It was an event of Olympian proportions. In the run up to the Summer Olympics in Rio, Virgin Media's new "Be The Fastest" campaign from Curb Media celebrates speed and the fastest man of all time, Usain Bolt. How better to demonstrate Bolt's blazing speed than with a 100 meter-long horizontal LED screen, floating on the Thames at the foot of the London Eye?
A d3 Technologies 4x4pro media server running r13 software played a key role in the event, which showcased a three-minute, emotion-packed film by Treatment Studio (www.treatmentstudio.com). The film focused on the concept of speed and a pivotal season in Bolt's career.
Part of the film dramatized, in realtime, Bolt's record-setting 9:58-second run across the 100-meter span of the flat screen. VER UK supplied the custom horizontal LED screen, the longest of its type ever constructed. It topped 108 pontoon decks and covered 600 square meters.
Mark Bustard produced and directed the event. Video was synced with a complementary lighting scheme that illuminated the London Eye and other nearby structures. The London Eye served as a giant stopwatch, counting down Bolt's 100-meter record time, set in Berlin in 2009.
VER UK also supplied the d3 4x4pro to play back the three-minute film, and a second server for backup. The media server's streamlined timeline user interface enabled Chris Simcock, the operator programmer from Sensel Studio (www.senselstudio.com), to sequence to hours, minutes, seconds and frames. This allowed Simcock to quickly and easily update the timeline when new content arrived from Treatment Studio, who sent a number of updates towards show day.
Simcock sequenced the finale to start at precisely 9:58 pm. "That was crucial because other show elements - lights, sound, etc. - followed the same timing," he explains. "For d3 to play back in synch with other show elements, GPS timecode was fed to the control rack and converted to MTC for d3 to track. As a result, at precisely 9:58 pm the big finale showcasing Usain Bolt was triggered for viewers from the London Eye and Victoria Embankment to see."
d3's intelligent output feeds allowed the giant 6K image canvas to be divided into HD outputs, which were fed to two LED processors.
"Excellent teamwork by VER UK, Treatment Studio and Sensel Studio resulted in a fantastic show," says Simcock. "d3's brilliant software and hardware solutions helped make it possible. The product just continues to excel in the live events industry."
Delta Sound UK was the audio integrator for the show. Adam Power from Spindrift Projects assisted with systems integration.
d3 is the world's first fully integrated visual production system for video professionals, combining a real-time 3D stage visualizer, timeline, video playback engine and projection mapping tools into one product. d3's unique integrated workflow assists the designer at all stages of the project, from pitch through development to final delivery. For more information visit www.d3technologies.com.