Projection Mapping uses technology to project objects onto a surface. Using this kind of special technology, any objects can be transformed into a display surface for video projection. Unlike flat screen mapping, the objects are not just projected onto a flat surface, they are designed to wrap around buildings and mould into their shape, turning common objects into interactive 3D displays.
How Does Projection Mapping Work?
By using a pre-production process during which images are fitted onto a 3D graphic model of the building, the same images appear to wrap themselves around the physical features of any structure. They give the appearance of being painted on and part of the same structure even though they are not.
This process can also be used on a smaller scale to project virtual images on anything from a mannequin to a car to completely change their colour, structure, and appearance. Projection mapping uses a combination of four factors working in unison to create the visual experience, which we refer to as CPSM.
Unlike regular video, the content for projection mapping must be custom-made to fit the surface – like a tailored suit, it only looks “right” on the one it was designed for. That said, the content can be anything you can imagine – animation, video, branding, abstract, technical, surreal, and beyond.
It goes without saying most projection mapping could not be done with a conference room projector. As projection mapping needs lots of light to create its effects, most of the ‘hard’ expenses for projection mapping end up in hardware.
Almost anything can become a surface for projection mapping. It is common for a projection mapping display to utilize the architecture and contours of the surface, the effect is made more powerful by playing on a viewer’s sense of space, and provides the ability to create illusions and tricks of light.
Mapping is the technical side of conforming the projection to the surface. Specialized software is required to properly match the surface.
Mapping is also one of the most time-sensitive aspects of projection mapping, as the mapping team needs at least an extra rehearsal day to set up and craft the map.
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