Video Mapping

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Video Mapping is a trending technique of spatial augmented reality through a video projection on a surface different from a screen. The video interacts with the surface making it look alive or producing a sensation of movement.

The surface can go from a small object to giant buildings or castles. A clear example is the Hogwarts castle in “The Magical World of Harry Potter” attraction from Universal Studios. Every night and in special occasions, the castle comes alive thanks to the video mapping. We can see scenes from the movies and a series of effects or animations displayed in the walls.

The first attempt of a 3D projection was made in 1969 in the Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ride. A projector displayed a video of actors on busts to achieve a ghostly look of singing statues. However, this type of video art began to be studied until the 1990’s.

There are different methods used to achieve this kind of projection. Generally, the video which is going to be projected, is created in advance and later is adapted to the shape of the surface using a special software. The shapes of the object are “masked” to model every corner and make the animations coincide. The projectors are adjusted to give the 3D effect and it’s synched with music to make a whole spectacle.

Many DJ’s use this technique to add images to the music and give a show of music and colorful shapes. Visual artists are using this kind of projection as a new form of expression which allows an interaction between the artwork, a real object and the spectator. And of course, marketing has exploited its potential in commercials and advertising.

There are many amazing examples nowadays and it’s mainly used for entertainment. In important events of certain cities, significant historical buildings are the ideal surface for a display of color and movement. Even in some restaurants the “tiny chef” is available. An animation of a pocket chef prepares your dish in your table before the dish is served by the waiter.

Have you seen a show like this? Tell us your experience in the comment section.

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