Tripping the Light Fantastic

April 21, 2015

How Jason Bruges Studio used Cinema 4D to control the New Year's Eve lighting display at the top of The Shard.

By Steve Jarratt


To celebrate the advent of 2015, the developers of The Shard – the tallest building in Europe – wanted to turn the building's glittering spire into a work of art. To accomplish this they turned to Jason Bruges Studio, an award-wining art collective based in London, renowned for creating distinctive interactive installations.


Every evening from Friday 19th December until New Year's Eve, the spire of The Shard would come alive with a light show visible across the city, creating "a dynamic piece of public art designed to reflect and evoke the spirit and energy of London," says Adam Heslop, designer and visualizer at JBS.


The pixelated countdown to 2015 was back-projected through The Shard's apartment windows and timed to coincide with London's famous fireworks display. The celebration lighting comprised of layers of searchlights, sparkling strobes, a dynamic color wash and a huge 2015 numeric graphic.


To achieve the effect, the 'Shard Lights' project occupied the top 40 stories of the building and employed the very latest technologies, including volumetric projection into a mist contained within the spire, and use of the world's first IP65-rated moving head LED lamp. The 850W device, provided by entertainment company SGM, is fully weatherized, making it resistant to water and dust, and its 17,000 lumen rating makes it the brightest of any IP-rated light source. The actual installation was handled by Production Resource Group, which specializes in large-scale theatrical and stadium events.


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