In a recent photoshoot for Beyond Yoga at small green door, a model stood in a sea of glaciers. Thirty minutes later, she twirled among Milky Way nebulas before arching into a pose in front of dusty pink sand dunes. She ended the day in a sunset-stained canyon.
Some might call it that, but for Eddy Vajarakitipongse, this is just another day at the office. Eddy is a creative technologist and founder of Ya Know Like Studios, a full-service experiential creative agency. He teamed up with our own photographer, Dunja Dumanski, to work with Beyond Yoga.
Projection mapping is like traditional projection’s way cooler cousin. It transforms irregular objects into applicable surfaces for videos, images, and animation, which allows for real-time augmented reality.
The term “projection mapping” might be new to some, but the technique is old. The first known use of projection mapping was in 1969 at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion ride. This technique was quickly adopted by video artists, popping up in a variety of museums and installations.
In 2003, Eddy and a few friends formed LAVA (Los Angeles Video Artists), a monthly get together for video artists, circuit-benders, software programmers, and developers interested in exploring nonlinear approaches to projection. As the Technical Director of Exhibitions at LACMA, Eddy noticed an increasing number of video artists were using the same gear as professional videographers. The boundary between artistic and commercial usage continued to blur as projection mapping gained popularity in the marketing world.
1. Real-time Flexibility
Projection mapping is incredibly versatile. Projected content can be instantly swapped out, allowing for real-time visual experimentation.
During the Beyond Yoga shoot, we weren’t quite starry-eyed with our celestial backdrop. Since we were projection mapping, Eddy was able to easily add an animated moon at the last-minute, which made all the difference.
2. Better Use Of Space
Thanks to small green door’s modular studio set-up, Eddy was also able to use a 3D sensor enabling the model to move freely within the projected space, allowing for increased flexibility during the shoot.
3. Time and Money Savings
The shoot ran smoother and faster than a traditional shoot because most of the setup work was done on a pre-lighting day, saving costs by reducing the model's on-set time.
Projection mapping isn’t just for models. It can be a great tool for still-life shoots as well as demonstrated by our in-house photographer, Dunja Dumanski, here. (LINK)
Projection mapping allows us to explore new creative directions in real-time, creating new landscapes, textures and depth that would be otherwise impossible or improbable to create in the studio. For Beyond Yoga, this meant projecting gorgeous nature content onto the model and backdrop, evoking the beauty and serenity that yoga brings to consumers’ lives.