Projection Mapping: A Primer For Filmmakers


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A general overview of projection mapping techniques and their application to film production students and programs

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  • -Learn to view 3D spaces or objects in two dimensions.
    -It's not what it is, it is what it looks like: this process in many ways is one big exercise in perspective drawing and design.
    -Negative space.
    -It's all fair game in terms of the projected content: animation, live action, any mixture thereof. BUT...strong color or light contrasts do tend to project better.
  • Within this technique, a lot of variety in the specifics of surfaces, and level of interactivity between surface and projection
    That 3rd dimension is extremely challenging: Start with simple patterns and textures as guides
    Best students examples: Pocock, Heimovitz, Lakis
  • A very unique, interactive use of the classic rear projection technique.
  • Front projection...requires careful coordination of set design, performance, and projected material.
    Often utilizes mirrors
  • The “whatever” method of projection. Very rough quality, but works very well in the right circumstances.
  • So...back again to what would be considered old-fashioned. But new cameras, projectors, and surfaces give this old technique new life.
  • Projection Mapping: A Primer For Filmmakers

    1. 1. Thomas Javier Castillo, Department of Theatre and Film, Bowling Green State University
    2. 2. Projection Mapping is... ● ● ● Projection of 2D visual content onto 3D structures, surfaces, or objects. Also, the utilization of 2D textures or patterns to guide the visual content. Ideally, an interplay between content and surface/space...but that is a challenge!
    3. 3. Here, a simple structure... Image by Anirudh Koul, Tower by Eiffel
    4. 4. First Mapped...
    5. 5. And then projection (or by cheap illustration)
    6. 6. Further (and better) examples... ● BGSU Media Synthesis Documentations: ● The Icebook: ● Scintillation: ● Willow Music Video: ● White Stripes Music Video: ● Projection Mapping Tumblr:
    7. 7. The method...illustrated!
    8. 8. The method... ● ● ● Start from content or from surface? A little bit of both... Project a blank, transparent signal, and then outline the surface, texture, or object. The resolution of the map (and the content) is dependent on the resolution capabilities of the projector.
    9. 9. The method... ● ● Mapping requires a surface, a projector, playback, an imaging program (ie Photoshop or GIMP) and some level of control over ambient light. Measurements and markings are key: placement of the projector during the exhibition has to exactly match the placement during the mapping.
    10. 10. The method... ● ● ● Resolution and lumens are great, but most important is ambient light: a cheap old projector is fine in a dark room. It is site-specific and fleeting. Documentation is a must! Not just projecting movies onto much as possible, build to content in conjunction with the surface or transform existing content to work with the surface.
    11. 11. Media Synthesis course at Bowling Green State University, Fall 2012 ● ● ● ● Co-taught: Heather Elliott-Famularo and Thomas Javier Castillo Interdisciplinary: Film Production and Digital Arts Undergrad and Grad Visiting Artist Diana Riechenbach:
    12. 12. Media Synthesis course at Bowling Green State University, Fall 2012 ● Intensive workshop and exhibition ● Big semester-end Arts Extravaganza event ● Proposal, Exhibition, Critique, Documentation ● Shared resources ● Incorporate existing skill sets ● Every piece of gear helps: mirrors, scraps of wood, old projectors and monitors
    13. 13. Key questions/challenges in the film production environment ● So...what does this have to do with FILM? ● How does this help me get a JOB? ● ● Long history and rich set of active examples in the art world, but not much documentation in the film world. How, as a teacher, can I engage film people?
    14. 14. Projection in Film: A Long Tradition in Visual Effects ● Jean Cocteau: Orpheus
    15. 15. Projection in Film ● Stanley Kubrick: 2001 (and the Moon Landings!) Images by (!)
    16. 16. Projection in Film
    17. 17. Projection in Film ● Michel Gondry -White Stripes Dead Leaves Music Video
    18. 18. Projection in Film ● Joseph Kosinski/Claudio Miranda: Oblivion h/t to Bayonet Media
    19. 19. Projection is Production ● ● ● Requires all of the typical film production skills: Shooting, lighting, editing, scheduling, and so forth. Students must bring their full set of skills to bear: Technical skill and conceptual clarity. Production organization is key: no use coming up with wacky concepts only to get sidetracked for lack of a widget. Find the resources or adapt.
    20. 20. Critical Challenges for Filmmakers ● Can filmmaking skills apply to other environments? ● How does narrative work, or not? ● ● How can narrative utilize space? How can space utilize narrative? Site-specific storytelling: is this a thing?
    21. 21. Critical Challenges for Filmmakers ● ● ● How does the live element change the way a filmmaker approaches the project? How can performance or interactivity be incorporated? How can you emotionally impact your audience with a different set of tools?