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Turn a wall into a moving canvas…
Projection mapping, also known as video mapping and spatial augmented reality, is a projection technology used to turn objects, often irregularly shaped, into a display surface for video projection. These objects may be complex industrial landscapes, such as buildings.
By using specialized software, a two- or three-dimensional object is spatially mapped on the virtual program which mimics the real environment it is to be projected on. The software can interact with a projector to fit any desired image onto the surface of that object.
This technique is used by artists and advertisers alike who can add extra dimensions, optical illusions, and notions of movement onto previously static objects.
After the object which will be projected on is chosen or created, a virtual replica of the entire physical set up needs to be created. First, one must choose the images or video to project. Then, the virtual model of the projection surface is created within the computer using special programs.
The next step is defined as “masking,” which means using opacity templates to actually “mask” the exact shapes and positions of the different elements of the building or space of projection. Coordinates need to be defined for where the object is placed in relation to the projector. Finally, the xyz orientation, position and lens specification of the projector add to the virtual scene. Adjustments are commonly needed by manually tweaking either the physical or virtual scene for best results. Large projectors with 20,000 lumens or larger will be needed for large-scale projections such as on city skyscrapers. Otherwise, for smaller productions, a projector with basic lower lumens will work.