Projection mapping

Projection Mapping for your next event?

As our Creative Director, Jim McLoughlin explained in a recent blog, the use of technology at an event is only innovative subject to the way it is used. The decision to use a technical solution at an event should be driven by its relevance to the content and audience. Here, our Head of Production, James Butler highlights Projection Mapping and what to consider when using it as part of a live event experience.

What is Projection Mapping?

Traditional projection involves a projector being aligned to a projection screen surface (either from the front or rear) to give a rectangular image the same shape as the projection screen surface. The audience would see all the projected light reflected off the projection screen. This can be achieved with basic equipment and low to medium budget.

Projection mapping

The term ‘projection mapping’ refers to pointing a projector at an everyday object, building architecture or a custom-built structure and ‘painting’ it with the projected light. The light is mapped onto the contours of the object using custom content that is generated pre-event.

Any surface can be used as a projection surface regardless of shape. In fact, the more innovative the surface and content, the better the effect. This can be achieved with pro-level equipment and medium to high budget plus the expert advice that Bray Leino Events offers.

Is Projection Mapping right for your event?

The main factors to consider when thinking of projection mapping for your event include:

  1. Message to be conveyed – is this solution appropriate for the content and audience?
  2. Environment – projection works in low ambient light environments. The distance and relative position of the projector to surface is also important
  3. Time – planning, creating and rigging the projection of content onto 3D surfaces takes time, skill and some pretty advanced technology
  4. Budget – cost depends on scale and complexity, but quality of content is very important so expect content generation to be a factor in cost

The process of projection mapping

  1. 3D model the surface – if a building or large structure then you can laser scan, otherwise other modelling methods can be used to create the surface in a virtual environment
  2. Apply audience perspective – content must be optimised for their viewpoint
  3. Create content – computer generated/live filming etc.
  4. Preview – a virtual computer environment is used to apply content to the modelled projection surfaces for preview and sign off
  5. Rig and adjust on-site – technical crew will need to make on-site adjustments and checks during the build phase

As you can see, to use projection mapping technology successfully at your event you must ensure multiple factors are considered. It isn’t right for every event, but when used effectively can have a significant impact on delegate experience, allowing them to engage with your products/services in a fun and innovative way.

The best examples of projection mapping involve highly innovative use of content and the relationship it has to the surface it is being projected onto. At Bray Leino Events we have a great deal of experience specifying the correct content and event technology to have the highest impact on your audience for all event types. All parts of the content development and technical design are undertaken in-house to streamline the process and provide a cost-effective solution.

We look forward to speaking with you about how exciting we can make your next event!

James is Bray Leino Events’ Head of Production and is based in our Bristol office.