How do I build a room-scale, false-horizon tromp l'oeil?
January 9, 2019 9:26 AM   Subscribe

I'm presented with a challenge: I want to design a dance floor that (from a specific spot) seamlessly appears to have a grid extending off in the distance into a false horizon - think TRON. How?

I've never done set design or anything of the like, so I don't even know how to begin doing this. I will have control over lighting and can position the observers sufficiently to force the perspective. For now, I'm trying to keep it simple with only basic geometric constructs, but the next step is to try to animate the grid so that points of light are moving along it, toward or away from the horizon, and then place an appropriately-sized art installation "in the distance".

I can probably know the room dimensions in advance, but setup time is limited to only a few hours so I'd need to minimize in-situ design work. (I think? Again, never done anything like this.) I'm pretty handy with computers and trigonometry, and could have access to a projector at setup time if needed.
posted by TheNewWazoo to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:28 AM on January 9, 2019

maybe a set of infinity mirrors along the bottom of the walls
posted by exogenous at 9:28 AM on January 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Maybe use jobs.mefi to hire someone to do the wall design.
posted by theora55 at 9:59 AM on January 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

You want to create an anamorphic illusion.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:07 AM on January 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

It sounds like you don’t own the space you’re doing this in and maybe can’t paint? If that’s the case, I’d recommend using spike tape for your lines. It comes in a bunch of colors, many fluorescent, and it’s designed to be removed without leaving sticky tape residue. You could use the projector method described in Rock Steady’s link and just slap tape over all the lines. If you get the fluorescent tape, it should glow under black-lights, if that’s the sort of effect you’re going for.
posted by Weeping_angel at 10:51 AM on January 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

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