So as my creative mastery goes I decided this year that I would produce some holiday videos on my house, also known as VIDEO MAPPING, I have always been mesmerized by the idea that you could take a projector and basically have as many videos playing in different locations as you have the imagination to create. Since I was basically a newbie at this I decided I was not ready to pay for the software, so I ended up using a freeware public version of VPT 7 (I included the link for your viewing or download purposes if you want to give it a try.)
Now there is a learning curve to this software. Reading the user manual kind of gives you a sense of what it is capable of but not really, I went through many hours searching youtube for a lot of videos on how to make this software work. Unlike other software out there that you can base map your projections and record them VPT7 is used live which means it only works within the software itself.
There are a lot of steps you will need to follow and I will only go into the basics of getting you started with VPT7 because if not I would spend countless hours trying to help explain what this software is capable of.
I have used it for Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving and Veterans Day so far and while I do run into a few hiccups along the way I would give this video mapping freeware a 7 out of 10 stars. It's perfect for beginners and once you get the hang of it it is quite easy to get any surface you would like Video mapped.
Step 1: About VPT7
Video Projection Tool Version 7 VPT7
VPT 7 by HC Gilje, released November 2013. Video Projection Tool (VPT) 7.0, a projection power pack. VPT is a free multipurpose real time projection software tool for Mac and Windows. Among other things it can be used for projecting video on complex forms, adapt a projection to a particular space/surface, combine recorded and live footage, for multiscreen HD playback, for interactive installations using arduino sensors or camera tracking ++ VPT has become a popular tool for theatre and installation use, but is also used by VJs. The previous version, VPT 6, was downloaded over 20000 times.
System Requirements Mac Mac Intel machine running OS X 10.5 or later, and 1 GB RAM. Jitter requires QuickTime 7.1 (or later), an OpenGL-compatible graphics card, and OpenGL 1.4 (or later).
For syphon and hap: minimum OS X 10.6 Windows Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 machine with a Pentium 4® or Celeron® compatible processor or higher and 1 GB RAM. Jitter requires QuickTime 7.1 (or later), an OpenGL-compatible graphics card, and OpenGL 1.4 (or later).
Step 2: The VPT7 Documentation
Above I have included the documentation need to get up and running with VPT7 Since it is freeware and public I am allowed to share it. On the next few steps I'll show you the basics of getting started. I think my instructions are much better than trying to read the entire documentation and being frustrated.
Step 3: Getting Started
Open the file folder of VPT7 where it is stored on you computer
Now see the default project folder at the top of the page?
Copy it by right clicking and make a new folder
name it whatever you want
Now that you have created a new project folder, you have to tell the software that this is the folder you want to use. PLEASE NOTE: YOU MUST LEAVE THE PROJECT FOLDER WITHIN VPT7 FOLDER FOR IT TO WORK.
Since VPT7 is a live application everything you do must be combined within the folder or you must go through additional steps to have it work correctly. (See the USER MANUAL)
Step 4: Telling VPT7 Which Folder to Use
Down the list on the screen in front of you there you will see a text document file named
you will see something like this
project defaultproject 0
Simply replace defaultproject with the folder you named earlier so it looks like this
project Christmas 0
now when you open VPT7 it will bring up anything that you have assigned in this folder and it will be the base for your creation.
goto file then save
Step 5: Open VPT7
Click on the VPT7 application to open it on your computer, it takes a while so patience is a virtue. When you open the software the above picture is what you will see at startup.
First thing to do is to get a feel for the software itself.
there is a preview window an output window and the main software window. If you push the ESC key on your keyboard you will bring it into full screen this will be what you are projecting onto your house when you attach your projector onto your computer. By pushing the ESC key again you will go into editing mode.
For the purpose of this section we will be working with the window with the two yellow circles in it in the upper left hand corner, in the right of that box is a table which says preset name 1 and preset name 2 you can have as many presets as you want and you can even name them try clicking on one of the presets it will now be highlighted in white.
Highlight the preset 1 you will see that in the lower left hand side of the box is where you can edit the name simply click presetname push the delete key and name it whatever you like. for this excersise I put veterans. and then push the store button at the top. By doing this it will store the name of the preset. remember you can have as many things as you want in one preset pictures, video whatever you would like to do.
You need quicktime to really get a good video without the video pausing or jumping if you are going to use pictures you can use them in any format like jpeg, gif, bitmap or even some pdf. High definition video will slow the program down so I usually just use sd for use in VPT7.
You can use the tab button to jump between presets. Each preset will be highlighted with drag circles you can project onto virtually space.
AS ALWAYS IF YOU GET STUCK GO BACK TO THE DOCUMENTATION.
Step 6: Adding Files to Our Project in VPT7
Now I am not going to make this over complicated, after all we are just wanting to get to know the software at first, so for this practice I am going to tell you how to upload the files you may want to add. So if we go to your computer and click on the VPT7 folder and then select the folder you named Christmas.
Inside the Christmas folder you will see a folder named VIDEOS click it
open the folder and delete the example videos. at this point close the VPT7 software and upload the file or video you want to add to the folder, this is the place where your videos are stored to use in your project folder.
once you have the files uploaded into the folder reopen the VPT7 Application by clicking on it.
if you do not have the files loaded into this folder you will need to tell VPT7 what folder the files are in see the documentation to see how to do this.
Step 7: Creating the Project
So now we get to tell the software what to show on our output panel. Once you have loaded the files into the video folder it is just a matter of assigning a protocol so to speak to the presetname. This is a simple process but it requires a couple of steps to make it seamless.
In the right hand box of the software (see picture above) you will see a series of different boxes. These may say 1qt, 2 qt, 3 qt etc. 1 here is the presetname this is where you will assign your media. qt means quicktime video for this project that is what we will be using. If you look further down the list you will see STILL, MIX, CAM and SOLID. To learn how to use these see your documentation.
So now I am just going to assign a media file to 1qt to do this I must first make sure that the 1qt is turned on Click the ON/OFF button until the ON is highlighted. you can also turn on the MONITOR button to see your video in action. To select a file choose the drop down menu and select the video you uploaded to the file folder.
The next step in the process is choosing to activate the file. In the main window in the lower left hand corner you will see tabs such as ACTIVE, CUELIST, ROUTER, MID, lFO, CLIP, OSC, SERIAL, KEYS and INFO
CLICK ON THE ACTIVE TAB
ON THE TOP OF THE WINDOW CLICK THE YELLOW CIRCLE 1
YOU WILL SEE LAYER 1
ASSIGN LAYER 1 TO VIDEO 1
The video should now start to play in the left hand windows
There is one last step in the process we have to assign how long you want the video to last to do this click on the cuelist
type in C 1 and the time in seconds
this is how long your video will project for
Step 8: Hooking Up to a Projector
Only one last thing you have to do, decide what you would like to project on hook up your projector and drag the video to where you want it to project. You can choose a series of surfaces, or a whole house by simply dragging the circles to each point on your surfaces
To do this simply push tab until you get the presetname you would like to use, push esc on your keyboard to go full screen then push the store presetname after you have it positioned correctly.
to start the project now all you have to do is push play in the lower left hand box in the window.
TO SEE MORE ON HOW TO USE VPT7 CONSULT THE DOCUMENTATION AFTER DOWNLOADING