Draw & Code’s immersive technology and 3D animation is taking centre stage at the launch event for Peel Port’s Liverpool 2 today as this giant infrastructure project opens for business. A mixed media spectacular will see a 360 degree projection mapping show, interactive animated tables and a Google Cardboard virtual reality experience helping to convey the new port’s place in Liverpool’s rich maritime history and to visualise some of the mind-boggling statistics surrounding the site.
Liverpool 2 is a major boon to the region and to the country as it allows the world’s largest container ships to dock on the west of the UK for the first time. The £400 million investment by Peel Ports, one of the UK’s biggest port operators, will provide a state-of-the-art ocean gateway for UK importers and exporters.
Liverpool’s skyline is now significantly altered by the presence of the port’s five main cranes that match the height of the very tallest buildings in the city, including the Three Graces. From Crosby to Toxteth the latticework of the constructions and the accompanying wind turbines can be glimpsed with Liverpool 2 now the first significant landmark to welcome seafarers as they approach the mouth of The Mersey.
Our brief was to distill the significance of Liverpool 2 into an immersive experience that leveraged the latest technology, allowing viewers to gain a unique perspective on the site. As such we needed to get to know more about Liverpool 2 – and what better place to start than by standing (almost) atop the 130m ‘megamax’ cranes themselves? That’s where our Liverpool 2 journey began.
Immersive technology is all about putting the viewer in the centre of the action – in this case we wanted to achieve this effect without the need for hundreds of guests queuing to use virtual reality headsets. Instead we used our projection mapping experience to create a 360 degree animated 3D film that was shown inside a temporary dome structure. The film will also be released as a Google Cardboard virtual reality experience to relive after today’s launch event.
The immersive projections are accompanied by interactive tables that allow the user to explore the Peel footprint across the region or to see the Liverpool 2 development in the context of the whole of the UK. The installation consisted of 84” TV screens laid horizontally with a touchscreen control pad that enables the user to trigger animations that highlight different aspects of the project. Perspex models of significant architecture around the UK were painstakingly placed on top of the screens and were animated from within by the screen beneath them. The effect is of a living, breathing architect’s model that dances with colour and movement.
After three days spent on site with the SK Events and Stagetex teams who are behind the launch event, it was all worth it as the politicians, stakeholders and celebrities arrived. The slick production and spectacular setting did Liverpool 2 justice and it was a pleasure to be involved in the launch what promises to be such a transformative project.