Projection Mapping in Isadora


This post is to help people understand and get started with Projection Mapping in Isadora. It is not an complete walk through or advanced post (you are best asking on the Isadora forum for advanced topics) but hopefully this will shed some light for new users, or those new to the idea of mapping.

What is mapping?

Mapping has been around for quite some time but my opinion is that it is the art of cutting up images and video to line up with complex shapes that are not the usual method for of display pictures and/or video. It allows artists to project onto buildings, cars, sculptures and custom built sets or similar. Basically anything that a light source (a projector) can hit!

Why Isadora?

Obviously you don’t have to use Isadora but one thing Isadora has that none of the other softwares has in the Interactive angle; motion tracking via Eyes and Eyes++ combined with the easy work flow and ever growing community.

Can Isadora do projection mapping already?

Isadora has had features that have allowed basic to fairly complex mapping for quite some time. It’s just the way in which you use them. Granted; it could be better but with a few 3rd part Quartz plugins 99% of things can be done easily.

Here are some basic actor that you should be taking a look at…

Isadora’s Existing Actors…. 

BASIC PROJECTOR

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 10.36.30*SOMETIMES* the basic projector can be used. In particular look at the perspective, aspect mod and zoom.

HINT: Hold SHIFT when clicking and dragging values for smaller increments and fine tuning!

PRO’s:

  • Great for projecting on very basic shapes.
  • Helps you understand and learn about perspective and basic 3D perception.
  • Ideal for beginners and not too complex.
  • You can layer up multiple projectors

CON’s:

  • Limited mapping functionality.
  • Won’t do complex mapping (isn’t designed for mapping)

3D QUAD DISTORT

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 10.36.59

I use this one a lot. It’s really great for mapping and has enough features to explore new mapping skills but won’t overpower you with scary numbers or names.

HINT: Hold SHIFT when clicking and dragging values for smaller increments and fine tuning!

PRO’s:

  • You can pick each corner of the image/video and move it in an X and Y position.
  • The Z translate (default -2.5) moves the image back and forth in 3D (3 dimensional) space.
  • You can rotate the X, Y and Z axis.
  • Has all the normal features of a the standard Projector actor.
  • Not too overpowering. A nice step up from the Projector actor.

CON’s:

  • You cant add corners or ‘break’ the image up into a grid.
  • It can be tricky at first. Using Shift helps but depending on what you are mapping it can be a bit tedious.
  • It can get complicated when you have a lot of these on your screen. You are best renaming the actor so you can see what’s what; such as “Top Right Window” or “DJ Booth – Left Side”.

Matthew Haber’s Mapping Tools.

Some of you knew this was coming! Pro user Mathew Haber has created a bunch of user actors that make mapping a lot easier. Based on the _1024 Quartz Composer

Matthew has created a topic just for support for the plugins on the Isadora Forum so please ask and discuss them HERE

The Cornerpin Mask user actor is in my eyes one of the best tools ever!

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 11.00.48

“This actors offers click-and-drag cornerpinning functionality for masking video. This has built in facilities for rectangular and oval masks and it also accepts a user Image input for any black and white image mask.”

PRO’s:

  • It’s just amazing! it works and makes life easier.
  • The red circles that pop up when you turn Edit on allows you to click and drag the corner to where you want them. Not only this you can do it on the stage output… meaning you can map directly onto objects whilst looking at it. So yes, you literally move your mouse onto the output screen. NOTE: Check in isadora Stage preferences that your mouse is visible on stage output otherwise you won’t see it.
  • Because this is a Mask; you can mask objects. Send in a black and white mask and it will block out areas you don’t want.
  • Easily flick between the type of masks.
  • it’s free – kind of…. Needs Core upgrade of Isadora.

CON’s:

  • There are non really. Who can complain at this? Mathew has spent hours upon hours putting it together and creating it. If there was one negative it is simply that you need the Core Upgrade for Isadora and you have to instal a few bits and pieces; but once its done its done and you never need to do it again.

Syphon it out to somewhere else…

There are lots of other softwares that just do video mapping. And with apple you can send it out via Syphon to another software that can do it all with very advanced features. There is nothing wrong with doing this. Here are a few suggestions….

MadMapper. It’s been around for a while now and appears on all the main forums when you are talking about mapping. They where one of the first to create an external/stand alone mapping application and its developed along the way. It’s not free but it does a great job.

Visution Mapio is a powerful FreeFrameGL plugin for creating projection shows. Now you can work not only with the standard screen, but also with any inclines, including cylindrical and spherical and various shapes.

Shaped by Ixagon SHAPED is a user-friendly projection mapping software. It enables the user to easily map many different surfaces and attach content to them. The content is managed in a sophisticated sequencer similar to those found in video-editing and music-production software.

MeshWarpServer Quite a complex application. Ideal if you have a mesh/3D CAD designs of a building or object. A steep learning curve but it does have Syphon so you can send media in from isadora. Worth a look for those of you with time, patience and advanced 3D knowledge.

There are LOTS more; VVVV, Resolume Arena, Max, MSP, etc.

Hope this helps some of you.

Graham (Skulpture)

Advertisements

One thought on “Projection Mapping in Isadora

  1. Pingback: Video Mapping usando o Isadora (@ VJ Skulpture) // contradicções

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s