The Possibilities of 3D Projection Mapping

Because I have a background in performing arts, television, architecture, digital graphic design and communication, and because I’m somewhat of a geek, I find 3D projection mapping to be a perfect fusion of my life’s interests and experiences. Simply put, the media technique uses high-powered video projectors to display computer-generated 3D animation and video onto a non-flat surface. The result is a magical performance for lucky passersby and a demonstration of effective public engagement, entertainment and education.

Although the examples featured in the link below are mostly eye candy commercials designed to promote a brand or city’s holiday spectacular, the applications are far more expansive. With REA’s current focus on marketing, advertising, and branding commercial architecture, 3D projection mapping could be harnessed to do so much more in the very near future.

Imagine projecting realistic motions onto an empty building with the intent of conveying to prospective tenants what they could do with the space. Imagine projecting cutaways and cross-sections as if the building’s façade just vanished, revealing the building’s interior at various depths and highlighting its key amenities. Imagine showing individual floor plans at the height of the actual floor to illustrate the available space. Imagine giving a group presentation with infographics appearing as if the building itself were morphing into a bar chart or a map of the neighborhood.

Fortunately for us, the techniques used in Hollywood (e.g., Inception, Tron, Avatar) can be modified to create an apparent “real world” effect to any real world structure. And in addition to buildings, 3D mapping can be applied to sculptures, staggered panels, fog screens and more. The options remain limitless and the impact on the audience greater than any other single media could possibly deliver.

Below are a few screenshots of 3D projections used on buildings in other countries.

Watch the international displays here:




– Mark Thrapp, Graphic Designer

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