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Dazzling 3-D VJing System Looks Like The Future We Were Waiting For

A system created by Aurélien Lafargue allows images and sound to be manipulated in real time.

  • <p>Testing the projection capabilities.</p>
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    Testing the projection capabilities.

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I look outside, and all I see are plain concrete buildings. I’m beginning to wonder, where’s all the crazy stuff? You know, the Blade Runner meets Tron meets some of Tokyo circa the year 2000 lights and video projection stuff? Where did that gaudy-but-inspiring, too-bright-to-process goal of humanity go?

Aurélien Lafargue, of Nature Graphique, is a graphic designer and VJ who, if you want to put it into no other words, gives us all the faintest taste of that luminescent, sci-fi future.

Whereas others mix with music, he mixes with video. And whereas others work in two dimensions, he’s part of a new wave of video jockeys manipulating in three. "I would say that our work evolved," Lagargue tells Co.Design. "Mapping gives us new possibilities. We’re finally out of the framework of 16:9 or 4:3, giving us [another] dimension and a scenic view."

His demo reel embedded here gives us a taste of his scope and process. Most of what you see is being rendered and manipulated in real time. Projectors (thanks to a program called Madmapper) toss images onto 3-D foam board shapes of Lagargue’s imagination, and he uses another piece of software called Modul8 for the real-time compositing and mixing.

The final product is a show that’s possibly more fun to watch than it is to hear. Powered by little more than a laptop, detail-less surfaces become living video sculptures that appear to be beyond any current technology. And to paraphrase the '80s/'90s band Timbuk3, the future becomes so bright that we’ll all have to wear shades. That is, assuming sunglasses aren’t replaced by some UV ocular implant in the next few years.

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