It’s exquisite. It’s everything I dreamed of when I was a kid- robotics, in-camera film effects, precision. The San Francisco based firm of Bot & Dolly has pretty much upped the game for everything involving projectionmapping in real-time and combined it with extreme robotic film making. It seems a natural progression though, and I can’t think of anyone more capable and qualified to do it. But before we give in to our Robot Overlords, let’s remember they still need to be told what to do. It’s just that they do it over and over again with ridiculous precision and razor-accuracy. I don’t know what they used for projectors, but I suppose it wouldn’t take much in terms of lumens for a project like this. Projection software on the other hand was accomplished with Touchdesigner. As advanced as Touchdesigner is, the more you watch what they’re doing with the Iris robotic arm the more you realize that projectionmapping is the easy part. They have an entire array of tools at their disposal- BD Live, BD Time, and the stunning BD Wheel- a hand-held control wheel that allows you to scrub through a shot or attenuate playback speed. If you’ve ever been to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and seen their toy manufacturing display – this is like that x1000. They have a couple of Motoman robotic arms that you can race and play against…but this scale is entirely different.
It’s not hard to discern where or how the effects are in-camera, but the marriage of the elements is what overwhelms me about Box. That, and the sound. That first big whoosh at 1:24 is just plain sensual.
Tobias Kinnebrew of B&D explains: “Box explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping on robotically controlled moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera. Bot & Dolly created this work as both an artistic statement and a technical demonstration. It is the product of an experience vision realized through the integration of multiple technologies pivoting on our software platform BD Movetm for precision control of robotics.” It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to extrapolate where you can go with this type of gear on a film set. With the extreme precision and playback capabilities, the possibilities are truly endless. I gotta get out to the coast and see this in person. That’s all there is to it.
Absolute heaven. Dig it!