Four motion graphics students recently created a series of animations that were projected onto the exterior of the Masonic Lodge downtown Mankato. This animation was part of the Starving Artist at the Temple fundraiser, a benefit for Twin Rivers Council for the Arts. Take a look at the animation:

Planning for this project began months ago when Twin Rivers Executive Director Noelle Lawton approached Amanda Quist and Kurt Paulsen with the idea. Noelle had chosen the Masonic Lodge for the Starving Artist fundraiser, and she thought the exterior of the building presented a fun opportunity for a projection mapping project. Kurt and Amanda agreed this would be perfect for the media arts department. Amanda made plans to bring the project into the coursework of Motion Graphics I.

The first step of any projection mapping project is creating the map—tracing the area covered by projection—so the graphics and animations can be customized and fitted for the space. Amanda, Kurt, and Kurt Shrader (Kurt2) worked together to aim and align the projection above the main entrance and trace the facade of the building. The projector was set up behind a window at ISG, a building across the street (a big thanks to Paul and ISG for access!).

Near the end of spring semester, the project was given to new motion graphics artists Teal Leskey, David Schuyler, David Luehring, and Zachary Dantzman. They were encouraged to experiment, and to err on the side of bright and flashy. It was unclear during the time of the mapping how well the animations would show up (the team was aware of several street lights and other potential interferences). Fortunately, this was not an issue the night of the event.

“We love bringing real-world projects into our courses, and this one was particularly fun because the students had total creative freedom. It was awesome to unveil the animation at the Starving Artist fundraiser, which included a diverse line-up of local visual and performing artists. I was pleasantly surprised with the clarity and luminance of the projection, and the animation shows how much our students learned in just one motion graphics course. Now that we’ve gotten our feet wet, I look forward to tackling more projects like this in our growing arts community!”
– Amanda Quist

Interested in doing this kind of thing for an upcoming community event? Let us know! Contact Amanda to discuss your idea.