Video, graphics and 3D elements have always tended to play a role in events. But now projection mapping, where a video is mapped directly onto a surface, is growing in popularity. Images and video are shown on surfaces, from buildings and mannequins to stages and water fountains. The surface's shape and texture, combined with graphics, has the power to create a sense of wonder and stop a crowd in its tracks.
Read on for four examples of projection mapping in action to understand why many brands feel that this technology has transformative power – and is worth the six-figure investment.
"Game of Thrones" Season 7 launch partyCredit: Gabor Ekecs/BARTKRESA Studio
For the HBO show's premiere party, BARTKRESA Studio designed four animated looks, inspired by the world of Westeros in the show. Guests witnessed a dragon gliding across the building, engulfing the facade in flames; a startling frozen tundra and the face of the Night King casting an icy glare; the faces of the show's stars appearing in character throughout the glacial expanse; and blooms from the Weirwood Tree billowing across the facade, surrounded by a mystical forest. These four looks rotated throughout the event, creating a unique backdrop for the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
To pull it off, 12 high-powered Panasonic laser projectors were used to overpower the reflective surface of the Walt Disney Concert Hall's curved stainless steel panels. The event was one of the first instances of projection mapping at the iconic building.
The royal family of QatarCredit: Megavision Arts
It's not just enterprises flocking to projection mapping to create just the right effect. Lavish events like weddings often call for optical illusions to entertain and delight guests. Megavision Arts created a modern illusion, referred to as the Infinity Wall, for a wedding within the royal family of Qatar, designed to impress guests upon arrival.
"The concept was to create a massive, kinetic 3D art installation that served multiple functions – among them to mystify, entertain and engage the 1,200 guests as they arrived to the secluded location, to obscure the enormous event tent, to serve as a dramatic, immersive entrance, and finally, to introduce guests to the event's design scheme," said David Corwin, projection designer and creative director.
The projection was on a 54,000-square-foot tent. Eighteen 20,000-lumen projectors were used to create 3D animations, creating the illusion of a large-scale kinetic modern art installation floating in the desert. To enhance the experience, there was custom, synchronized surround sound. (Catch a video of the installation here.)
Dell and creative studio Framestore used projection mapping as part of a brand play to showcase their innovations across multiple industries. They projected content against a variety of surfaces, including the shape of a massive jet engine. Three projectors were used, two for the sides of it and one for the front. When the projection came to life, it appeared as if a real jet engine had come to life.
According to Framestore, "The projections themselves employed a range of artist disciplines that include traditional CG, motion graphics animation and matte paintings. Each projection was bespoke and tailored to the surface it was being projected onto, whether it was a 1,500-pound turbine engine shell, a real live dairy cow, or a 90-foot canvas. All of this work was done to illustrate that Dell is transforming the impossible into reality for industries like agriculture, aviation and healthcare."
Courtyard by Marriott
Courtyard by Marriott, the official hotel of the NFL, wanted to create some buzz around its brand and the Super Bowl. To do so, it used Bluemedia, an Arizona-based experiential marketing company, to create a 4D virtual reality dome next to New York City's Flatiron Building. Courtyard by Marriott created the Super Bowl Sleepover Contest to go with it, where one winning fan gets to sleep in a field-level suite the night before the Super Bowl.
The experience was a 33-foot-wide custom dome. It was covered in Courtyard Super Bowl Sleepover graphics on the outside. Inside was fashioned to look like a Courtyard by Marriott hotel room, including a bed against a wall and reclining chairs, where fans could participate in an immersive video experience.
Bluemedia said that the "dreamlike video sequence – the first virtual reality experience to actually surround the audience down to the ground – included falling snowflakes, a simulated opening kickoff, moments of highlighted game footage, and a personalized message from NFL network host Rich Eisen. The experience had fans feeling like they were personally welcomed out onto the field at the Super Bowl stadium."