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Techniques in 3-D Building Mapping

The Best Thing To Happen To Old Buildings Since The Flying Buttress.

Welcome to the twenny-tens™, the age when simply looking at things is not enough, an era of constantly needing more and more visual stimulae to be impressed. Fortunately there’s this amazing new technology called 3-dimensional building mapping whereby you take, say, a cool 600-year-old astronomical clock and make it super-über-cool by projecting a digitally aligned animation over the top of it.

Take a look at the video below entitled, yes, The 600 Years, done by The Macula, a production team out of Prague that specializes in these kind of digital imaginings, and watch the cynics as they run.

This particular show is the result of four months of work, projected at a 5000 x 1200 resolution using two hi-def projectors.

What is 3-D Projection Mapping?

3-D projection mapping, according to Wikipedia, “is any method of mapping three-dimensional points to a two-dimensional plane,” which is a quick way of saying it’s too complicated for your little mind to grasp. But basically they input information about the surface upon which they’re projecting and detail an animation around it using three-dimensional effects like shadowing, foreshortening and Y-axis movement. Using the technique, it’s possible to match the video to the building and animate whatever surreal, unique or catastrophic event you want to befall it.

Check out this guy’s blog for the latest in augmented engineering.

This type of animation is popping up in other places also, which is well-received as it allows for a low-impact, environmentally friendly form of entertainment that takes the easily-wowwed masses, which includes myself and pretty much everyone who’s not a robot, and turns them into wide-eyed, gaping blobs of jelly.

Here are a couple more examples of recent 3-D building mapping shows.

In terms of advertising potential, the opportunities are vast with this technology simply because when people are watching it they will not look away, and that type of attention is a marketing executive’s wet-dream. LG and Android have made one that makes me want to run out and buy one of their phones. Like immediately.

Inspriational technology = technology firm money in the bank. Quod erat demonstratum.

Interactive Projection Mapping

And then there’s the interactive kind. Nokia recently paired up with interactive arts and technology collective Seeper to create the next level of cool where projection mapping is concerned. Bystanders are actually incorporated into the projection and have control over it depending on how they move.

If these things thrill you like they do me and want more, check out the Vimeo page of Nuformer, a Dutch company at the forefront of this technology.

Have you seen one of these 3D projection installations before? What’d you think of it? What do you think is their future in art and advertising, total saturation or seamless integration? Personally I’m looking forward to it.

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3D Projection Mapping Taking The Advertising World By Storm

3D Projection Mapping3D projection mapping has recently emerged as one of the coolest forms of advertising, with big companies like Nokia, Samsung and BMW projecting beautiful 3D video displays on buildings around the world and sharing their campaigns on the web.  3D projection mapping has become something of a recent obsession for me, as well as for the advertising world.  Read more about this technique and how it’s being used by brands after the jump.

A couple of months ago I was picking my mom up from Union Station in Washington, DC.  While waiting for her train to arrive I sat outside the train station and noticed that video was being projected across the entire front of the building.  Union Station was transformed into the Wild West, a mountain scene and a brick building right before my eyes.  As it turns out, the projection was a promotion for a new History Channel show about the history of America.  I was intrigued, and when I got home I decided to do some research and found that similar campaigns, and much cooler ones, were going on all over the world.

What is 3D Projection Mapping?

3D projection mapping, according to Wikipedia, “is any method of mapping three-dimensional points to a two-dimensional plane.”  Using this technique, video artists are able to match video to buildings that they are projecting on and create cool 3D effects, making it look as though buildings are crumbling, changing their structure and more.  It really is amazing.  Check out the following clips as examples of phenomenal things that can be done using this technique, and then check out some great 3D projection mapping ad campaigns below.

Samsung 3D Projection Mapping in Amsterdam

I really have no words to describe how amazing Samsung’s 3D projection mapping display in Amsterdam is.  They take a building and destroy it, beautify it and transform it.  You won’t believe your eyes.

BMW 3D Projection Mapping Singapore

BMW launched a fantastic 3D projection mapping installation in Singapore and it was uploaded to YouTube at the beginning of this month.  The campaign is projected on two buildings in an intersection and it is truly breathtaking.  The campaign was Asia’s first interactive 3D building projection.

Nokia Ovi Maps – Interactive Projection Mapping

Nokia paired up with interactive Arts and Technology Collective Seeper to create a cool interactive projection installation.  Onlookers were incorporated into the projection, and different things happened based on how each person moved.

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7 Responses to Techniques in 3-D Building Mapping

  1. Izabela 02/04/2013 at 6:14 am #

    you should see this guys http://vimeo.com/wecreatemagic :D

  2. Kiran Raj 04/04/2011 at 11:35 am #

    I could like know the company details which is doing all kind of 3d projection ads.

  3. Lee Moriwaki 02/06/2011 at 9:54 am #

    Thats some really cool stuff you guys are doing!!!!

    I was wondering what is the best way to learn how to do 3D mapping..

    What are the most user friendly programs for someone that would basically be trying to teach themselves.. Unless you know a better way to learn to do it..

    Also what kind of equipment is needed…

    Are there any tip or tricks that you can offer????

    Can you please set me off in the right direction.. Please….

    Thank You

  4. Daniel Bodsworth 11/24/2010 at 11:05 am #

    All this is great, is there anywhere you know where i could get more information as to how they did it?

    • Nico 11/24/2010 at 12:38 pm #

      For a completely incomprehensible explanation, the Wikipedia page above should give you the details on how they do it.

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