"Hyper Terra" is a projection-mapped sculpture with an integrated projector, computer, and power supply. The sculpture is a mountain with simulated solar and lunar lighting that can be set up with any lat/long on Earth and a point in time. The graphics software has controls for time advancement towards the past or future, the long/lat on Earth, solar/lunar positioning, light color, and more. The result is both a sculpture and a dynamic visual timepiece.

Artist and Author: Gabriel Labov Dunne (www)

Title: "Hyper Terra"

Instructable Link: https://www.instructables.com/id/Hyper-Terra/

Flickr Gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/quilime

Description: An abstract landscape is illuminated by light and shadow generated by sun and moon positions from any time and place on Earth. Graphics are projection-mapped onto the landscape by an embedded projector and computer, powered by an integrated power supply.

Medium: MDF, Birch Plywood, Aluminum, LCD Projector, Embedded Computer, Power Supply, Custom graphics software written in C++

Tooling: CNC, Water Jet, Laser Cutter, Wood Shop, Metal Shop

Design Software Used: McNeel Rhino/Grasshopper, Autodesk Inventor/HSM, Autodesk Maya

Step 1: Concept

To execute this concept, I began sketching ideas for dioramas and miniature scenes. I also had to include an embedded computer and projector to somewhere to augment the time and place of a scene. I started out with boxy-like diorama constructions and varied all the way to craggily peaks and towers.

In my research I was also interested in traditional Chinese model landscapes call 山水 盆景, or “Penjing”, which represent small landscape models and/or living sculptures. Sometimes these sculptures include practical effects such as real water, plants, smoke, and lighting. One thing I especially appreciated about these small landscapes is that you could view it from all angles. I felt this was extremely important, so I ditched any ideas that involved putting the project in a box.


  • The projection should work decently when there is bright ambient light.
  • The object should be viewable from all angles.
  • The projection computer should have a fast start-up time, allowing the sculpture to be turn on and off quickly seamlessly.
  • Software settings should be easily set an controlled from a tablet or phone, or other seamless interface.

Software Ideas

  • Color gradient of the sky.
  • Cloud layer and atmosphere, such as fog
  • Color temperature (Kelvin) throughout the day.
  • Colors and texture themes that could represent seasonal foliage, rain, and snow.
  • A body of water so I can play with the aesthetics of specular reflections of the sun and the moon.
  • Calendar events and cycles.Movement of the Earth the sun, the moon, and the stars, based on actual astrological positions, using and ephemeris table or pull from the internet.
  • Night-time motifs. It would be cool to include tiny roads with car headlights, traversing through the mountains, or other urban lighting effects.

Because the software is ephemeral, and the sculpture is physical, it's easy to have many visual ideas before committing to them as I can upgrade the software at any time.

<p>amazing, me and my friend are going to make it at our school</p>
<p>Amaizing project. </p>
<p>Whoa. Interesting bit about the sun-bleached ABS -- it's quite beautiful!</p>
<p>truly amazing process. </p>
<p>congrats Gabe! Looks so great man! Love the design &amp; process!</p>
so difficultT_T
this is so beautiful
<p>Very, very cool project! I really enjoyed reading your process in making this. </p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Interdisciplinary Artist
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