Projection Mapping for ‪Guimarães ‬2012

As impressive as 3D projection mapping may be, it’s quickly losing its appeal. Everything that becomes common is expected to lose its value. Throw in 3D projection mapping as a proposal to any client and you can expect immediate rejection or insurmountable skepticism.

Using Technology Properly

But then there are shows like “Tempo de Econtros” during the Guimarães ‬2012, the European Capital of Culture annual opening show. It is the production of the mythical Catalan Group La Fura dels Baus.

The objective was to present the history, culture, and tradition of Guimarães which, without any sort of drama or aesthetic enhancement, would have been no less impressive. What the group managed to achieve, through projection mapping, is to take the audience all the cultural landmarks of Portugal. To interact with those, technology or not, is an awesome experience.

The 3D Projection Mapping Details

The 3D Projection Mapping piece was co-directed by Judy Lomas (La Fura dels Baus) and Aleix Fernandez (Onionlab).

It was a truly collaborative process. Lomas commissioned Onionlab for the work. However, Lomas was very understanding of the technical limitation but also had a very clear idea on what needs to be presented.

Onionlab was given complete freedom by the event organizer and enough time to prepare. Modelling, animating and rendering images as large as what was used takes days. The result is a stunning presentation of familiar cultural elements such as the bull and the Nicolinos Lances but the most telling is the closing sentence which says “Aquí naceu Portugal” or “Portugal was born here”.

Technology Serving the Story

This is one of the few times when 3D projection mapping is the only way the story can be told as effectively as it did. Pull out and think about it for a second. With 25,000 to 30,000 people present in the venue, is there any medium large enough to allow everyone to equally enjoy and understand the message being communicated? Live performers will be dwarfed and a movie is a too impersonal.

3D projection mapping, in this event, is not just a display of technological prowess. It’s a necessity. It’s the only way the audience can experience Portugal’s history and culture.

And that is how you use technology.


Directed by: Judy Lomas (La Fura), Aleix Fernandez (Onionlab)
Produced by: Onionlab
Music and Sound design: Leiko
Script: Judy Lomas (La Fura), Carles Munne, Aleix Fernandez
Onionalb Crew:
Lead 3D Artist: Carles Munne.
Technical director: Jordi Pont
VFX and compositing artists:
Mike van der Noordt
Pepe Vega
Francesc de la Riba
Jorge Lorenzo
Carles Munne
Aleix Fernandez

Written by Xath Cruz

Xath Cruz worked for the traditional advertising industry for more than 10 years handling international blue chip clients. She started doing digital advertising and marketing and web property development 4 years ago. She is also a screenplay writer with several full length movies under her belt.

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