3d mapping

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3D Mapping Menu

Design Dossier is one of a few Russian companies which choose to develop 3D Mapping.  We regularly take part in the annual Moscow Circle of Light International Festival. This famous light show attracts the most prominent professionals of the light design industry. Our portfolio includes many architectural video mapping projects as well as other multimedia and lighting installations.

What is 3D Mapping?

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.

What Are Various Video Mapping Types?

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.

How Does It Work?

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.

Where 3D Mapping Is Used?

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.

3D mapping project stages and pricing elements

  • To calculate the costs, we ask our customers to submit the following (in the request form):
    — photo of the building façade (or the object) with sizes: L x H x W
    — proposed duration of the show, in minutes
    — date of the event
    — (optionally) your scenario/ideas/references etc.
  • General visual concept and script development and approval
  • Visual content creation (mood board forming, object model creation, frame rendering, animatic development, scene detailing, preview rendering, submitting to the customer for approval and making changes based on the feedback, final hi-res video rendering)
  • Sound content selection or creation (we write original music for many projects)
  • On-site visit and multimedia equipment selection. Selecting the right equipment for video mapping depends on the size and complexity of the project. Design Dossier owns or operates all equipment needed to create shows of any scale (video servers; projection equipment, i.e. media projectors and corresponding optics; sound equipment, lighting and special effects equipment)

The project cost includes the following components:

  • Content development (the cost calculation depends on the complexity of the architecture and/or the scenario, including the character rendering complexity and image features to be created)
  • Equipment lease (measured in shifts)
  • On-site technical personnel compensation (video engineers, technicians)
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