In 1969, a simple form of 3D projection was used by Walt Disney to animate “heads” to make it seem that they were alive and speaking or singing. We well remember those in the “depths” of the ‘Haunted Mansion’ at Disneyland, California.
Now, readily-available technology, software and hardware products allow true mapping of multiple light beams to the exact shape of 3-dimensional objects. Particularly impressive when aimed onto buildings using powerful and high definition projectors.
The scale, beauty, and ‘awesomeness’ of these presentations leads to thinking that they are a great alternative to the traditional firework display. They can be repeated over and over, and almost certainly win out ecologically; true also for bigger and better laser light shows which can project onto structures, but which can build their own three-dimensional structures as well.
The terms used are projection mapping and 3D projection. Two ‘local Swiss’ examples are the 2016 & 2017 projections onto the Federal government building in Bern – these are quite modest on the global scale, yet spectacular themed presentations, running from mid October to mid November each year. Also at the annual Festival of Lights in Lyon – presenting much more, and being much older than the projection mapping technology, yet where it now forms an integral part of that overall festival. A few of the best examples from around the world are embedded here – and a list of further links. Such scale of activity is mind bending, yet we find some amazing ideas which can be inspirational for more humble video animation production.
—Prague— —Swan Lake— —South West Airlines— —Parallel Universes — (Bolshoi again)
For those interested in the technical equipment and installation – a business film from Panasonic (120 projector installation to animate the Bucharest Parliament!)