A stand-out and award-winning part of the exhibition is the diorama with the Sun Stone as its centrepiece.
Most famous Aztec work of art
The Sun Stone is the most famous of all Aztec works of art: a huge stone, 3 metres in width, packed with figures and symbols that narrate the Aztec take on the creation of the Earth. Only a handful of experts truly fathom the meaning of these symbols. Which is why an animation film has been produced for the benefit of the exhibition to explain these stories. This proved to be a challenge, as the stories are labyrinthine to say the least. But the real challenge was projecting them onto the stone itself.
Magical 3D effect
First of all, we needed to get a 3D scan made of the original stone in Mexico, which we were then able to turn into a physical copy. The next step was for Redrum animation studio to embark on creating the animation film using the same 3D model. By projecting the animation film precisely onto the right position and in the exact angle onto the mock stone, it is as though the stone appears to be set in motion. This is called video mapping or projection mapping, which produces a magical effect which you can only experience live at the museum.
Different representations of the Sun Stone theatre:
Award from an international expert jury
The Sun Stone installation has been widely applauded and has even been singled out for praise with an award from an international expert jury.
Exhibition designer Rik Herder: “On 20 November 2020, out of the blue I got a very exciting bit of news. At an online ceremony, I was very pleasurably surprised to learn we had won first prize in the Heritage in Motion competition!! Our wonderful ‘Aztec Sun Stone Theatre’ installation, an audio-video show created using so-called video mapping technology, was hailed as the best multi-media installation in a museum in Europe by the jury." Heritage in Motion is a fairly new competition that seeks to boost innovative multimedia projects for the European heritage sector. At the time, the Aztecs exhibition was on show at the Weltmuseum in Vienna. Before that it had been staged at the Stuttgart Linden Museum and it is now on in Leiden.