Bulgarian Masters of Mapping

MP Studio is among the pioneers in projecting 3D visual effects

Bulgarian Masters of Mapping
424 ~ 4 мин. четене
Автор: Maya Tsaneva

Marin Petkov is the founder of MP Studio that received the 2017 Innovative Company of the Year award in the Innovation in the Creative Industry category. The company is among the pioneers in the field of projecting 3D visual effects and interactive installations on different objects. It creates innovative synchronization between laser and video mapping under the 4D Experience brand. The company has more than 160 projects all over the world, including the first mapping on a cave, cathedral and a moving object.

We, as regular people, are impressed by spectacular visual effects or projections on buildings, but the technology of this visual magic remains a mystery. That is why Marin Petkov and MP Studio were one of the discoveries of the 2017 Innovative Company of the Year competition. Created in 2008, the Bulgarian company is one of the leaders in Europe in the field of projecting 3D visual effects and interactive installations on different objects. According to Marin, the reason for this is that in Bulgaria the good news and examples are not so actively seeked, and respectively are more difficult to "sell". Luckily for me, the competition turned out to be the reason I know who stands behind the first cave mapping in the world - in the Caves of Han, Belgium, in 2015; the first mapping on a building and a holographic projection in Bulgaria.

Just like in the movies, the first spark that fired Marin for mapping was... cinema. Visual effects impressed him so much that he decided to study Informatics and Multimedia in Germany. There, he started to experiment with projections on different surfaces and 3D effects. When he returned to Bulgaria in 2008, he founded a studio funded by his own capital and with help from his family. Marin sums up the first years of the company in a few sentences: "It was very difficult because we started right in the midst of the crisis in 2008. I was alone for a little over half a year until the first member joined my team. Two years later, we grew with two more."

The first projects of the company were mostly for TV and show productions in Bulgaria. The company won several tenders for principal subcontractors in projects for Germany, the Netherlands and Austria. "This was a great opportunity to get acquainted with people from the industry. Subsequently, people from different countries started looking for us based on recommendations, and we built partnerships and a portfolio. One of the projects that gave us a very good start was for a Christmas show in the French city of Hautmont. We have done it for 5 consecutive years."

Today, there are 7 people working in the company who are constantly making visual and technical experiments with the aim of creating innovative products. Marin and his team believe that in the coming 15 years, there is no way for artificial intelligence to replace humans completely, even in that high-tech sector. "A machine could never replace emotions and creativity that a man can invest in creating a show. At least I hope so", Marin says.

It is safe to assume that the team knows how to create visual magic, judging by the list of nominations and awards of the company:  for "best event" at 2016 Visit.Brussels, Belgium; third place for "best animation" at 2016 Computer Space, Bulgaria, and at the 2016 Festival of Lights, Berlin, Germany; first winner of the 2015 Festival of Lights, Berlin, Germany.

The portfolio of the Studio is impressive - more than 160 projects in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Denmark, Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Russia, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, etc. That is why Marin and his colleagues are well accustomed to various business cultures. "There is a huge difference in doing business in all these different places of the world. In Western Europe, what is well appreciated is the experience, time, precision and quality that you offer. My study in Germany proved to be an invaluable experience for my future work. In the Near East, people are unpredictable, and my colleagues and I are used to expecting everything from them."

After 10 years in business, the entrepreneur defines time as the most valuable resource. He advises starting entrepreneurs to be sincere, stubborn, persistent, and to value the time of others. Marin aims to optimize time and resources in order to get the most of them. "The development of technology and of our software help us a lot in time optimization. Just like every other technology company, we are in a constant search for obtaining the maximum of our resources. And when a person loves his job, he cannot but be sincere and inspire the other people around him. The rest is magic.", he sums up.

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