Projection Mapping a New World Over the Czech Philharmonic

NOHlab pairs detailed visuals with music by the Czech Philharmonic.

by Mike Steyels
06 April 2016, 1:50pm

Screencaps by the author, via

The days when audiences would be in awe over projection mapping simply for the fact that it existed, regardless of content, have come and gone. The feeling of novelty is left for advertisers and cities looking to celebrate this biennial and that anniversary. But that just means the actual visuals need to become more interesting, and NOHlab’s immersive mapping lives up to the challenge with intricate motion graphics and absorbing details—not to mention exciting and precisely mapped tricks of the eye.

SIM/NEBULA, which you can watch below, is part a 45-minute installation put together by The Macula, whose stated goal is to "satisfy audio-visual nihilism." As the Czech philharmonic perform Tchaikovsky's "Symphony No. 6," seven visual art teams each handle separate parts with themes like "matter," "technology," and "birth." NOHlab were responsible for the fifth section, "new world."

Wavy layers of color roll around, leaving shadows on the layers below, which cascade out like steps and wrap around the intricate, classical architecture of the main stage. Bright oranges and reds glow from behind angular breaks in the surface. Lines oscillate around each other within the dome roof, while squares unfold and collapse onto one another elsewhere. Ripples of an angular sea heave across the ceiling and down the pillars, which jump out from the dark shadows behind them.

Provided with the score beforehand, they pre-rendered their part, which was performed live by The Macula with Resolume VJ Software, but everything was timed to the music. Ten HD projectors in were used in total, with four on the ceiling, four on the main stage, and two on the pillars. To create the visuals, NOHlab used 3ds MAX, Cinema 4D, and Adobe After Effects. You can watch NOHlab's section below:

The NOHlab team was created in 2011 by Deniz Kader and Candaş Şişman, who've been working together since 1999. The pair did all their work at home in Istanbul and sent it along for the performance, but unfortunately weren't able to see it live themselves. "The documentation fails as an experience in these kind of projects,” they tell The Creators Project. “Its charisma reveals itself when you experience of being in the venue."

For more from NOHlab, click here.


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Projection Mapping
audio visual
video mapping
motion graphics
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