Crystal creates 'world's biggest screen' at Olympics

Monday, 30 July 2012
Crystal creates 'world's biggest screen' at OlympicsThe 70,500 Pixel Tablets created a ‘human powered' screen of unprecedented size
UK - The London 2012 Opening Ceremony saw an animated display of images from Crystal stretching across the entire expanse of audience seating from the arena itself to the edge of the Olympic stadium. Bringing Danny Boyle's vision of audience inclusiveness to life, the spectators became part of the action.

Viewers were also wowed by a range of images including a computer generated image of the birth of the internet, which started on the field of play and shot outwards into the audience and beyond. The giant video screen was made up of small paddle-shaped Pixel Tablets designed by Tait Technologies, each attached to a seat in the stadium and bearing 9 full colour pixels arranged in a square.

Together, the 70,500 Pixel Tablets created a 'human powered' screen of unprecedented size, on which Crystal's spectacular digital animations were displayed. Designed to support and extend the live action of the ceremonies, this is the first time the Pixel Tablets have been used to create such a vast, immersive display at a live event.

"The audience literally became part of the action. No longer limited by large flat screens, we were presented with the challenge of creating animations to bring the stage and the spectators together," said Will Case, creative director at Crystal. "We delivered. The live audience and those watching at home were drawn into the action. We are witnessing the end of the traditional video screen - this will transform the way event content is presented in future, becoming a more immersive experience."

The project was delivered in just 14 weeks with a team of 50 designers from Crystal London with support from Crystal Group. The first tests were performed in the Olympic Stadium on 10July and final test run at the dress rehearsals last week. More than 70 minutes of animations were all custom designed for the concave, bowl shape of the 360? screen, with requests for additional content landing in Crystal's creative team's inboxes up to the last minute.

For in-depth coverage of the production behind the Opening Ceremony, be sure to check out the August/September issue of LSi - out soon!

(Jim Evans)


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