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Mediacorp countdown party to feature augmented reality segment

SINGAPORE: For the first time, revellers ringing in the new year in Singapore will be treated to a special augmented reality (AR) segment at this year’s Mediacorp countdown party at The Promontory, which will also feature a host of local acts.
At the Let’s Celebrate 2019 show ‪on Dec 31‬, a mermaid created using AR will emerge and "swim" above the audience during an act by local singer-songwriter Joel Tan – better known as Gentle Bones.

The one-minute spectacle was created by four students from ITE College Central’s School of Design and Media with media company Cgangs International over three months.

Speaking to Channel NewsAsia on Thursday (Dec 20), one of the students, Mr Shermon See, said many factors such as where the audience will be and where the live performance will take place had to be considered when determining where and how the mermaid would move.

A computer screen shows a peek of what could be part of the augmented reality segment at Mediacorp's countdown party. (Photo: Mediacorp)

“We took time doing a lot of research, watching videos online and slowly getting the hang of it (animating) and slowly playing with the more advanced stuff in animation. I felt nervous at first, but after getting closer to the date, I felt more rewarded as I know this is one of the best works we have done,” the 18-year-old said.

The idea to incorporate AR in this year’s show came from its executive producer Lum Wai Loon, who was inspired by a gaming championship that had used the feature.

“We used a gaming technology (to do this). We are actually marrying the two - getting domain knowledge from some of the people who are actually very well-versed in the gaming industry and putting it into the broadcast medium,” said Mr Lum.

A student from ITE College Central's School of Design and Media works on the augmented reality segment for the Mediacorp's countdown party. (Photo: Mediacorp)

“There is actually a gap in the skill set in Singapore. We do not actually have the people working in the gaming industry to merge together with the broadcast industry,” he added. “So that’s how we got in touch with ITE College Central … That also gave us an opportunity to find and groom new talent in this industry as well.”

Such collaboration with homegrown talent seems to be the key message of this year's show - which aims to unite Singaporeans.

The event will also feature a fashion show, done in collaboration with renowned Singaporean fashion icon Daniel Boey. Audiences can expect to see Singapore models don locally designed pieces.

Local music talents will be performing at the event too, including veteran performers Taufik Batisah and Joanna Dong, as well as up-and-coming rappers Yung Raja and Fariz Jabba.

“We no longer live in a vacuum, where we stand alone as a media company. We need to start leveraging on other people's strengths in this whole ecosystem. We are all working in a very challenging environment trying to catch the eyeballs of people, and also with very limited resources. So the only way to succeed in doing well is that we start to look out for people to collaborate with us,” said Mr Lum.

Let’s Celebrate 2019 will be hosted by Mediacorp artistes Chua Enlai and Sonia Chew. 

The free event is expected to attract a 5,000-strong crowd, as well as hundreds of thousands more watching on Channel 5 and Toggle.

Source: CNA/na(aj)


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