Projection mapping on the rise
As visualists have noticed already and known for some time now, projection mapping is cool. And now it seems that this technique is going mainstrem in a big way as it is beginning to be used more and more in commercial contexts. In my city I am noticing more and more outdoor video projections – some of them using mapping techniques.
For those who stumble upon this article and are not familiar with the term, projection mapping is the technique of beaming video (with a standard video projector) onto three dimensional objects and adjusting and masking the image so that it seems to follow the shape of the target object instead of spilling out onto walls etc. The result can be surprisingly effective and eye catching as the video is no longer a flat square on the wall but becomes an object in space – an animated sculpture if you will.
However besides this definition it might be difficult to explain to clients and others outside visualist circles exactly what is the big deal and what is the value of projection mapping and so we need to be able to point to good examples. I’ve tried to collect a few of my favourites.
The first one I have included because it clearly demonstrates the technique applied to a commercial context perfect for a store interior or a window display. This mapping display was developed for the MINI Cooper store in Paris:
The technique used is simple and affordable for a trained visualist. In the above example the software Modul8, three computers and three video projectors were used.
The technique of projection mapping can be taken much further and the above example does not really show the full potential. Giant outdoor video projections onto buildings using advanced 3d animations creates a stunning faux 3d effect. The example in the video below is not the first work of this kind, it has been technically possible for some years now to deliver projections on this scale, but this new years show is a humourous and well made example:
Finally another fun application of the technique onto a tennis court. Actually no advanced 3d here, just some simple 2d graphics. But I like the innovative idea of using the shape of the court. The creators also did use the opportunity to project the classic video game ‘Pong’ onto the playing field.