Projection Mapping

Emergence (2013) Obscura and Exploratorium

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.


Haunting. Craig Walsh, “Emergence”.

This is one of the best uses of projection mapping I’ve seen in awhile. I love it when art takes technology, and does it one better than anything advertising and marketing has done. Don’t get me wrong, I think projection mapped events sponsored by big brands and companies is an exciting new form of marketing. Unlike those, Craig Walsh’s sculpture “emergence” makes you think.
If you are in Sydney Australia, you have one night left to see this in person at South Hyde Park. The sculpture pays homage to the park’s his­to­ry as a meet­ing place for civic unrest, protest and direc­tion action,with the projected faces telling sto­ries about civic involve­ment.


Friedrich van Schoor’s Given Me Arachnophobia.

Artist 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.

Audi Sure Has Some Steely Balls.

In the last year Audi has really been stepping up their game with immersive experiential design. For the London Olympic games they built out a futuristic showroom, and now the have launched “Audi Spheres” in Copenhagen.

Created by Kollision, AV integrators and Pufferfish, for Audi. The spherical environments allowed people to literally immerse themselves in the Audi brand through a clever use of technology that leans heavily on  augmented reality video pads, spherical displays, video walls, and sound design.

At the same time the space showcases Audi’s future priorities in design, ecological solutions, and electric vehicles.

PufferSphere and Integration – PUFFERFISH LTD

Interaction and programming: KOLLISION
Concept and communication: KMS BLACKSPACE
Concept and architecture: SCHMIDHUBER

“Speed of Light” Theory Creates the Worlds Smallest Car Chase.

The folks at Theory have produced a new projection mapping project with no CGI trickery. The entire project was filmed then projected. They get major kudos for that. Projection mapping done well is hard enough, let alone when you do it with film work and not 3D graphics.

“Speed of Light” was produced with the help of Google Street view and projected by the world’s smallest hand held laser projectors, all from an iPod touch with the final output being captured on a Canon 5d MkII.

The project has a really nice feel to it with the entire story being projected onto ordinary household objects which help the short film become a more innovative approach to what is becoming a very saturated medium.

Filmed on Canon 5d MkII + HD MiniCam. Projectors supplied by

Made as a personal project by directing duo The Theory –

Perch Interactive. Projection Mapping at the Point of Sale.

Most projection mapping that I have seen over the last two years has been for large scale events, geared at promoting the launch of a new product or service. They are over the top grand expensive productions that are presented as a one off event, or in limited form at a small number of venues.

One of the more practical applications for projection mapping that I have seen lately comes from Perch Interactive. The video below shows where the future of retail could be headed with direct interactive contact being made at the point of sale. The four person shop has created what they call “Perch Displays”. These interactive displays use the the flat counter surfaces as a the interactive substrate for additional product information like product details, price, reviews, sizes, and more.

Similar to what companies like Monster Media have been doing with projected interactive windows and outdoor advertising, Perch takes it to a more practical level, by bringing the interaction directly to the shopper.


Snake the Planet. Interactive Projection Mapping.

Over the last 18 months there has been an explosion of projection mapping events for the launch of new products, service announcements, pure advertising, and integrated marketing campaigns. There have been so many, that they almost feel as though they have lost their excitement factor, and innovation. I think that is why I really like the “Snake The Planet” project from MPU.

MPU (Mobile Projection Unit) is a collective working on taking mobile interactive projections out into the urban landscape. The foundation of their work is to use urban architecture to generate and drive the interactive experience.

Working with C++ and Objective-C using OpenFrameworks MPU developed software that uses a live camera feed built on the OpenCV (computer vision) library. This was used to analyze building surfaces and surface distortions which were converted into 2D interpretations of architectural elements. These elements were then converted into game levels which could be played with a standard game controller. By scanning building facades and determining features such as windows, doors, pipes and signs the MPU system is able to feed these into projected imagery as interactive elements in the form of geometry, boundaries or obstacles.

The entire system currently runs on a laptop, with a camera and projector connected to it. All of the gear is being driven from a battery and inverter housed entirely within van they are using to drive around.