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Light Touches

Bring events to life with the magic of projection mapping

By Sandra Eagle

Projection mapping adds a layer of dimension to events that you just can’t get from mounds of decor.

Projection mapping is the integration of projectors and computer software to project still or video images onto any surface, whether it be a table, wall, ceiling or building.

Alissa Hurley, CMM, DES, CED and vice-president of marketing at FMAV, based in Ottawa, says projection mapping can go on pretty much any surface, from flat wall to wooden or fabric inlays—what you would find in almost any convention centre across the country. “In fact, mapping can take advantage of those different surfaces to create dimension,” she says. The scope of the technology is practically limitless.

Costs vary for projection mapping, depending on the duration, complexity of the program and the type of graphics desired.

Daniel Davidson, who describes himself as chief luminosity officer and owner at The Temple House, an event venue in Miami Beach, Florida, has gone as far as creating his own production company to produce incredible projection mapping and video displays. “The technology is getting better as the affordability of software and the power of computing is increasing. You are able to do more for less,” he says. Content is still king though, as lead time for projection mapping displays are dictated by the types of images a client wants. Davidson adds, “If it’s a luxury client, they supply the content library to us in the form of JPEGs or files that will need to be transcoded, compressed and put into a format that the computer can understand.”

Davidson says he can shave days off of lead times if a client wants to utilize the large content library that The Temple House has purchased. “We have thousands of images, from flowers to waterfalls, firework displays to fractals [graphic patterns]. We can also layer imagery as well.”

Essentially, Davidson says, “the computer system acts as a conductor in a symphony of light. The computer instructs the projectors where to simultaneously deliver light. The projectors must dovetail together to create the perfect seamless image.”

The complexity arises with the prep work. The operator has to work with the software to map the surface where the images will be displayed.

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