3D Mapping Projection Technology:

For architects, universities, and retailers. To name just a few.

3D projection mapping is equal parts artistic vision, cutting-edge hardware, purpose-built software, and marketing innovation. By plotting three-dimensional points onto two-dimensional surfaces, and then projecting the image onto…well… anything, graphic designers for companies like Ralph Lauren and Toyota have applied the technology to surfaces ranging from a London flagship store to car exteriors.

The Czech Republic recently used 3D projection mapping to create a dramatic light show on the surface of Praha’s famous astronomical clock to celebrate its 600th birthday.

The most inspired, yet pragmatic application we’ve seen is a Vimeo walk-through of the Virtual Design Studio (VDS) developed for the Austrian wood-products manufacturer, EGGER. The system permits interior designers and architects to interact in real-time with two-dimensional renderings of finished custom furniture by projecting high-definition 3D images onto white cubes. Watching this technology in action, on any scale, brings two questions to mind: “How’d they do that?!” and, “How can I apply this?”

How’d they do that?!

Eggers Virtual Design Studio

In the examples we’ve uncovered, 3D projection mapping displays have involved coordination of several service providers. EGGER’s Virtual Design Studio (right), for example, was spearheaded by the company’s ad agency, Playframe Berlin, working with visual design firms Grosse 8 and Lichtfront.  Dijon, France-based Easyweb collaborates with architects to bring their “Monumental Video Projection” project to bear on historical national buildings.

In the U. S., event producers for the city of Sugarland, Texas’ 2010 New Year celebration partnered with LD Systems  to coordinate equipment and technical programming for the event. California-based Christie has been a leading visual technologies firm since 1929.

If you don’t have the budget of a Toyota, a Ralph Lauren, or a sovereign government, developers and hardware companies alike are creating scalable solutions.  HC Gilje has created the free 3D projection-mapping software tool, Video Project Tool 5.0 for MAC and Windows. And HD projector technology is becoming more affordable from providers like Barco and Green Hippo.

How can I apply this?

From highly pragmatic to purely entertaining, the applications for this technology appear as limitless as the surfaces being used for projection. Here are some possibilities that we envision:

Dorm Room Design Options?

   Colleges and universities immerse students in contextual 3D learning  environments.

   – Retailers create interactive fitting rooms that allow shoppers to project outfit combinations onto real mannequins.

University planners “test” new residence-hall interior design options with students by projecting them within existing spaces and soliciting feedback.

Retail designers and architects begin testing store layout, merchandising, and floor plan options in empty, three-dimensional spaces.


Continuously redefining architecture, Davis Wince’s, Ltd. mission is to bring great ideas to life with consistent follow through on every project, every time. If you have questions about 3D projection-mapping technology, or would to share new applications for the technology, contact  Jennifer Bobbitt at  jbobbitt@daviswince.com.

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