Beijing 2008

t all started with the bid for the Beijing Olympics. Crystal CG was officially designated by the Beijing Olympic Bid Committee as its 3D Graphic Provider in 2001. We produced the Beijing 2008 Olympic bid promotion animation, which we like to think helped contribute to Beijing being chosen as the host city.

We produced a great diversity of 3D animations for the Games — including films, event presentations, interactive media, exhibitions and Olympic Mascots. Unique to the 2008 Olympics, Crystal CG created a complete library of motion graphics covering all Olympic sport disciplines. The library was extensively used by broadcasters and was made available to anyone who required athlete-based digital promotion. Here are some brief stories behind a few of the others.

Venues

Over the six years leading up to the Games, we helped government departments, property developers, artists and architects with the 3D presentation of Olympic venues as Beijing embarked on an astonishing range of major construction projects. These included the State Stadium — the iconic Bird Nest — the stunning National Aquatics Centre, and the sublime Beijing University of Technology Gymnasium.

Opening and closing ceremonies

It was during the ceremonies, that Crystal CG’s magic was truly visible. We created all the special effects — producing 60 minutes of digital content for the grand Opening Ceremony. Everything from the counting clock to the rolling carpet and stadium projections — including the ribbon screen stretching almost half a kilometre above the stadium.

Digital Rehearsal

We began working with the Opening Ceremony’s famous director, Zhang Yimou, in September 2007, assembling a creative team of 290 top professionals to realize his vision. Cooperation and coordination between teams was a big challenge of the Opening Ceremony. It was unfeasible to practice and predict results without on-site testing. So, our Olympic team developed a 3D simulation to digitally represent the Ceremony — saving immense amounts of time, money, material and personnel.

Mascots

The Beijing Olympic Committee, BOCOG, decided to use Fuwa to start a series of promotion campaigns leading up to the 29th Olympic Games. Crystal CG was proud to create 3D animations, digital content and children’s books featuring these traditional, Chinese-style characters — popular around the world for their message of peace, knowledge and culture exchange. It was, in fact, the most extensive Olympic mascot programme ever developed.

Digital Museum

The Beijing 2008 Digital Museum was used to deliver Olympic culture, history, games and stadium introductions — using 3D virtual reality so that everyone can experience the momentous event. We created the Olympic ABC Online experience to include images, interactive games, 3D models, animation and special effects. Its aim is to show everyone in the world that the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games will be remembered as one of the most remarkable.