What is video mapping?
Video mapping is a range of techniques using one or more digital video projectors to project onto 3D objects, rather than onto traditional flat 2D surfaces. The ‘mapping’ is the description of how elements of video are ‘mapped’ onto these 3D surfaces.
Video projectors are designed to project a single image onto a 2D surface so video mapping requires the use of software to combine multiple image elements into a single signal that gets sent to the projector.
While video mapping techniques have been explored for many years, the software available for automating the process is still often complex, and aimed at lighting designers and VJ’s, requiring a wide range of technical knowledge, which is not surprising as video mapping is a complicated process.
This technical complexity (and often corresponding high financial costs) has resulted in video mapping being used largely for advertising and marketing, and out of the reach of artists who want to explore the technique.
Video mapping with PaintingWithLight
PaintingWithLight is an attempt to create a simple but powerful video mapping software application to enable and encourage artists to experiment with the medium of video projection and video mapping.
Alex May has been working with (and writing software for) video mapping since 2007. The tools in this software have been designed following years of experience creating video mapped art installations.
It has been designed to run on Windows, Apple Mac’s, and Ubuntu Linux, and intentionally requires very low specification hardware to run, although it will take advantage of whatever computer you run it on and whatever video projector you use.
By releasing this software for free it is hoped that artists will expand the language of video mapping, experiment with the techniques this software offers, and push their own practice forward.