only visually spectacular but also compelling,” adds Anthony Bastic, creative director at event partner AGB Events. “Lights of Christmas 2014 is broken up into three segments, telling the story of ‘giving’ and ‘service’. It symbolically follows the visual and metaphorical journey of a honey-bee. The Joy of Giving starts off our light show emerging from behind the Church altar combined with visuals of the symbolic gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The visual use of an altar draws a parallel with St Peters in the Vatican, Italy. The Twelve Days of Christmas treats visitors to a fun and specially designed animation of the traditional melody in vivid and moving imagery. The Madonna and Child includes images of some of the world’s greatest artists.”

The video projections are accompanied by commissioned soundscapes and narrative. The spectacle runs over 17 nights from December 9 to 25, beginning each evening at 7.30pm with a choir performance on the cathedral steps before the light show starts just after dusk and stays on until midnight. Last year the spectacular show drew an audience of 200,000 and was streamed live across the world.



On the Merry Go Round

Offering a new focal point for the city’s festivities, the curved façade of the Commercial Travellers Association Building at the MLC Centre in Martin Place is another canvas for TDC’s high resolution projection mapping. Merry Go Round by Ample Projects transforms the building into a mechanical toy carousel, complete with robots, animals and creatures from space.


“The show pushes the transformational possibilities of architectural video projection to its limits,” says Ample Projects creative director Nicholas Tory. “For this project, we required ultra-high resolution projectors and design for the cylindrical architecture of the CTA building. We turned to TDC to provide state-of-the-art equipment and on-site show programming.”

“This is the first Christmas projection on to the compelling façade of the CTA building,” adds TDC managing director Michael Hassett. “This structure provides us with a really great perspective for mapped projections on a curved structure. We interpreted the design by way of creating a 3D map of the building and public space. Using the latest media server technology the intricate layering of the graphics can be mapped to the building with razor sharp accuracy. We expect Merry Go Round to receive a wonderful response from Sydneysiders.”

The event runs every evening at 8pm to midnight from December 5 to 25. It’s the second time TDC has worked with Ample Projects on the CTA building – their previous collaboration was Urban Tree Project at Vivid Sydney 2014, which collected awards for live events design at the 2014 AEAF Awards and the 2014 Australian Production Design Guild Awards.


Source: media release


Lights of Christmas images courtesy of AGB Events
Merry Go Round photography by Rodney Campbell


Technical Direction Company: 1300 783 832 or
AGB Events: (02) 8302 3800 or
Ample Projects:
Lights of Christmas 2014:




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Issue 27