The Aztec Sun Stone 3D videomapping
The Aztecs: the men behind the myth
The Aztecs: one of the iconic civilizations of world history. Builders of colossal pyramids and an empire that included large parts of Central America. 500 years ago, this great empire was destroyed by several hundred Spanish settlers and their indigenous allies. This historical fact is the reason for the international exhibition that will visit Museum Volkenkunde in June 2021, after museums in Stuttgart (2019) and Vienna (2020).
Thanks to a unique collaboration with various international museums , this exhibition offers unique masterpieces in addition to the latest insights. Many of them have never been seen outside of Mexico before.

The exhibition
Towering warriors carved in stone, mythical human-animal figures in pottery, refined gold jewellery, complete offerings, fascinating drawings in codices; everything enlivened with special stories and based on the latest scientific research: these are the ingredients of this exhibition.
The exhibition aims to give a new perspective on the iconic Aztec culture. There are many clichés and exaggerations about the 16th-century Aztecs, which are based on Spanish colonial sources that were meant to dehumanize and demonize the Aztecs. This exhibition tries to tell the story from the Aztec perspective, which is never done before. For example, we incorporate contemporary voices in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, still spoken by over 1 million Mexicans.

The Sun Stone 3D videomapping
An absolute highlight of the spectacular exhibition about the Aztecs is the Sun Stone theatre. An immersive audiovisual show combining 3D videomapping animation with real objects.
The Sun Stone is the most famous of all Aztec artworks, and a national treasure for contemporary Mexico. It is a huge, round stone with intricately carved figures, languages and symbols, representing the story of the birth and destruction of our world, and the Gods who gave their lives to recreate it for us humans.
To bring these complicated, hidden stories to life, we projected an animation of the surface of the stone, telling the beautiful stories with great detail, drama and effect. The animation was based on a 3D model of the stone, so the animation and stone blend together to give the suggestion that the stone itself is moving. Large projections left and right from the stone fill in the stories.
The installation has several goals: • Give visitors a basic understanding of how religion and cosmology are connected to the daily lives of the Aztecs • Immerse visitors in beautiful and engrossing stories full of drama and suspense • Explain the importance of the concept of sacrifice as a means of giving life • Introduce the large Aztec pantheon of gods

Making of
Weighting 25.000 kilo’s and measuring 3,5 meters in diameter, the Stone could never leave Mexico, Therefor, we made a perfect carbon copy. First, the stone was scanned into a 3D model, which was then 3D printed to exact size. The 3D model was also the basis of the animation, so that the animation fitted perfectly on the stone. When you stand before the stone, this gives the effect that the stone itself is moving.
The animation tells about the creation of the world, and it destruction, how the Gods sacrificed themselves to recreate the world for us humans, and how we humans have to make offerings to the Gods to keep the world from turning.
Around the Sun Stone, artefacts of Aztec sculpture were placed and highlighted when mentioned in the stories. A secluded, round space was built around the Stone to create an intimate theatre where visitors are totally immersed to get as close as possible to the complex and beautiful creation myths of the Aztecs.