3D Projection Mapping brings Tantallon Castle to life

Thank you for the fantastic job you and your team did for us…we have had many good reviews.” – Zoe Bottrell, Culture Creative

Tweets from the 1500 strong audience read, “Really enjoyed watching Tantallon Castle come to life this evening” and “Tantallon Castle being blown apart in LammermuirFest…an awesome job!”

R&B Group Project Manager, Paul Borthwick commented, “The event crew had to contend with gale force six winds, which did hamper setting up and testing equipment at times but a great team effort ensured that everyone was thrilled with the end result.”

What is Projection Mapping?

When you project onto a flat surface with a standard video image you get a predictable rectangular picture.  However, if the surface isn’t flat (curved for example), or if the projector is offset, then the image becomes skewed into an odd shape.  Projection mapping enables the image to be adjusted before it leaves the projector so that it fits perfectly onto an unusual shaped projection surface.  Add in some clever use of shadow and 3D effects, and it is possible to trick the human eye into seeing far more than is really there!

For more information on projection mapping, click here


What did R&B Group bring to the project?

  • Single company producing content and providing on-site technical support meant no oversights in the interface between the two, especially given the short lead time.
  • Dedication to the artistic interpretation ensured a sympathetic approach rather than a merely technical solution
  • Flexible approach to on-site schedule and excellent relationship with the management of the historic site resulted in a “no hassle” set-up and dismantling phase.

What challenge did we face?

Creating 45 minutes worth of animation in a 2 week time-scale is a task in itself, however the team pulled together to create 14 unique animated chapters for each of the 14 stories/verses.

Situated on rocky headland in East Lothian, Tantallon Castle is exposed to the elements which meant weather protection and site safety were essential considerations for the production team in the run-up to the event.

This was the first time that R&B Group had utilised this particular technology on such a large scale in an outdoor location.  In addition to the hardware and software side of the project, there were untested creative challenges to overcome, such as creating content for mapping onto such an irregular surface.


To map projection onto a building requires the creation of  an accurate virtual model of the surface before using UVW-mapped data from the model to correctly wrap animated content around the building’s shape in 3D.

Blowing the castle up, is under normal circumstances not particularly challenging, but to do this gradually over a period of time takes a lot of fine tuning when it comes to the castle wall’s virtual mass, integrity, friction and bounce compared to the velocity, mass, and bounce of the volley of cannon balls.

End results: 

Not only did our production team break new ground in 3D projection mapping whilst delivering the project on budget and within an exceptionally tight time frame, they also created an artistic and historically accurate treatment which exceeded expectation and left the audience enthralled.

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