What is 4D Video Mapping?

  03 February, 2014

While it’s easy to get caught up with the massive industry shift taking place as TV moves online, it’s easy to forget that technological advances are transforming other parts of the video advertising world. One of the sexier emerging areas is 4D projection mapping, also sometimes referred to as video mapping and spatial augmented reality, which a number of leading brands have used in campaigns over the last three years or so.

What is Projection Mapping and How Does it Work?

The projection technology is used to turn objects of sizes and shapes into display screen for video projection, and  advertisers have used the technology to display advertising on everything from shoes to skyscrapers. Video mapping requires specialised software that interacts with a projector to fit an image onto the surface of that object, so the artists can add extra dimensions and optical illusions to make it appear the object itself is moving.

How it it Being Used?

Projection mapping first gained traction being used in product launches and as visuals for electronic music acts. In the corporate world, dozens of brands — Nokia, Samsung, Peugot and New Balance to name but a few — have used video projections to launch products in major cities across the world.

While projection mapping is currently only used for spectacular one-off campaigns, as the technology and techniques become more mainstream we might it becoming a standard part of outdoor advertising, where certain spaces and buildings are regularly used for advertising. And as many talk about the possibility of outdoor advertising being traded programmatically, it seems conceivable that one day – assuming there were standardised surfaces available – you might one day be able to buy 4d projection alongside your video, display and mobile inventory.

Other Notable Examples:

Peugot’s ‘Let Your Body Drive’ campaign in Brazil, the agency created a ‘4D video-mapping show that ‘incorporated real-life wind, rain and dazzling headlight effects’. The agency say that for the first time ever the gesture-controlled graphics were rendered in real-time as a live performer drove the show with his body, just like a video-game:

Samsung used 4D projection mapping to promote the Samsung Galaxy S III in Rumeli Hisari Istanbul, Turkey:

And, as this New Balance ad shows, projection mapping can be used to bring smaller objects to life too:

Who’s Doing It?

At the moment there are a number of specialist agencies popping up, including:

Projection Advertising
Crucial FX
3D Projection Agency

What Software Do I Need for Video Mapping?

Mad Mapper
Multi-Projector Mapping (Open Source)


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