NuFormer: 3D Interactive Projection Mapping, Mercedes-Benz car, Chengdu Motor Show, China

“Chengdu – On August 30, 2012, the day before the Chengdu Motor Show (CDMS) in China, NuFormer performed another impressive interactive 3D video mapping projection. The interactive projection installation surprised guests as they were attending the introductory event of the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class. NuFormer proved again to continue the upward trend of innovations.
Adapting perspective
A regular 3D video mapping projection on a car creates the illusion of the projected images being displayed onto the car’s body. Using a new technique developed especially for this project, NuFormer went against this trend and created the illusion as if the video mapping took place inside of the car.
By projecting onto the front window from the inside out, the spectators could see several scenes being displayed in the interior of the car. A happy family watching butterflies flying through the car, a couple of teenagers having a water gun fight or a rock band performing a show.
Projecting onto the front window from the inside of a car is quite a challenging feat in itself, but NuFormer added even another layer to this experience. Specially designed programming allowed the spectator to change the perspective of the content inside the new Mercedes-Benz B-Class by using their body motions.
The custom created software changed the perspective of the displayed content by motion tracking every movement of the spectator by using Kinect. The perspective of the projected content was determined by the position of the viewer’s eyes so that it corresponded exactly with what the viewer expected to see. When the viewer moved, the perspective of the content adjusted itself. From the spectator’s point of view, it looked as if the virtual front window was an extension of the real world!
A lot of challenges had to be tackled to create such an innovative project. The difficulty did not only lie in the projecting from the inside of the car and finding the right material to project on, but also the tracking of the viewer’s eyes and adapting the perspective of the content in real-time took many hours of research and development. An earlier experiment called “The virtual living room” was executed in the NuFormer studio to investigate the feasibility of changing a perspective in real-time. This experiment formed the basis of this project.
Future development
The technique of adapting the perspective of the content to that of the spectator is very versatile and does not just lend itself for a car projection. Imagine a virtual window projected onto a wall that will give passersby a beautiful view over an imaginary landscape or a store window that displays endless shelves of the latest fashion in designer footwear. The possibilities are endless!
The storyboard and script were developed by Ogilvy Beijing in close cooperation with the NuFormer creative team. Our hardware partner CT Asia provided the technical expertise and hardware for this complex interactive projection installation.”
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