Why this is the Most Amazing Projection Mapping You’ve Ever Seen

by gabemott on September 28, 2013

For some time, the travelling projection mapping installation by Amon Toben inspired artists around the world and set the bar for what could be achieved with this exciting new medium. That bar has been pushed to the next level. Bot & Dolly out of San Francisco has exploded the paradigm. In just 3 days, the Youtube video has been watched 1.3 million times (add to that 635,000 on Vimeo).

Why is this Epic?

I thought the concept of moving the screen you are projecting upon was rather novel. I’d been working on an implementation if this over the last year and yet my idea, as yet unfulfilled, was meager compared to the implementation by Bot & Dolly.

The art of projection mapping (which I wrote about here describing my attempt to map MC Escher) is itself a challenging form with static surfaces still finding novel implementations. The most common medium of 3d mapping is either on an architectural surface with the illusion that the building itself is changing form or on cubes.

The importance of accuracy in creating a polygon in projection software to fit surfaces that don’t move is challenging enough. To sync up robotic arms holding projection surfaces with an animation that smoothly fits is truly next level.

Masters of Illusion: Transformation, Levitation, Intersection, Teleportation, Escape

Some notes on this impressive implementation: The entire animation is in black and white, the incorporation of the human actor, the story line, the flawless synchronization of the robots and the projection, including the floorspace as projection surface, the reveal at the end– creating the illusion of seeing through the projection surfaces to see the magical robots that moved the screens.

Who are these guys and where do they come from?

My ignorance shows, I had never heard of Bot & Dolly. And yet their other work shows they have been cutting edge for some time. I had seen this ad for Adidas before but thought the hyper-quickness was achieved through animation.

There is nothing they could say about their achievement that could be hubris, it’s so good, they can quote Arthur C. Clarke about their work, as they do at the end of the video and still be humble.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

This is truly epic. Give Thanks.

Leonardo DaVinci would be proud, read here the history of anamorphic art. A link to my tumblr page of some of the projection mapping videos I’ve loved.

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