The Sideshow

Projection mapping illusion video is a must-see

The Sideshow


Where to begin? This five-minute video is amazing, jaw-dropping, spectacular, etc. It is also sure to lead to some furrowed brows. It's as if an M.C. Escher work came to life.

Created by production house Bot & Dolly in association with the Creators Project, the video, titled "Box," shows off "projection mapping" technology by synchronizing it with an onscreen actor and behind-the-scenes robotics.

In the video, an actor works alongside two panels that seem to transform and teleport (as well as a bunch of other stuff that is completely bananas). The live performance was captured on camera. This isn't tech stuff that was done after the fact on a computer.

Bot & Dolly describes "Box" as "both an artistic statement and technical demonstration. It is the culmination of multiple technologies, including large scale robotics, projection mapping, and software engineering."

Fast Company Design explains that the "extremely precise" robots "provide movement accuracy down to the millimeter level, offering a precision that seamlessly blends the analog and digital worlds."

The technology behind projection mapping has changed drastically since it was first used in 1969. According to Projection Mapping Central, the first known case of projecting onto a nonflat surface was "The Haunted Mansion" ride at Disneyland. More recently, the technology (greatly improved, of course) was used in 2013's Tom Cruise action flick "Oblivion."

Curious to learn more about projection mapping and how it may be used down the road? "Box" creators uploaded a behind-the-scenes video that explain the technical and creative process.


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