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Where to get started with Projection Mapping

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Tim Weaver:
Sorry Mods. Wasn't sure where to put this, but it is kind of a "advanced production" thing so feel free to move it wherever.


First things first. I'm a humhead that also can do a fair lighting show. Projection is something I've never worked with.


At the Church, my boss and I are brainstorming new ways to really get some "Wow factor" into some special events and for the youth especially. I remembered the projection mapping craze of a few years ago and thought we could use that to have live actors interact with elements on the stage which would be PM'd onto a polygonal surface. Think Moses talking to the burning bush. We could actually have a burning bush on stage which could "talk" back by enlarging or changing color or intensity or whatever.


So I'm going to start this journey of figuring out how to do the projection mapping, and my boss (former graphics guy for espn) can supply the 3d animations.


For those that do this, what wuold you say is the easiest PM software to learn? Also what do I need to keep in mind if I eventually want to trigger PM events, audio, video, and lighting cues all at once? I'm assuming that most of these things would accept a midi input or some type of show control?

Is it difficulr to use multiple projectors on the same scene? I would like to use at least 2 projectors but could eventually see myself using 4 or more. Eventually I would like to use the entire room as a projection element. I could make locust swarms in the aisleways for example.


Anyway, point me towards the "best path" to get started on this.

Thanks

Dave Garoutte:
Just typed in 'projection mapping tutorials' in Youtube, and a few popped up.

Scott Carneval:
I'm just getting my feet wet with projection mapping, but check out www.Lightform.com

I'm not sure where the product ranks as far as beginning/intermediate/advanced, but it seems really easy to use and the price point is great (under $1k).

Also if you search Lightform in Youtube there are some really great videos.

Rich Wirz:
I have a good friend who designs and implements theatrical projection mapping.  He is a big fan and user of Isadora. It can create multiple stages and control multiple projectors, I believe control sound and lighting cues, has a ton of video tutorials and a good forum for help and support.  Might be a little more program than what you are looking for - but it's worth a look see.

Joris Jans2:

--- Quote from: Tim Weaver on January 20, 2021, 12:52:44 pm ---Sorry Mods. Wasn't sure where to put this, but it is kind of a "advanced production" thing so feel free to move it wherever.


First things first. I'm a humhead that also can do a fair lighting show. Projection is something I've never worked with.


At the Church, my boss and I are brainstorming new ways to really get some "Wow factor" into some special events and for the youth especially. I remembered the projection mapping craze of a few years ago and thought we could use that to have live actors interact with elements on the stage which would be PM'd onto a polygonal surface. Think Moses talking to the burning bush. We could actually have a burning bush on stage which could "talk" back by enlarging or changing color or intensity or whatever.


So I'm going to start this journey of figuring out how to do the projection mapping, and my boss (former graphics guy for espn) can supply the 3d animations.

--- End quote ---
hi tim,

cool idea. but i would say, especially in the beginning: KISS (keep it Simple, Stupid).
video/projection, especially when never done before, has i high learning curve. let alone mapping.
in essence, projection is nothing more then a video beamed on a (flatish) surface in essential. that should be your starting point. when projecting on odd shaped surfaced, you will have to mask/blacken everything which falls outside the desired projection surface.


--- Quote ---For those that do this, what wuold you say is the easiest PM software to learn?
--- End quote ---

i would say that would be something like Qlab, or even simpler: just a media player.


--- Quote ---
Also what do I need to keep in mind if I eventually want to trigger PM events, audio, video, and lighting cues all at once? I'm assuming that most of these things would accept a midi input or some type of show control?
--- End quote ---
also: Qlab, but again: KISS. start projection as a stand-alone unit, and go from there. you can add audio, lighning cues at a later time.


--- Quote ---Is it difficulr to use multiple projectors on the same scene?
--- End quote ---

 it depends. but in generally: YES. it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. alignment is key here.
you want, especially in any crossover area, to have your pixels exactly "stack" on top of each other. physicls play an important role here. a projector 2 inches "off" compared to another one will make it impossible to align the 2 correctly. if you need to stack 2 projections 100% on top of each other for more light: hire a bigger projector. if you need to do that for redunancy... i don't think it's this essential at this moment.


--- Quote --- I would like to use at least 2 projectors
--- End quote ---
why?

--- Quote --- but could eventually see myself using 4 or more.
--- End quote ---
.

--- Quote ---Eventually I would like to use the entire room as a projection element. I could make locust swarms in the aisleways for example.
--- End quote ---

big goals, by the time you can accomplish this you will be, roughly, at least a 100k into this project.


--- Quote ---Anyway, point me towards the "best path" to get started on this.

Thanks

--- End quote ---

for me, i'm on the Coolux / Christie Pandora's Box "boat". it's extremly scalable, which would be a big plus for your plans. Qlab is easy and low cost to learn but with plans this big, you will soon run into limits with qlab. that is were Pandora's box starts (along with many others i don't have experience with).

feel free to ask whatever you want, i've some time on my side.

Joris

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