Projection Studio handles dramatic end to World Cup

The FIFA 2010 World cup culminated in a closing ceremony at Soccer City stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg. The UK’s Projection Studio was tasked with handling projection for the live show.

Mik Auckland, part of a specialist team from Jack Morton Worldwide, appointed Ross Ashton, of Projection Studio, as projection consultant.

All the projection hardware and software solutions were supplied by E/T/C Paris working for Gearhouse South Africa, the event's main technical contractors, who also supplied lighting, audio, rigging and power.

Ashton's role included overseeing the entire projection process, from selecting the equipment supplier to assisting Johannesburg based content providers, Ministry of Illusion (MOI), optimise the imagery to work on a monumental scale.

On site, he worked closely with the E/T/C Paris team led by Partrice Bouqueniaux. He also co-ordinated between the show caller and the host broadcasting service (HBS) with information about which video clips were coming up next.

The dramatic 55 metre square projections in the middle of the field-of-play - onto a cloth covering the pitch - were delivered by 18 x Christie 18K Roadster projectors. These were mounted on two platforms flown in the roof of the upper concourse of Soccer City, along the east and west (long) sides of the venue. The projectors were configured in 16:9 format and rigged in three stacks of three, covering the pitch that was divided into six target areas.

The content varied from digital scenery like lakes and mountains to colourful graphics, moving patterns and texturing and flag insignia. PIP video replays of the sporting action were inserted into the overall picture, and all these and other images helped differentiate and push along the 30 minute narrative.

Each projector received its own video feed and keystone correction to eliminate discrepancies between their optical centres, optimising the smoothness and brightness of coverage across the full surface area.

E/T/C's proprietary OnlyView PC-based system was used for control. Eighteen active OnlyView servers, one per machine, were utilised, with another 18 running as a hot backup system - a major stipulation of the original tender document - and data was distributed via a fully redundant networked system.

Footage for the stadium's two Lighthouse high resolution LED screens was edited by locally based VLS and also output via the OnlyView system, with a pitch projection feed from OnlyView also sent to the host broadcaster to be available for their mix.

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