Singapore celebrates its annual National Day Parade (NDP) every year with a dynamic integration of colour, sound and performance by various community groups and organizations. This year, the NDP returned to its parade grounds at the Singapore Floating Platform, albeit with a smaller participatory audience, made up of 1,000 frontline healthcare personnel, who are frontliners in the fight against Covid-19.
Coming together and celebrating is part of human nature. Despite setbacks and disruption, we’ll always find a way to honour and commemorate special events. In this vein, Singapore’s National Day Parade was held on August 21, 2021.
Adrian Goh, group managing director at Hexogon Solution, says: “Singapore’s National Day is a day where Singaporeans come together and celebrate its Independence Day.”
The National Day Parade has become a key fixture on the calendar and the onus falls on one particular technology, projection, to figuratively and metaphorically ‘light’ up the spectacle.
Sally Lee, multimedia director for NDP2021, elaborates: “Recent National Day Parades in Singapore have seen greater expectations on multimedia implementation. Projection mapping, being an important part of the AV component, no longer serves just as a simple canvas backdrop or background. We introduced various ideas and concepts to transform the show and convincingly transport our audience through the different scenes and show narratives.”
For NDP2021, there were added considerations that projection technology had to take into account. Sally elaborates: “As the focus shifted more towards broadcast with demanding details and quality, the need to calibrate different AV components of the show became vital. There are always challenges to calibrate and balance between multiple LED screens content to floor projection content due to the different outdoor stage settings. Above all, we have stage lighting and lighting on performers for broadcast purposes which usually cancel out each other.”
Sally goes on to give further details regarding the technical challenges: “To create an immersive and well-balanced show environment both on-site and on-screen, we first needed to calibrate and match up how the content looks on both LED and projected surfaces. Then, we had to allow enough lighting on the performers to be properly presented on screen. This poses a big challenge to not compromise the projection outcome.”
Hexogon Solution stepped up to the plate with answers. This wasn’t the solution provider’s first rodeo as Adrian says: “We have been involved with the National Day since 2012. This is the ninth consecutive year since we have done the show and we were very honoured to be involved in this year’s National Day Parade as well.”
To answer the new set of challenges, Hexogon Solution decided to take a new approach to projection. Adrian says: “As Sally has explained, projection was extremely challenging for NDP2021. We had to actually balance projection with the brightness from lightning, LED screens, and so it was important to have very bright and very colourful projections presented on the floor. Different from previous years, this year we decided to use laser projectors, and it was also the first time we used Panasonic projectors for the show.”
The new direction proved to be a resounding success as Peter Loh, technical director of NDP2021, says: “Digital floor projection was one of the key elements in the show segment for NDP. It enhanced the show with an additional layer of multimedia effects, filling the entire stage with vibrant colours and accentuating the storytelling of the show segment. With the proposed laser projectors this year by Hexogon in comparison to the past NDP events, we observed significant improvement in the brightness and vibrancy of the image colour quality. As technical director of NDP 2021, my goal was to ensure a good balance in projection with the other AV components like lighting and LED screens. This technology shift to laser light source made it easier to fulfil what we needed.”
Adrian adds: “The result was stunning. We had very good brightness, very vibrant colours and it actually turned out very well together with LED screens, lighting, and on the TV it looked really good.”
A total of 30 Panasonic RQ35K projectors were used for NDP2021. Considering the stature of the event, Hexogon Solution did its due diligence. Adrian says: “Over the past two years, we have been testing Panasonic projectors in a lot of events and we experienced a very good outcome with the product itself. Currently, the RQ35K is the world’s smallest and lightest [approximately 70kg]* 30,000 lumens 3-Chip DLP 4K projector in its class. It also lasts very well in very hot and humid climates. And this is why we selected the brand and the latest model of the Panasonic laser projectors for the event.”
Seeing the projectors perform, Shaun Heng, CTS-D, CTS-I, group head, entertainment solution group, Panasonic says: “It was an honour to collaborate with Hexogon during this year's NDP. We were so impressed with what they had achieved with the 30 Panasonic RQ35K projectors. When we were designing the RQ35K projectors, we were thinking about our event partners and had them in mind. The needs of high-quality, high-energy events such as NDP, were exactly the reason the RQ35K projectors were created for.
With NDP2021 successfully completed and executed, Adrian believes that it is a signpost for the future. He surmises: “We are happy that events are back, and we are happy to be involved in such a big event. The collaboration with Panasonic is good and the product has delivered what we expected. So, we hope that more events will come by bigger events will go on and we will be back.”
Shaun concludes: “As the events space reopens, Panasonic is well placed and ready to support our event partners now and into the future.”
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