Here is a little teaser for an event that is happening at nightfall on April 17th and 18th at the historic Pier 15 in San Francisco. If I were in town on those dates, I’d be there for sure. The video below shows the behind the scenes footage of a projection mapping event that is being built by Obscura Digital. The company fabricated ten miniature replicas of the Exploratorium’s façade at Pier 15, and then filmed a vivid array of non-computer generated, real-life visualizations for the projection map.
The thing I like about this film is how it shows just how much prep work and time goes into a project like this. If you do anything with motion graphics or CGI you already know. Just in case your boss or client doesn’t, show them this.
Artist Friedrich van Schoor has created a rather disturbing and totally fantastic work entitled “Araneola”. The piece features two giant spiders trapped in a room trying to escape. Using projection mapping, the video of the spiders are visible to viewers from street level. Since there is no explanation about what the viewer is presented with, the result is quite fantastic, and unsettling at the same time.
In the video below you get to see the final result and the artist process which involved building a scale model of the space, filming real spiders inside the model, and then recreating the rapid movement of the arachnids for the projection.
The second video is the initial lighting and projection tests that were done for the final work. This went up about 7 months ago in Saarbruck Germany. No word on if it is still showing or not.
Over the last 12 to 18 months, projection mapping events have exploded all over the globe. Every time you turn around a new one shows up on YouTube or Vimeo. And while the quality has made huge advances as the technology has grown, very little has been done to push the actual event. Many of the more recent ones aren’t much more than glorified motion graphics displayed on a building or irregular surface.
A pleasant surprise, and a break from the tried and true formulaic projection mapping events; Alienware’s Area 52 event in Melbourne Australia brings together rich story telling, pyrotechnics, spacial depth, and multiple projections to create something really unique. I really like the fact that they have real people interacting with the foreground object, and that they took full advantage of the space to create a truly dimensional space. All of this combined with some outstanding visuals, really well done projection maps, and a solid storyline help raise the bar on what this kind of event can be.
Projection mapping events rely on the space in which they are held. The space is as important as the mapped images and audio itself. I have seen a ton of this stuff in the last year, and seems to be gaining even more ground as we roll through 2011. The thing is, in many cases, the venue that is chosen doesn’t do justice to the video, audio, or brand image of the product or service being promoted.
Last night Bombay Sapphire got it right when they illuminated the Battersea Power Station in London. The shape of the building mirrors the iconic Bombay Sapphire bottles, the imagery, color pallet, and audio are all reflective of the brand and the target audience they are trying to reach. Designed and created by Drive Productions, an independent company that specialise in live events, they brought to life the Battersea Power Station for the first time since 1975.
A side note here. I am always curious about how long these things run. I can’t imagine this is a one time event. The development cost alone is huge, and any marketing director worth their weight would want to use this kind of thing more than once. If anyone knows how long this is actually going to run would you post a comment and let us know.
Yesterday MacRumors posted an article on Jeremie Francone and Laurence Nigay new iOS application i3D. The application essentially creates a 3D experience with out the need for special glasses by using the front facing camera on your iPad or iPhone to track the position and adjusting the application perspective in real time.The free application is available at the app store if you want to try it out yourself.
While the current version of the application needs some work, the potential here is huge. This is the kind of technology that could be a game changer for those of us in the content creation business. When I saw the video demo of the software running on an iPad, I was sold. I look at this and see a whole new world of content for games, books, education, iAds, and beyond.
Imagine doing something as simple as firing up an application like Zappos on your iPad, and being able to see the product in 3D space before you decide to purchase. That concept is so simple yet it takes decision-making to a whole new level. Think about playing a game on your iPad that feels even more immersive by adding that 3D feeling to the experience. A simple game like “Labyrinth 3D” would feel completely different and much more rich overall. I can see this technology being applied to architecture, medical, and engineering fields with stunning results. I can’t wait to see where these guys end up taking this in the future, and how many other developers jump on this to improve the end result.
I haven’t seen the new Tron movie yet. I’ve been holding off, waiting to see it in 3D which I’ll probably do next week. If you are into special effects, and computer graphics, the video below is really nice. there is no voice over explaining in detail the techniques used in making tron, but there are some really nice visual examples of the compositing, and 3D mapping techniques used in the film. The stuff they show for Jeff Bridges head is pretty amazing.
Yesterday I did a short post on New Balance and the projection mapping they are doing for a new line of shoes they have coming out. In it I mentioned that the process in many ways had become much easier with advances in hardware and software over the last few years. With that said, I would also like to qualify that with “Projection mapping can be as complex as you need it to be.” Case in point, the new runway show for Ralph Lauren.
The Ralph Lauren image may be a brand that is more closely associated with the 29 vintage cars that Lauren has collected with passion, rather than with social networks, iPhone applications and cross-platform advertising campaigns but this project might change that perception though.
Watch this video and take note of the fact that there is a fairly large crew involved. They make extensive use of green screen, 3D modeling, light projection, geometry mapping and distortion, HD video, composting, audio design etc. I tried to find a video of the actual finished piece, but every version I found was pretty weak. When I find a decent one I’ll update this post with it. In the mean time, take a look at the making of video. It’s really quite impressive.
“We put our hearts and souls into this, this sensory experience — complete with sound and even a mist of fragrance — will not be staged only in London. One of the brand’s New York stores also will get a similar eye-popping show. ” Ralph Lauren