Projection Mapping – Research

Projection Mapping

What is projection mapping?

Projection mapping is the use of projection images or videos onto a surface. The surface can be flat or have shape. It can be used to create illusions that will make it look like a building or a 3d object is moving. Or it can also be used to create characters or stories in a live action film. The projection is specifically mapped to fit the space it is is. For example, at Disney World they created a show which was based around projection animations onto the castle.

Example 1.jpg

How to projection map

To projection map, you need to decide on a subject and where the projection will be. By getting all the measurements you can then animate around it.



I decided to look into different types of projection mapping to get inspiration and look at different ideas.

High end projection mapping

Sydney Opera House:

An example of high end projection mapping is this video of projection mapping on the Sydney opera house. At one point, it creates the illusion of making it look like the structure was flying in the wind like a sail. They’ve done this because the building was originally made to look like sails.

Screen Shot 2016-09-14 at 11.59.25 AM.png

At another point it is made to look like there are people on the opera house. One of the most effective bits is at the end where it looks like the structure is collapsing and sinking back into the ground. This works as there is no light on the building apart from the projection. This means it looks black and blends in with the night sky.

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‘Most Insane Immersive Movie Experience Ever, Part 1’

This video is another high budget production. The projection is made to look like the scene if changing around him. This is really effective as they’ve used a 3D effect animation to make it look like the scene is real.

Another thing about this scene that is really effective is using objects to build the scene around. For example, the couch. The actor doesn’t move from the space, so it would of been easier to project around the couch. I think if everything was animated, it wouldn’t of worked as well. Having the coffee table and the couch meant that there was a mix or real and animated objects, helping to build the scene.

Low end projection mapping

‘This is Halloween – singing Pumpkins Jack-O-Lantern Projection’

This is an example of a simple, made at home, projection mapping project. The creator projects faces onto a pumpkin to make them look like they are singing. This would of been made as an animation, then used a normal projector to project it onto the pumpkins. Even if it is low budget, I think it is effective.

Projection Mapping at Home’

This is another example of a simple projection map project. The person has set up three boxes of different sizes, and is projection different patterns and images on to them. This is a vey basic projection map, as it only uses a few shapes that are constant.

What I can learn

From the research I have learnt that there are lots of different levels of projection mapping. As this project is my first time projection mapping, I think we need to go simple. However, I do think that we should use objects in our piece. I think this because it is a very simple way of making it look more effective and professional.





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