Visual Perception – Light Distortion


Over the past couple years I’ve been looking for a technology that brings new ways of thinking to the table. Makes you step back and think “WOW how are they doing that!”

One day I found what I was looking for. I stumbled upon a video of a building and on the side of the building something was moving in and out of the windows, like a ball of light. Almost like a ghost orb floating around. It seemed to defy gravity and the laws of physics.


What I was looking at was a motion video being projected on a wall of a building and the artist made the wall come to life by shining the projector on the wall and displaying a video that brings the wall to life.



Spatial Augmented Reality

The technology that the artist was using was 3D Mapping Projection or video mapping. Which is a relatively new field of technology, but it has roots dating back as far as 1960’s. When Disneyland released the Haunted Mansion ride that showed 3D head like objects and displayed 16mm film on the heads to give them a realistic look. To 1980’s when Michael Naimark from the MIT Media Lab tested with video mapping in a living rooms and having people interact with the objects on the walls.

The technique consists of projecting video images on buildings, façades, structures or nearly any kind of complex surface or 3D object to shatter the viewer’s perception of perspective. The projector allows bending and highlighting any shape, line or space. It creates astonishing optical illusions, a suggestive play of light and turns a physical object into something else by changing its perception of form


Here are some videos showing mapping in different environments and applications


New Balance sneaker – Projection mapping – Behold Hayoung Jung

A promo thrown together by New Balance Sneakers shows how projection surfaces don’t have to be flat

NuFormer – 3D Video Mapping Projection on Buildings

This company is on the verge of some amazing installations, like 3D mapping w/ motion capture. Pretty innovative stuff

Klip Collective – Character 60s TV spot – Ultimate Home Makeover

Creating clean visuals of the structure of the house and showing how well color projection is at night. Clean and creative



 3D Mapping Projection Affitianado 

With computers and software getting better everyday a lot of new projects are springing up all over the country. With artist trying to figure out ways to put new spins and perception and pushing the limits of the projectors to see what they can come up with. Although a lot of people run into problems.

Example: Light Distortion

When working in new scenes and different envirorments you must make sure that you have the right projector and the right location at night. Also the amount lights sources in the area of where your projecting is very important. If you project in an area where to many street lights illuminate up the night or a building wall has accent lighting. Your going to run into what i like to call “fading of the canvas.” This is where to much light floods into the scene and distorts the image that your trying to project over a curtain distance, so make sure you go out and scout your locations both day and night first. This will help you have a better feel for the area you will be working in before hand. It also helps to take pictures of different angles of the building because later in your editing you might need to know curtain angles or views for the perceptive of the viewer later.


Here is a good example of a street light effecting the projection. The key is to get the area your working in as dark as possible and with no outside sources of light coming in.


Over 5,000 lumens

Throw distance is accurate

Color ratio 10,000↑

Lens  Options

  Nakturnal – HearCorp – Sweet Revenge

 Here is a video showing outdoor advertising of the side of a building using a box truck to get the right projection






Robotized – (MPM) Multiple Projector Mapping – Open-Source 3D Projection Mapping Software Framework
VVVV a multipurpose toolkit – How To Project On 3D Geometry
Video Mapping – How To Article

One thought on “Projection”

Comments are closed.