3D-mapping amazes viewers and brings out their emotions for almost 40 years and nowadays this technology is actively used for entertainment, art, advertising and others.
3D-mapping (also video mapping, projection mapping, spatial augmented reality, etc.) is multimedia audiovisual technology of projection 3D-images onto surfaces according to object’s form and relief. Moreover, it does not need installation of complex constructions and screens for projection.
Mapping artists create installations using as projecting surface various buildings, interiors, cars, clothes and even human faces. Natural objects such as rocks and trees also can be used as screens, so it provides new opportunities for eco events and open-airs. Using complex detailed surfaces is more challenging for artists. Completed project becomes an amazing piece of art showing another side of traditional buildings. 3D-mapping offered infinite possibilities to realize almost every idea. Size of projecting object is also unlimited, it can be both monumental impressive building and rice grain.
Main technical equipments for 3D-mapping show are video projectors, computers and sound systems. However, the most important part of mapping is talent of artists who create these fantastic performances.
Projection mapping dates back to the Ancient Greece where artists started to experiment with lights and shadows at the theatre. But mapping as modern multimedia technology only began in the 20th century. The first projection was performed at Disneyland Haunted Mansion opening event in 1969. Walt Disney played a leading role in developing of new audiovisual kind of art. Next step was Michael Naimark’s installations in 1980. He filmed people in a room and projected video onto walls to create an illusion of presence. In the late 1990s students of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill used mapping technology for «Office of the Future» project.
Nowadays projection mapping is an integral part of city events. There are festivals of audiovisual technologies in major cities around the world, for example «Fête des lumières» in Lyon, iMapp Bucharest, annual Vivid Sydney, etc. Traditional city events are also supported by laser and mapping shows. Video projection is being gradually implemented in education due to interactive technologies. Museums and galleries use mapping for decoration exhibition area and creating appropriate context for museum pieces.
Last century 3D-mapping artists were interested by technology’s ability. Today concept and plot are the most important part of shows. That is why screenwriters, directors and producers work on projection shows using principles of theater and cinematography. Art-technology is often combined with other kinds of art such as music, dance, street art, etc. Mapping also can replace theatrical makeup and scenery. Interior designer already use it to «try» design prototypes on walls. We cannot imagine DJ’s concerts without background installations. Advanced theaters introduce virtual characters of play and create appropriate atmosphere which is hardly achievable through traditional instruments. Mapping also helps minimize pauses during performance because it can be easily switched. Dancers interact with projected images through sounds and movements during dancing shows.
Saint Petersburg Festival of Lights uses 3D-mapping technology to transform famous architectural monuments such as the Alexandrinsky Theater, the St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the Mariinsky Palace. 4 and 5 November 2017 mapping performances is projected onto facades of the Winter Palace and the General Staff Building.