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Are you ready to party in 3D? | The Times of India

November 25, 2012

From The Times of India by Akshata Shetty on 11/26/12

Picture this: The Taj Mahal changing colours, its doors opening and its walls and pillars moving. Sounds surreal, right? For those uninitiated, this visual experience is called 3D mapping. This projection technique that can turn almost any 3D surface into a dynamic video display is now fast catching on in India. It helps turn clubs and other event spaces into mind-boggling visual arenas and both artistes and their fans term it as the next big thing.

Are you ready to party in 3D?

Visuals projected in sync with live music is not a new concept but there is a difference between this and 3D mapping. “As the video is projected on to the 3D surface, you don’t need 3D glasses to see in 3D. An optical illusion is created wherein the actual projection surface is modified in a surreal way. Through this medium, we change the immediate reality of the audience, so if the person is looking at a plain wall, a window can appear through projection, and visually there could be a totally surreal world inside that window,” explains Soham Sarcar, a designer and visual artist from Mumbai, who has presented 3D mapping at gigs and events across the country.

Like films that are shot in 3D, there are artistes who believe in giving viewers that something extra apart from music. Recently, Delhi-based electronic outfit Blot presented 3D visuals during its performance in Pune. “We’ve been working on developing self-produced stereoscopic content for a while and it’s an extremely arduous and time-consuming process.

So it’s really exciting when you realise that you can actually produce something that is kind of magical, completely digital and yet has nostalgic value,” says Gaurav Malekar from Blot.

Scope in India?

3D projection mapping is one of the most spectacular experiential mediums of recent times. “Clubs and party spaces need to create new experiences for the audience. We need more artistes to collaborate and experiment in this medium,” says Soham.

Can 3D visuals too be the next big thing at live concerts? Avinash Kumar from Blot says, “It certainly adds to the experience of the show, but there is a limit. 3D visuals tend to suck the audience into their own world and this might take away focus from the actual performers. This is not such a big issue for DJs, but with live musicians, you want to showcase the human, performative nature of the show too.”

But that apart, there aren’t many organisers yet who are ready to use the technology or even shell out money for this,” complains visual jockey Santana Issar.


Like all creative work, the process can be as simple or as complicated as you want. When Soham and his team initially started experimenting with this medium, it was just for fun. “But when the experiments began to pay back, we invested in other hardware like midi controllers and video mixers. Actually hardware wise, we just need a projector and a laptop to experiment,” explains Soham.

Avinash says that they are still figuring out the spectrum of possibilities for audio-visual performances. “Depending on the venue, occasion and concept, the glasses for producing and performing with video can be insanely expensive,” he adds. Visual jockey Samiran Mane agrees that it can cost a fortune. “It starts right from buying the right software, then buying samples/content (if one can’t make one’s own) and then the right kind of controllers and projectors. All of this costs quite a fortune. And then you have organisers who hesitate to pay what a visual jockey really deserves!” he says.

Art is not for art’s sake

Santana believes that apart from the musical experience, the visual art complements the music and gives the gig a new dimension. Earlier people used to consider visuals as just a background filler during gigs, but today they are given the same importance as the music. “It is in its nascent stage, but India is definitely ready,” she adds. The best part is that 3D mapping is not limited to just music; it can be incorporated in fashion and automobile shows as well.

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