Projection mapping is one of those things that looks very impressive but very few people actually know how it's done. If you do know how it's done then it's even more impressive, as the amount of work involved in creating the content to fit the surface and then getting all the projectors lined up is an incredible achievement.
Spinifex are a company based in Australia who have worked on projects all over the world, including the Beijing and London Olympics. They have just been involved with the "Vivid" Festival in Sydney and were responsible for two amazing examples of projection mapping.
The first was the opening sequence for the festival which was called "Play" and was projected onto the sail like structure of the Sydney Opera House. Here are the highlights:
The Opera House projection uses 17 projectors mounted 200 metres away. At those distances alignment is absolutely critical, as even a millimetre out at the projector means metres out at the Opera House.
The work was overseen by head of creative Richard Lindsay over a fourteen week period
"The Sydney Opera House is undoubtedly one of the world's greatest projection canvases, and it's been a real privilege for our creative team to tackle this project on our home turf. From an animation perspective, there were some obvious challenges associated with the geometry and curvature of the iconic facade. We wanted to ensure that what we created translated well from the many and varied viewing angles, which meant 'painting on the surface' of the building rather than designing from a single point of view, which typifies most building projections."