Professional Lighting & Production - Spring 2018 - Page 22

22 PL&P A Spectacle on Any Surface Westbury National’s Large-Scale Projection Mapping Portfolio | By Andrew King A dragon descends from a dark mountainside cave and bathes hundreds of spectators below in its fiery breath. Cool animations and player highlights cover the entire ice surface while a pumping soundtrack blares through the speakers a few minutes before the opening face-off of an NHL playoff game. An iconic building in the centre of a city showcases historic foot- age from times past as residents proudly look on. Each of these applications represents a unique multimedia experience enabled by large-scale projection mapping, a process by which content relayed from one or more video projectors is manipulated to turn virtually any type of surface into a display for various forms of visual content. Based in Toronto, Westbury National has become a go-to leader in the field of large-scale projection mapping for a variety 22 | Spring 2018 of clients across North America. From cities and urban facilities to sports venues and theme parks to corporate applications and beyond, Westbury provides the technolog- ical infrastructure and expertise to enable a wide array of clients to deliver these types of engaging and entertaining visual experi- ences to their desired audiences. What Is Projection Mapping? The process of projection mapping – sometimes known as video mapping or object-based augmented reality – begins within a specialized software environment. The two- or three-dimensional object that will act as the projection surface – a building façade, geological feature, theatre stage, automobile, etc. – is spatially mapped in the virtual environment. The software can then manipulate the desired video content and interact with the projector(s) to display a seamless image that adds extra dimensions, optical illusions, or a sense of movement to an otherwise static object. As such, the video can interact with the unique features of the surface, or minimize them to create the illusion of a typical flat display. These spectacles can also include a complementing lighting package and shows and are often combined with, or even triggered by, an audio soundtrack for a more immersive multimedia narrative.