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This projection-mapped Christmas tree is the Tannenbaum

Be dazzled by this projection-mapped Christmas tree

If you want to put out the bare minimum of decorating effort, you can buy pre-lit Christmas trees. They’ve already been strung with lights, and all you have to do is hang the handmade ornaments you’ve had since grade school. Or you can buy a fake fir with chintzy balls and tinsel already adorned. Brazil studio Ambos took a more high-tech approach to decking out its tree: projection mapping.

Think of the projector you have in your conference room. While it projects images on a screen, with projection mapping, that same device is used on a non-flat surface — like at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ride, which projects images on fake heads to make them look alive. To make its projection-mapped Christmas tree, Ambos digitally rendered a tree in 3D, created the projections on a screen, then projected the images onto an actual tree, according to Fast Co. Considering how obsessed my cat is with ornaments, I can see the appeal, but then again, he may take a projection-mapped tree as his own personal laser light show to pounce upon.

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Projection mapping is often used to temporarily transform buildings, too. Earlier this year, the Sydney Opera House invited several artists to project animations on its iconic facade. It’s typically a CGI-heavy display, but Universal Everything took a different approach with hand-drawn animations.

“In contrast to previous years’ artists’ use of advanced CGI, our analog, handmade animation process reveals a human soul in the drawings,” Universal Everything Founder Matt Pyke said in a press release. “Due to the use of traditional animation techniques, this film could have existed in 1920, albeit with a 21st-century twist — bringing our influences of global pop culture, modernist graphics, and physics simulations into a playful exploration of this iconic building.”

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