Projection mapping is not a new technology. In fact people have been creating dazzling 3D illusions using projectors on building and other architectural elements since before 2008! But recently tools have become available that make projection mapping more accessible to your average person. OK maybe not the intense 3D animations and tromp l’oiel effects (3D optical illusions like this: http://twistedsifter.com/2010/
04/trompe-loeil-incredible-3d- wall-art-by-john-pugh/) that professional animation companies are achieving. But a simplified version is attainable with some basic programming knowledge and patience.
Projection mapping starts with a surface, a projector, and a computer. The computer runs software which the allows the user to designate the boundaries of a surface using point coordinates. The user then applies a texture to that surface at which point that surface is “mapped”. The projector will throw video onto that surface and the video will remain constrained to that surface. Put a few surfaces together and you end up with an interesting lighting fixture that looks good as an art piece in a home or the stage lighting for a music event.
Erick Calderon from SKU Lights started tinkering with software and projectors as a hobby just last year after attending a music event that showcased Amon Tobin’s ISAM Live projection mapped masterpiece. After a few weeks he managed to cover a few sides of a cube with different images and just a few months later he was producing vivid interactive light arrays!
Come by booths 16 and 17 and see Erick’s latest surface configuration and how he controls the entire system with a customized iPad app.