What is Projection Mapping?
Put simply, projection mapping is the art of projecting graphics, images, light, or video onto everyday objects to create stunning visual masterpieces. Using high quality video projectors, projection mapping basically ‘wraps’ graphics around the projection subject’s curves and features, bringing previously inanimate objects to life by adding depth and character that simply can’t be achieved with traditional flat screen projection. In the right hands, projection mapping can be used to tell stories and create mind-bending illusions and immersive environments that captivate and engage audiences.
What Makes Projection Mapping Work?
The pre-production process plays a huge role in projection mapping. Graphics, videos, or animations are wrapped around a 3D model of the projection subject using specialised mapping software to ensure that the mapping flawlessly follows the subject’s curves and edges, producing a realistic and natural effect. When it comes time to actually implement the projection mapping, the same mapping software can then be used to control projection hardware and align everything together.
As a technique, projection mapping is driven by advancements in projection hardware and software. Things like 20K resolution projectors are opening up whole new creative possibilities for projection mapping companies like Untitled Project, meaning that the level and the quality of projection mapping available to the public is constantly improving.
The History of Projection Mapping
While projection mapping has only really started to gain traction within the last 20 years or so, its origins can be traced back to the 1960s; with the first known instance of 3D projection mapping dating back to the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland in 1969.
Fast-forward to the late 1990s, a sudden increased interest in projecting content onto real-life objects was sparked by an academic paper, ‘The Office of the Future’. The paper, published by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, coined the term ‘Spatial Augmented Reality’ and described a world in which computer monitors would eventually be phased out, replaced by specialised projectors that can cover any surface. While it may be a while before this vision is fully realised, it can’t be denied that the paper had a monumental effect on projection mapping as a whole.
Award Winning Projection Mapping
Nowadays, projection mapping companies are able to integrate projection mapping into everything from live events to interior decoration. Our past activation for Airbnb’s installation at Singaplural perfectly showcases projection mapping’s utility for brands.
Airbnb wanted to give attendees a taste of what it’s like to stay in Airbnb apartments around the world and working together with creative agency GOVT, we developed a projection mapped experience that took members of the public on an immersive journey around key properties in Airbnb’s top locations. The experience involved up to 20 people at a time being led by an Airbnb brand ambassador into a Balinese hut decked out in a full white interior, where different interiors representing different locations were projection mapped onto every surface – transporting the audience on a whistle stop journey around the world at the push of a button.
Projection mapping is one of Untitled Project’s specialties. Throughout the years we’ve worked with some of the world’s leading brands creating projection mapped spectacles that have been featured across the globe. Contact us today to find out more about our award-winning projection mapping services.