Projection Mapping

Projection mapping, also known as video mapping and spatial augmented reality, is a projection technology used to turn objects, often irregularly shaped, into a display surface for video projection (Jones 2012)

Projection Mapping: What is it??

As stated previously projection mapping is a technique to project moving imagery onto a surface using light (projector). This can be in a range of different sizes from buildings to tiny objects meaning there is huge possibility for interaction, display and presentation of infografics, animation and video. The larger or more details required, the better the quality of projector needs to be to account for scale, graining and loss of light.

Projection Artworks is a company who work with large-scale projection and are considered the industry leader in projection mapping for installations and events. They work with companies like Nike, Heineken, Disney, Red Bull and many more big brands making them the industry leader for creative and innovative projection.

Recently they have been working with Heineken on an Audio Reactive 3D projection mapping light show at Battersea Power Station, which was seen by 1,000 lucky ticket-winners. The huge scale of the projection means that it could be seen by audiences within the area as well, this prompted hundreds of tweets and Instagram posts. Below you can see the video of the mapping on the front of the famous Battersea Power Station and the visual effects it included

I like the way the entire face of the building is used within the projection. Even more complex parts of the building like the chimney have been used for a specific purpose. Its this understanding of how each part of the building reacts to light be projected onto it that make the work so successful and well designed.

Its not all about the projection size or technique itself but the motion graphics that are being projected. The graphics are used to tell a story, represent and idea, or market a company. Art installation use projection mapping and motion design to bring interactivity and complex moving graphics to an environment or space of a gallery. AntiVJ are another company who use projection mapping but for more installation and art based pieces. Their work ranges from 3d projection mapping on sculptures like Light Painting, or onto 2d surfaces to create the effect of 3d like in Cityscape 2095 or EYJAFJALLAJÖKULL

The effect of projecting onto a 2d surface with drawn edges on give the artist the ability to create a 3d perspective within a 2D canvas. This gives audience the visual elusion of depth and of another dimension to the canvas. This clever technique is quite unique and something I haven’t seen in any type of projection mapping before. I like the way that depth is created from the position of the walls and the direction of the projection creating a visual elusion. This elusion is extremely effective as it seem there is a far greater depth to the canvas than there actually is.

Interactive installations use projection mapping as a way to display graphics and form of interaction. Squid Soups Living Timeline is an example of how projection is used within the interactivity of the piece in connection with an Xbox kinect and detection software. The projection is mapped onto a surface of witch audiences can interact with the projection to further manipulate the output. The uneven surface provides a level of complexity for the interaction as the different levels gives a more complex range of surfaces for audience to interact with. A key feature of Living timeline is that the interaction comes off the installed surfaces and onto audiences. This creates new and far more complex surfaces that the output has to adapted to and be projected onto.

After my previous work in university with installations design, going forward I would like to look more into projection and installations. From brief exploration of projection mapping this could be in the form of motion graphic design, art Installations or just playful design showing a concept or theory. I think there is plenty of designs that I could take inspiration from to create some interesting work .

Jones, Brett. ‘What Is Projection Mapping? – Projection Mapping Central’. Projection Mapping Central. N.p., 2012. Web. 2 Feb. 2015.

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