3D Projection Mapping Leads the Way for Artistic and AV Collaboration

At the 2013 Glastonbury Festival, attended by over 175,000 people, AV pros projected onto a moving backdrop, a giant spider known as the ‘Arcadia Spectacular’. DJs including Andy C, Fatboy Slim, Ratpack, Plump DJs and more kept the ears of the crowd busy while visuals projected onto the legs of the nearly 10 meter-high spider added to the experience.

3D projection mapping didn’t dominate the 20 minute show, instead it added to an overall performance of blended artistic mediums including acrobatic aerial performers and massive flame throwers. Afterwards, moving image experts from blinkinLAB freestyled two hours of custom-mapped video on the six legs of the spider and onto LED screens installed around the DJ booth.

As a fairly new technology, 3D projection mapping capabilities are only beginning to be explored with other artistic mediums. Typically 3D projection mapping is showcased on buildings at special events. AV productions of this type are dinosaur in size and entertain massive groups of people. For example, a jaw dropping AV show, like that of West Virginia’s recent sesquicentennial celebration, uses the Capital building as a backdrop for projection.

Perhaps the largest event to incorporate 3D projection mapping is the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony. Seen by over 900 million people it is remembered as a breathtaking and beautiful love letter written to Britain. Transcribed in a unique way, this letter is part musical theater, history lesson, dance, light show, and a spectacular demonstration of 3D projection mapping.

When 3D projection mapping gives life to large surfaces it also opens up a space for collaboration and creativity. A building isn’t a building anymore; it’s a canvas that interacts with 3D video and is very much part of the experience for the audience. This element of interactivity is paving the way for a new type of performance art, one in which the stage is essential to the product, part of the story and a small piece in a larger artistic vision.

While 3D mapping projects open the doors for artistic collaboration, they also require extensive AV partnership and teamwork. For example, The Magic of the Seasons, a show at the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel in Macau, China hosted nightly through the 2012 holiday season, took 12,000 production hours and 35 crew members from six countries to create.

Similarly, engineering the AV technology for the 2013 Glastonbury festival took four years to complete, extensive man power and technological innovation. All of the video content on the project was designed and animated by blinkinLAB. Event pros from Video Illusions designed and installed 10mm LED panels in a way that was sensitive to the sculptural nature of the spider structure.

Panasonic sponsored the project supplying six PT-DZ21KU 20,000 lumens projectors. Lastly, AV technicians from CPL and Video Illusions installed the power infrastructure full HD signal from front of house over HDMI MauveCom units to make this event come to life.