Video mapping a technique that uses projectors to transfer digital animations onto non-traditional projection surfaces, such as walls, facades or even objects. I’ve summarised here a series of projects I’ve developed since 2019, when I started exploring this medium.
The first time I experimented with video mapping was in March of 2019, in Manchester. Thanks to Marios Yiannakou, who lent me his projector, I produced an animated wall in my student halls kitchen. A series of posters and objects were already hanging on the wall, so I mapped them and created a 2-minute looping animation that brought them to life. Around this text are three clips I recorded while presenting the piece to my friends and flatmates.
This first experience encouraged me to later invest my savings in a projector while I was in Tenerife for Easter break. I’ve worked using my EPSON EH-TW750 ever since. During break, I hosted MASON1, an event where I used this projector to create a 2.5 x 5m wall video mapping with branding for the event. More information about MASON1, MASON-A and MASON2, events for which I created similar wall mappings, is available in this page.
The flat where MASON1 was hosted is right in front of the Masonic Temple of Tenerife, so I was highly encouraged to experiment. This building, with a striking facade, is the last large masonic temple left in Spain. In April of 2019, I finished an experimental short movie that I projected onto the temple.
With the temple’s tympanum as the pivot of the mapping, different ideas and animations came to life around it. Inspired by the Big Bang, personal growth and human connection, the short film was an unreleased experiment I used to gain experience. Below is a fragment of this piece.
After the two other MASON wall mappings I created in 2019, in 2020, two other projects using this medium were created. In August of 2020, when measures were reduced and we were able to gather, I teamed up with David Ujja Andrés to create an interactive experience named MASON Cult. Themed as an initiation to freemasonry, participants had to finish a series of challenges before 11 PM.
In the same flat as MASON1, with the temple at sight, participants were welcomed into a dark room lit only by candles, with a large and mysterious portrait hanging in the back of the room. After sitting around a brown table and signing a confidentiality contract, an audio introduction by Francisco Clavijo y Plo, the alleged founder of the lodge, was played.
After some simple games, the wall portrait would then take center stage and start speaking with the same voice guests heard at the introduction. Francisco then starts interacting with David and I, adding up to the eerie atmosphere that was already built. Below is a video where the portrait can be seen speaking.
The illusion of Francisco Clavijo y Plo was one of the most challenging projects I’ve worked on. The portrait, which actually was an empty frame with a brown background, had a small speaker that was used to play Francisco’s voice. To create Francisco’s image, a projector was hidden under the table with the speaker system. The background of the frame was chosen to be brown so the brightness from the LCD projector was reduced.
On the table, a fake vinyl sound system was constantly playing to palliate the noise from the projector’s fan. It was also used for the introductory speech by Francisco. The sound system, the projector and the wall speaker were all controlled simultaneously by a computer hid under the table, which likewise was controlled by me via my phone.
Ultimately, several different softwares were needed for this illusion. Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X, Adobe After Effects and Photoshop, Spotify and Apple’s Keynote were used to create and control the music, animations and interactions for MASON Cult.
At the end of the experience, Francisco asked participants to take a picture with them. The experience was repeated three times with three different groups.
At the beginning of 2020’s summer, Tenerife percussionist Antonio Rodríguez Acosta got in touch to work in a video project for his final year recital. Antonio wanted to create visuals for his concert, where he’d be playing contemporary pieces in different setups.
Initially born as traditional 2D visuals for a concert, this project became a very interesting experiment that had been never seen before in Tenerife’s conservatory. Instead of a flat surface, I proposed Antonio the idea of building a large cube to project onto. He was totally on board for experimentation, and after some research, a 1x1 meter cube was built. By using a heavy structure made of steel, the cube was able to rest on one of its corners, reaching over 2 meters of height.
Two months of research later, the concert was premiered at the end of July. Envisioned as an almost living companion to Antonio’s performance, the cube evolved into six totally different identities throughout.
The cube was placed on a 1 meter high platform, creating a 3 meter structure that was at the center of the stage. I sat in the first row of the audience with my projector and computer. Over an hour of video mapping animations were created. Below is a short fragment of these.
Temple mapping: Music: It’s Only (ODESZA VIP Remix) - ODESZA, En Mí (Interlude) - J Balvin and Rosalía. // MASON Cult: Francisco Clavijo y Plo Voice: Eduardo Zerolo de la Rosa // Mapping Cubo: Music: A Taburiente - , TACTUS - Polo Vallejo, Temazcal - Javier Álvarez.
Marios Yiannakou, Lefteris Morits, David Ujja Andrés, Antonio Rodríguez Acosta.