We’re living in an age of the Neo-Baroque/Neo-Rococo, in which technique creates marvelous illusions, when technique and thought can create dazzling effects. And as the technology matures, that work begins to evolve genuine playfulness. It’s not enough to see the novelty: that novelty is now conveyed through real wit.

At least, I feel fuzzy, optimistic thoughts like that when I look at work like a series of spots for the Sony PS3. Friend-of-the-site Memo Atken is involved, alongside FND and Flat-e, with the wonder, mixing real-time projection mapping with head tracking and camera tracking (both at once) for a sort of live match-moving-like effect.

But… well, just watch. I hope we’ll get to talk to Memo, Flat-e, and FND soon. Credits and a teaser description of how it was done below.

And consider this: the combination of sensing with projection is to live digital visuals what a technique like perspective was to painting centuries ago. It’s a calculated illusion, but it could be the basis for an entire body of work, both a marvel in itself and a springboard to new art.


Realtime projection mapping for Sony PS3 Video Store.
Agency: Studio Output
Directors: Robin McNicholas (Flat-e), Barney Steel (FND), Memo Akten (MSA)
Cameraman / AR: Thomas English
Music: Finn McNicholas/Si Begg
Client: Sony PS3 Video Store
Production Company: Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF)

Sony PS3 Video Store Realtime Projection Mapping [flat-e]

Memo writes:

For the launch of the Sony PlayStation Video Store, our job was to bring a living room alive with hints at various hollywood blockbuster franchises – so we decided to push projection mapping to a new level. We projection mapped a living room space with camera (or head) tracking and dynamic perspective. All content realtime 3D, camera (or head) is tracked to match and update the 3D perspective in realtime to the viewers point of view. Add to this real props, live puppetry, interaction between the virtual and physical worlds, a little bit of pyrotechnics and a lot of late nights. I can tell you, physically walking around in that space really messes with your head, e.g. when the floor drops you reach out to grab onto something!.

Dynamic projection mapping with camera / head tracking – Sony PlayStation Video Store [memo.tv]

Thanks, Steve Nalepa and David Lublin.

  • sleepytom

    Well it's an interesting technique without any real application. It only works for a single viewer at a time, so beyond its use in 3d Cave simulations (where it has existed for some time already). I just don't really get what all the excitement is about.  

    When i first heard about this i thought err whats the point, and now i've seen the video i still question the point. 

    It may be very clever (as most of Momo's work is) but it doesn't scream "wow this is amazing, it's the future of cinema/tv/gaming" at me. 

    If you want a clue as to why it doesn't work with multiple viewers have a look at the camera tests they did for it at&nbsp ;http://vimeo.com/32217465 

    I've no doubt that in real life walking around such an installation with the tracking point being your own head then it would be super amazing in a falling over kind of way. But other than as a 3d simulation / immersive gaming technology I simply cannot see any practical applications for this tech. 

  • keyboardUser

    Maybe it is not the immersive super-futuristic-killer-application.

    But its a pretty cool ( and elaborate ) marketing gag, and thats what the business is about 90% of the time, i think.

    I wonder what of todays art will be remembered 100 years ago.

  • r4f0

    Congratulation, incredible job Memo!

  • mj

    what sleepytom says.

    its a virtual studio (used by many news shows)  combined with some mapping .

    most virtual studios are already in 3d , so its easy to add a 3d couch and do some realtime texture mapping.   

    just wondering how they lit his face . is it a follow spot  or is it done digital ..