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A Change of Scene

'A Change of Scene' was my first experience creating a projection mapping piece. The project is a generative art piece based on illusion as well as the geometry of a square.

produced by: Abi Price

Concept and background research

My original idea was to explore both virtual and physical space. The virtual within the effects, such as making 2D shapes appear 3D to give the effect of shapes being drawn in or out of a cube face such as the projection mapped piece 'Box'. And the physical within the formation of the boxes in such a way where they are spread out but from the side appear as a pyramid formation. As not enough people wanted to do this shape, I decided on the cube pyramid instead. I wanted my piece to be bright and bold so chose a neon colour scheme, along with white because it looks great when projected with a black background to tie all scenes together. These colours give a rich effect, almost like a beam of light, so I included vertical and horizontal scanning lines as transitions between scenes. I was also influenced by a couple of sketches on OpenProcessing which I adapted to adhere to my square geometry.


All of the design was created in C++/OpenFrameworks with the use of the piMapper addon. The piece was split into 7 main effects filled in with transitions. Named appropriately, 'A Change of Scene' has 18 preset scenes, definitely proving a challenge when it came to remapping the squares with the projector. The first scene was simply boxes lighting up one by one and changing greyscale colour with a sine wave. The second, a grid of squares increasing and decreasing with sine. The third was based off an OpenProcessing sketch where the line width changes, which here, gave the effect of the box being hollow, almost like a tunnel. Forth, I created a vector of squares which get bigger towards the middle of the shape. The fifth scene was a happy mistake, with rotating lines. Sixth was wavy lines created with noise, which change colour from white to black to create a kaleidoscope effect when mapped. Seventh was overlapping squares which join together to make a complete grid when at the top of a sine wave, similar to the second scene.

I find it interesting that not knowing everything about coding can be a benefit as it allowed me to create great effects by mistake! One example of this, the beginning and ending was supposed to be squares fitting the cube but by changing the view to fullscreen, it made all the squares different sizes, which actually looks better than the original!

Future development

If I were to exhibit this piece again, I would make it more efficient by cutting down on the number of presets as it was time consuming to map that many scenes onto the physical object. As an extension, it would be nice to make the formation of the shapes more complex and include more effects that transfer seemingly from surface to surface.

Self evaluation

The mapping was slightly off a few of the cubes during the Pop Up as the black cloth had been put under the shape since I mapped it that morning. In the scene with the rotating lines and dots, the dots were supposed to get bigger after the lines stop but I didn’t allow long enough for this in the json file. But overall, I acheived what I set out to do and am pleased with the content of my mapping and how it was presented. Before starting the course, projection mapping was something I was interested in doing so I spent a considerate amount of time on the project. And I can now see why there is software available for this as it was very time consuming, especially with an old slow mac!


Decreasing squares  -

Wavy noisy lines that leave a trace -