Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, was lit up in the colours of the Indian national flag to celebrate India’s 68th Republic Day.
Soon, Satkhanda – the Nawabi era structure in Lucknow -- is set to see similar lighting affects as the state government, in one of its most ambitious moves, is going to screen short films through 3D projection mapping on the imposing structure.
Besides, once the shows begin, the four-storey Satkhanda will become the state’s first structure to experience projection mapping.
Government officials engaged in the project say “as per the technique, the structure would be used as a canvass to screen films on. Projection mapping would give an ‘out of the world’ experience to the audiences,” said an official with Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) — one of the government agencies involved in the Old City beautification project.
Officials are in touch with architectural firm Archohm to make the project a big success. “Indeed it’s tough project but things are going as per the plan,” said Siddarth Bathla, creative head with Archohm.
Bathla said a short film, based on the city’s rich heritage, is almost done. It was perhaps the toughest part in the whole project. “The film, possibly of 12 minutes duration, has been shot by designing firm Design Factory India. The film covers the city’s history in a beautiful way, highlighting its rich culture. It is also supported by powerful sound, enough to have a mesmerising effect on the spectators,” Bathla said.
Interestingly, the film has been shot as per Satkhanda’s architecture. “Since, the monument has several ‘mihrabs’ (decorative panels) and arches, the movie has been filmed in a way to match those of the monument. For example: If a scene in the movie shows a nawab standing at a mihrab or arch, the scene of the mihrab or arch would be in sync with those of the monument,” he explained.
Other than shooting, the screening would also not be an easy task. Screening of the movie, he said would be done through 3D projection mapping. It’s a projection technology that turns the object, be it a building, into a canvass. “And by using specialised software and with the help of a heavy duty projector, the entire film would be screened on the structure, giving an audio-visual interactive experience to the spectators,” he added.
Presently, he said, the mapping is in practice in Purana Qila, Delhi, Gateway of India and a couple of other cities in the country.
LDA officials said digital test is on and the project is expected to start by March end.
History of projection mapping
In 1969, the first projection mapping on a 3D object was done when Disneyland opened its Haunted Mansions ride. The ride used fake disembodies’ heads as objects, which had 16mm film on them to make them appear animated. The next record mapping was done in 1980, when installation artists Michael Naimark filmed people interacting with objects in a living room and then projected it in the room, creating illusions as if people are interacting with the objects.