Whatever you’re doing right now, stop. Take five minutes and watch this incredible video by production company Bot & Dolly, which explores the possibilities of projection mapping and masking in real-time, in real space.
Box, as it’s called, stars performer Tarik Abdel-Gaward and two robots named Iris and Scout. It was designed to explore five specific principles of magic: Transformation, Levitation, Intersection, Teleportation, and Escape. I wish I knew more about the technology involved — like which projectors were used and what kind of screens — but from the making-of video below we learn that the canvases are 4×8 feet, the animation was all done in Maya, and the camera that recorded this live performance was motion captured from an actual spectator. (One assumes that final animation wasn’t completed until the camera’s point of view was pinned down, given how much many of the illusions rely on a specific perspective.)
In the words of the creators:
Box explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping on moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera.
Bot & Dolly produced this work to serve as both an artistic statement and technical demonstration. It is the culmination of multiple technologies, including large scale robotics, projection mapping, and software engineering. We believe this methodology has tremendous potential to radically transform theatrical presentations, and define new genres of expression.
For more on this amazing projection-mapping performance piece, check out the Behind the Scenes video, and dial your browser of choice to botndolly.com/box for additional info and a full list of credits.