Emlyn Firth – freelance designer and long time friend of Central Station – gives us a behind the scenes look at the production of a 4D Building Projection for Peugot.

4D Building Projection? 3D Building Projections you’ve seen before of course. Structures mapped and then projected onto to look like they’re made of rotating cubes, spilling generative neon globules from the windows, and almost always, the pièce de défaillance structurale – the classic apocalyptic disintegration of said building.

In search of a ‘first’ to add to this most zeitgeisty of mediums – for the world launch of the new Peugot 208 –  the added dimension we were invited to see is really an interactive element. Real-time rendered sequences being pulled about by a contemporary dance performer (via a Microsoft Kinect motion sensor) in a square in downtown Rio de Janeiro.

Yeah… Brazil. Contemporary Dance. Kinect Motion Sensors. Extra Dimensions. These, to keep you in the loop, are the constituent parts of the marketing messages ‘Let Your Body Drive’ and ‘Motion & Emotion’. Y’know. Brazilians  all have great bodies… and um, well I think you can gauge the subtleties  of everything else for yourself, although there’s strictly none of that ‘shakin’ that ass’ booty recall stuff – this is Peugot remember, not Renault. So anyway here’s a teaser video of the building projection, which might make more sense of things than I can.

And some Brazilian chap who’s got excited about it and filmed the entire thing:

And here’s a very short video of us and a predominantly French group of bloggers being briefed by the agencies and Peugot.

The production itself is led by BD (who originated in Glasgow but are now based in London) and Projection Advertising. As chance would have it I’d worked with both these companies before (the project details had been kept secret to us until we arrived) and it was genuinely good to see this international scale of work come from two homegrown stables. Although 3D projection is now prevalent, it’s still a huge undertaking to convince big brands that it can deliver. In turn, whilst most projection mapping seems to have its roots in an aesthetically driven VJ culture – and what you always have to term loosely as ‘guerilla’ tactics – to be pushed as a medium will always require a commercial level of financial input.

From a design and production point of view it was also striking to see how many people were involved to bring this activity to fruition. With so much on the line regarding new car models, a whole supporting cast of Peugot representatives were working very closely alongside agencies, specialist partners, not to mention the production side of things in Brazil. And don’t forget Mr E. Motion in the white jumpsuit.

The official video is due to be released on YouTube tomorrow (13th December), I’ll post that up via the usual Facebook and Twitter channels.


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