3D mapping, also known as video mapping, projection mapping, or spatial augmented reality, is used to convert objects, often irregularly shaped, into a display surface for video projection. This is both a creative and highly technological process of creating and projecting 3D images on any three-dimensional objects such as cars, buildings, interior design items or custom-made three-dimensional constructions. The projection can be done both onto stationary and moving objects.
Light shows and laser shows are widely-known alternatives to mapping. They are different in two major ways: first, they utilize lasers (instead of projectors) as projection devices; and second, the images aren’t three-dimensional.
One can distinguish between architectural, interior 3D mapping, 3D video installations on objects and projection face mapping.
Architectural video mapping (or building 3D mapping) is a 3D projection onto any architectural object. While developing the content of a show (concept and scenario), the architecture of a building and its details are a core element, therefore every 3D mapping show is unique and can’t be repeated on another building façade. This ability allows various architectural elements to take unexpected and intricate shapes and spectators see optical illusions which are created by the video projection on a building façade.
Interior 3D mapping uses interior walls or furniture as the basis for 3D projection. These technologies can transform a room into any 3D landscape and give it a fantastic and realistic look at the same time.
Interior 3D mapping created by Design Dossier for the light show in the Korston hotel
Object 3D mapping is a 3D video projection onto any particular object, for example a car, a furniture item, a theatre decoration etc.
A video content is made to create an illusion of movement or transformation of an object.
Object video mapping is often used to present new car models. With the help of video projection a presenter can show a car in (illusory) motion, demonstrate the colour palette, focus the attention on the new design elements or interior features.
Digital projectors that have a high power and brightness capacity are a core element of 3D mapping. A single projector should be enough to create over 400 square meters of images. It is also important to create a 3D model of the façade: this will serve as a basis for subsequent projection which would highlight the details. Not only buildings can become projection “screens” – any surfaces including cars and even rainfall can be used for it as well.
Visualisation can transform a building beyond recognition: what looked plain and boring in the daytime could become a bright, colourful canvas at night. The architecture can be visually changed as well: no one will believe next morning that the dancing and singing mansion from yesterday’s night looks so grey in reality.
Creating and producing 3D mapping shows requires more than expert technology knowledge and profile hardware, it also needs to be supplemented by a special kind of designer creative vision so that the needed video projection concepts could be developed. That’s why video mapping is considered to be a new audio-visual art form.
Creating a 3D video installation is a complicated thing because of the need to take geometry, surface and location of an object into account and play around with them. Initially, the object is modelled in 3D, then its image is transformed depending on the creative concept; to the spectator, it’s as if the object itself was transformed.
Due to their being stunning and appealing 3D video projections are used at large festivals and public events, like City Day festivals or during national holidays, for brand presentations and advertising campaigns. Large-scale projection architectural shows become more popular with each year, they attract many spectators being able to demonstrate fantastic visual effects.
Object video mapping is often used for presenting new products while interior mapping is actively utilised in concert shows and theatre productions.
The project cost includes the following components: