Skullmapping mirrors their success with 'Gallery Invasion'
Innovative Belgian duo use Panasonic projection in playful new mapping project
Following the success of Le Petit Chef, which racked up five million views on YouTube, the next project of Belgium-based Skullmapping, run by Antoon Verbeeck and Filip Sterckx, moves from the world of food to the world of art, with 'Gallery Invasion'.
The pair used a Panasonic PT-VZ570 projector, in combination with a special mirror head from the Dynamic Projection Institute mounted in front of the projector’s lens. Programmable and motorised, the mirror can rotate 270 degrees as well as both up and down, allowing the images to truly take over the room.
'Gallery Invasion' takes place in Antoon’s own gallery in Leuven, Belgium. With a background in fine arts painting, the space is used to show his work as an artist.
"We used this projector as it has a WUXGA resolution, the right amount of lumen output for the space and black levels in projected images that are sufficiently close to actual black"
The installation features a monkey as a protagonist, along with a small miniature character that sprays a graffitti tag on the monkey’s painting before taking off around the room, with the angry monkey in tow. Jumping from painting to painting, the characters move all over the space.
The project has already proved popular, with a video of the installation already racking up 20 million views on Facebook.
With a compact form factor the PT-VZ570 offers a maintenance-free operational life of 7,000 hours. Horizontal, vertical and corner keystone correction, meanwhile, enabled the angled projection essential to Gallery Invasion to take place, with the projector mounted vertically against the wall.
“For us this is first and foremost a research and development project, so we made this to show what is possible with this technique,” says Filip. “The video in this case was more important to us than the live experience, but we intend to recreate this type of project on a larger scale for a larger audience.”
The PT-VZ570's daylight view basic function also helps to keep the projected images bright, clear and crisp even in the brightly lit area of the gallery, where the artwork is picked out with spotlights.
“Since we travel a lot, we spend a lot of time in airports and almost all of them have huge white ceilings, so that would make a great canvas for a projection to travel across this huge surface,” he continues. “Or imagine a projected full sized King Kong climbing a high building and jumping from one to the next!”
“Technically this was a challenge, as I had never worked with the mirror head before,” adds Filip. “This project also pushed what has been done with the mirror head, as so far it has mainly been used for moving around graphics or video, not for a complex animation with characters that need to be in very specific places at very specific times.”
“We’ve all become used to seeing mapping projects on all types of objects, but to see characters moving freely over multiple walls, ceiling and even floors with just one projector and a discreet setup is quite magical.”
Filip made use of the Dynamic Projection Institute’s MDC-X media server to program the mirror head, setting it up so that it followed the same movement as prepared in the animation.
“We used this projector as it has a WUXGA resolution (1920x1200), the right amount of lumen output for the space and this type of project (4,800) and black levels in projected images that are sufficiently close to actual black.”
"To see characters moving freely over multiple walls, ceiling and even floors with just one projector and a discreet setup is quite magical."
“Typically when you project black, you see a grey rectangular shape projected, which in this case would result in a black rectangle that would move over the wall along with the animation, and would of course break the illusion.”
Skullmapping also integrated audio into the story, asking sound designers at agency Roundhouse to create audio effects and have the sound pan across when the action moves from left to right. Placing speakers on each side of the room, the sound could then move around the gallery together with the animation to complete the experience.