Monday, July 18, 2011

No tickets needed for NDP 2011's dazzling laser light show

Light 'em up: Ten lasers mounted on top of the seating gallery at the Float are used to outline the Singapore city skyline. The special effects are best seen from the waterfront promenade in front of the Esplanade.(Picture courtesy of Henry Wong)

You don't need a ticket to this year's National Day Parade (NDP) to catch a dazzling show item.

Just keep your eyes on Singapore's city skyline for a laser show that will outline skyscrapers and trace out a new city skyline - if weather conditions are just right.

The item titled "Lighting of the Skyline" on NDP cue tables is set to take place around 7:56pm. Catch a preview in the following clip:

Mac Chan, a theatre and lighting design consultant who helped put together the show, explained that imaginary skyline (to the right of frame 1:27min to 1:32min in the above clip) is incidental with the help of smoke from low level fireworks. This is because smoke banks produced by the fireworks must drift in the right direction for the laser effects to be seen clearly.

The bright green beams come from ten lasers mounted on the top of the seating gallery that are programmed to aim their beams at the Central Business District (CBD) skyline about 1km away.

"We make sure that the laser beams land only on the building facade and not the glass windows," Mac said."With precision control, the lasers will never shoot into the buildings and spectators in the buildings will not have direct contact with the laser beams."

He explained that the lasers were programmed to trace the CBD buildings using a special graphic programme. Aided by computers, the team matched the pulsating lasers with music to create the light and sound show for NDP 2011.

The green lasers are backed by a supporting cast of searchlights used to backlight the skyscrapers with cones of light.

Asked where's the best spot to catch the show, Mac said:"The laser effect has been optimised for the Float audience perspective, so the seating gallery audience will get the best perspective, but otherwise everyone (around Marina Bay) can see it from any angle."

Note: If you've yet to see it, you only have two more chances to watch the laser show before NDP 2011 on 9 August. The lasers will fire up during NE3 this Saturday and during the Parade Preview on 30 July'11. Fireworks are due around 7:35pm, 7:40pm, 7:56pm (with laser show) and 8:05pm (pyromusical grand finale).

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