Iacon Pictures

IDPS Brings 3D Projection Mapping To Williamsburg, Virginia

On July 3rd, 2021 Identity Production Studios produced an original 3D animated presentation of projected light, images, and sound for the City of Williamsburg as it held its first inaugural Community Appreciation Day ceremony, on the lawn of the Colonial Williamsburg Arts Museum.

The city highlighted six community hero’s that went above and beyond in serving the citizens of Williamsburg during the Covid-19 pandemic. Identity Production Studios was tasked with creating an original piece of work that would honor these six heroes in a big way. No, not movie screen big…building façade big! For the first time ever The City of Williamsburg wanted to bring 3D projection mapping into the community. 3D projection mapping is a highly technical process that allows images to be projected onto a small or large 3D surface. In this case the surface or “Movie Screen” was the Colonial Williamsburg Public Hospital building façade. The project moved extremely quickly and required an immense amount of planning, coordination, and technical knowledge.


After Effects Vector Plate


When creating content for projection mapping onto a building you must take into account many different factors. For example, the architecture of the structure, how far are the window panes placed, the slope of the roof, the type of roof shingles, the color and size of brick, corners, ledges, and crown molding. After these structural elements are addressed the production phase can begin.


After Effects Facade Shaded Plate


The crew collected B-roll footage and testimonials from city officials, local business leaders, first responders, and other locals who all played a roll in helping the city throughout the pandemic. The studio utilized Canon Cinema EOS C200 cameras to capture all content in Cinema 4K RAW. This allowed us to have maximum control over the image for animation purposes. The C200 was paired with Sigma’s 18-35mm and 50-100mm cine zoom lenses. This lens combination provided a clean crisp image we could then composite into the animation. After gathering all footage, post-production and animation immediately followed. The typical timeline for creating specific projection mapping content for an event such as this would take 4-6 months. However, Identity Production Studios was tasked with a 6 week delivery for project completion.The project was animated using Adobe After Effects and DaVinci Resolve in 4K resolution generating over 10 Terabytes of data. IDPS utilized Apple’s new M1 chip technology for secondary workstations during the post-production process.


Canon C200 paired with Sigma Cine Zoom Lenses. Camera operator Madi Carel.


Aside from the technical aspect of projection mapping, equal attention was put into the cinematic aspect of the animation. IDPS felt the project had to sound and feel epic. Director Isaac F. Davis was inspired by the TV Series Mobile Suite Gundam UC (Unicorn). Isaac decided the score from the series created by legendary composer Hiroyuki Sawano was perfect for the epic feel the studio was going for. Identity Production Studios reached out to Sunrise Inc. and received authorization to use Hiroyuki’s score in the final animation. The score brings a level of gravitas to the imagery that feels big and bold. It is exactly what the Director ordered. Below you can watch the full projected presentation from July 3, 2021. 


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