How 3D Projection Mapping Works

You might have seen various videos on the Web, where building come to life and seem to produce 3D art, like this:

Or maybe you have even seen the same effect done with cars, like here:

Well, the process of obtaining such a 3D projection that is mapped to a complex surface is in theory not very hard… It’s a lot (LOT) of work, but if you know what you are doing it is doable. It’s pretty much similar with what is presented in this video:

Now the main difference between this previous video and what we are talking about is that we don’t have an initial photograph of the scene. Instead, we would work a bit back-to-front for the implementation. Obviously, we would still requite to generate the 3D model of the scene, so basically the 3D model of the car/building/whatever else. Now, instead of having a digital camera positioned at (x,y,z) that takes a 2D image and reshapes it on a 3D form, we have a 3D form what will be “painted” digitally with time-varying elements, and then the outcome will be projected (again digitally) to a 2D surface positioned where the photo camera would be. As such, we obtain a 2D sequence of images, or a video. This is something that can be handled and projected by a real-life projector. And there you have it. Once you have this video, you use a projector, position it exactly where you did for the digital 3D model, and make it run the video. All done. You should now obtain 3D projection mapping.

Cheers!

21 Responses to “How 3D Projection Mapping Works”

  1. Thomas Duggan says:

    Hi there, I am interested in using 3D mapping projection on a project I am working on at the moment…would you be able to put me in touch or do you know of a company based in the UK that I could contact..

    Many thanks,

    Thomas Duggan

  2. Daniel says:

    Hi Thomas,

    Try contacting this company: http://www.cambridgeav.co.uk/

    Here’s a demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARMs5ZIKHms

    Best,
    Daniel

  3. vinod says:

    Hi,
    I am working on a project where i need to put 3D mapping projection.
    Could you pls. suggest any company based in middle east to get in touch with or the company which supplies the 3D projector and the software.
    Many Thanks
    Vinod

  4. Daniel says:

    Hi Vinod,

    Sorry, I don’t know any company in the Middle East. But a good starting point would probably be talking to the representatives of http://www.themacula.com. Hope this helps.

    Best,
    Daniel

  5. Miguel says:

    Hey man, thanks for the info, I currently have a client that needs me to produce content for 3D Mapping projection at an event opening, he has asked me also If I am familiar with Pandora for 3D Mapping I was hoping you could direct me on the right track!

    thanks!

  6. Daniel says:

    Hi Miguel,

    Pandora Box is developed by Coolux, in Germany. Here’s their website: http://www.coolux.de/
    Details about how to use their tools can be found here: http://www.coolux.de/root/discover/content_discover.htm

    Hope this helps. Best,
    Daniel

  7. Sagar Jadhav says:

    Hi there,
    i am interested in establishing an advertisement company in India for providing 3D projection mapping as a service to clients as a marketing strategy.
    From where should i start?
    Can u provide me name and website of a company which can provide me technical assistance?
    Regards,
    Sagar Jadhav

  8. Daniel says:

    Hi,

    Sorry for the late reply. Try to look at this older post of mine about the Pandora’s Box.
    Hope this helps.

    Regards,
    Daniel

  9. Arslan Javed says:

    Hi all,

    We provide 3D projection mapping services, please take a look at our work at http://www.enekon.com .

    Regards,
    Arslan Javed
    info@enekon.com
    http://www.enekon.com

  10. Vincent Reverdy says:

    An example of a 3D projection mapping in New York for the brand Lunesta: http://youtu.be/QhUrmLW7F6I

  11. Dharm Patadia says:

    Dear Sir,

    plz tell me how many lumens projector needed

  12. Daniel says:

    For more information, please read this post. Hope this helps.

  13. Anna says:

    If sombody is looking for creative projection show – 3d mapping, hologram, waterscreen projection, VJ’ing, please feel free to visit our site: http://www.promo-promin.com
    our showreel: http://vimeo.com/38629451

  14. Romina says:

    Hi there,
    Very interested in using 3D mapping for promotion of a company. Can you refer me to anyone based in Melbourne, Australia??

  15. Omar says:

    Hi .. thanks for sharing , i would like to ask about the Equipment i need, i have a project i want to do in Egypt, so can you recommend me a company, if not in Egypt, im visiting USA for a month .. i can see companies there too, thanks a lot

  16. Daniel says:

    Sorry, I only know of the companies that are mentioned on my blog and the ones in the comments of this post. None of them in Australia though.

  17. Daniel says:

    Hi,
    I only know of the companies that I’ve already mentioned in the post or the ones included in the comments. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  18. Neelu Chhabrani says:

    Hello,
    We are India based digital media company specializing in 3D projection mapping. We have multiple tie ups globally and can lend our expertise in any country. Our projection partners have recently concluded a 3D projection for the Museum of Liverpool, video attached for your reference.

    OUR REFERENCE WORKS:
    http://vimeo.com/26827092
    http://vimeo.com/26884619
    http://vimeo.com/15749093
    http://youtu.be/e2DIU8qB9V0
    http://vimeo.com/8533607
    http://vimeo.com/9744932

    I am sure as you go through our work, you will realise that we have the capability to meet and exceed your expectations. I would like to interact with you to gain a full understanding of your requirement.
    Please find attached my contacts for your perusal.

    Kind Regards,
    Neelu Chhabrani
    Director, Eminence Arts & Education Pvt. Ltd.
    Mob: construction management
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    +91 98239 23211
    E-mail: n.chhabrani@gmail.com
    Skype: neeluchhabrani

  19. Daniel says:

    Hi,
    Looks really cool, keep up the good work.
    I slowly get the feeling that this post is becoming a list of all the 3D projection mapping companies out there. :)

  20. AJ says:

    I am in the process of learning Projection Mapping, i have already created a video sequence using corel videostudio of the images created in MS Paint(did all the outlining of the object using the projector and then saved number of images), but i am not able to play the video extactly on the object, not sure if it called to map the projector on the object. Please Reply

    Thanks
    Ajay

  21. Daniel says:

    Thanks for your message. Sadly, as I’ve been out of touch with the field for almost 2 years now, I’m not sure I’m the right person to give you specific information. Have you tried contacting some of the companies, even those listed here in the comments? I know some offer courses.

    Best,
    Daniel

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