Ravensbourne Postgraduate | Projection mapping workshop
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Projection mapping workshop

During this 3 day workshop led by London-based artist, teacher and curator, Blanca Regina. The first session covered the history of video and projection mapping, starting with the first son et lumière shows in France and through a variety of interesting example to the Box demo, which includes robots in a projection mapping live performance.

In the first session, the students got into small groups and started with the basics of using a projector and the Madmapper software to begin projecting onto a variety of surfaces. This included the walls, 3D objects made by students for previous projects, and a few of the mannequins that are normally used for fashion pieces.

The second session covered hardware for mapping in more depth, looking at the projectors themselves, how to get the optimal size for your projection, and how to begin masking off various inputs and video source material to fit the area or object being projected onto. We experimented with using mesh warping to have more accurate projections onto curved or non-flat surfaces, along with learning how to carry out spatial scanning to produce accurate masks for the objects being projected on. In this session, the groups began exploring their own ideas, using more interactive elements such as projecting directly from the camera on the laptop itself and setting up clips and materials so that they can respond to live inputs such as audio. The basics of MIDI controllers was also touched upon.

Following on from the previous session, this last session covered the various types of input that can be used to influence the footage and interact with MadMapper, with more in-depth information about inputs, including MIDI controllers, and outputs such as LED lights. We also looked at how to map with two projectors, and the various issues involved with getting these to work well together. The majority of this session was given over to the practical projects each group had prepared and getting these to work, from projecting animated 3D objects onto the afore-mentioned mannequins to an edited movie in two parts, with the action switching from one panel to the next as the actors moved around the space. Two of the groups also demoed how they set up their various clips and materials to play or turn off based on MIDI controllers, giving a changing projection across the various surfaces and objects as the show unfolded.

All in all a great introduction to video mapping, with lots of time to practice skills that students will no doubt use later in their final projects.