Spherical Projection Mapping

Music courtesy of Chris Weeks ©2013. chrisweeksmusic.com

This video is the result of my initial project tests, this time mapping the projections onto a sphere. The overall aim of the project is either to project onto an object like this or something similar on a larger scale (e.g. a building dome).

Overall, a very successful test and I’m very happy with the results. The basic project was created in Resolume Arena (again using some demo footage), I downloaded a plugin called Syphon (syphon.v002.info) which you install in the Arena application effects folder. Syphon is a framework for Mac OS X which enables you to stream video between supported applications with zero latency (similar in some ways to Rewire for audio). You drop the plugin onto your final composition output which sends the final video stream to the MadMapper application.

MadMapper enables more advanced projection mapping than Resolume Arena (e.g. the ability to map onto spheres and more advanced shapes). Once MadMapper is open you can select the syphon stream and setup the projection mapping.

I’m very happy with the results of the test overall. A couple of issues cropped up which need further thought. To cover the entire front 1/2 of the sphere the projector has to be setup at the same height as the sphere. Using only one projector only covers the front 1/2 of the sphere. This is not a major issue, but it would be brilliant to map across the entire 360 surface of the object. This will require at the minimum 3x projectors, which I may not be able to access at this point. The final question that this experiment raises is that of how to mount the sphere if that is what I am using. I have three options: 1) Hang the sphere from the roof 2) Use a stand to mount the sphere 3) Use only 1/2 the sphere and mount a dome on the wall.

The idea behind the small-scale at the moment is to ensure that the projection works on a curved surface. If it does it can be easily scaled up to any size, if using the correct equipment.

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