What Is Projection Mapping?

From concerts to business events, projection mapping is changing the way businesses market to their audiences. In fact, the advances in projection mapping technology have grown so significantly that it has become one of the best marketing techniques to use that has proven to engage your audience and increase brand awareness.

So what exactly is projection mapping and how can your business utilize it? Below, we discuss what projection mapping is and what types of mapping are available to you.

The Art of Projection Mapping

The art of projecting graphical content such as animation, video, and other colorful displays onto a 3D surface is known as projection mapping. This sort of projection works on a multitude of surfaces such as buildings, complex-shaped objects, stages, runways, and water.

When projection mapping was in its infancy, it was only suitable for use on a flat surface. However, 3D mapping has changed the game entirely by allowing the use of any surface as a projector, including buildings. Projection mapping is now being utilized to leave lasting impressions on customers during events.


What we know as projection mapping now is officially called, “Spatial augmented reality.” The very first usage of such technology was seen in Disneyland in 1969. It was used to bring a real-life effect to the Haunted Mansion Ride.

However, producing such interactive animations and displaying them onto surfaces was pricey as the technology requirements were much higher in 1969. In 2005, spatial augemented reality became more common as technology advanced and enterprises began to understand how beneficial it is for events and promotional activities.

Types of Projection Mapping

·       Planar Mapping

Planar mapping is the most basic option when it comes to projection mapping. For this type, 2D images or videos are projected on a flat surface like a wall or flooring. The surfaces have to be flat or dimensional for such mapping. You can also achieve 3D effects but requires the viewer to look at it from a specific angle. As you might have guessed, this is an more inexpensive form of projection mapping.

·       Spherical Mapping

As the name suggests, spherical mapping is done on a round object to cover the 360-degree area with animation projection. Such mapping can be done inside or outside of a spherical object. When it comes to levels of complexity for projection mapping, spherical mapping requires the use of a video splitter and multiple projectors, making it one of the most resource demanding projection mapping type.

  • 3D Projection Mapping

3D Projection mapping allows you to project onto a irregularly shaped surface of any size. It involves warping and adjusting the image so that the object and the video projection are indistinguishable. Custom content created for 3D mapped structures allows the projection surface to be transformed into anything you can dream of. 

·       Panoramic Projection Mapping

When it comes to mapping complex surfaces and buildings, panoramic projection mapping is used that can cover up to 360 degrees of the area. It requires proper mapping of the surface, multiple projectors, and a great deal of time and effort to create the proper animation and adjust it to the surface.

Also read: How to Land a Google Data Scientist Job in 2022?


Projection mapping is the future of commercials and events. This technology has mostly been used for buildings during events. However, now it is also being utilized for cars, mannequins during fashion shows, concerts, and more. Moreover, this form of art makes an appearance at some venues where complex installations are built specifically with projection mapping in mind!