Projection mapping is the use of a projector to project videos onto a 3d surface to bring them alive. This is commonly used for festivals that showcase art onto city buildings. In our case we’re going to make something in a smaller scale. You can choose to build something to have your projection on it or project onto a preexisting thing like furniture. In my case, I created a cardboard boombox with the help of “Hey Jude” on their instructable . I was inspired by "futurevoices" instructable on Scale Model Projection Mapping. They used projection mapping to help teachers empower students which turned out very well.
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Step 1: Planning
You'll want to think ahead and know what you want to project. I recommend looking around and thinking of things that you like. In my case I chose music. I then decided to create a boombox and try to bring it to life with the projection. My materials for the boombox just consisted of
- Glue gun
- Cardboard scissors
Once I had my materials and schematic ready, I then
- Drew out the pieces on carboard to then cut them
- Cut and gathered the 30 individual pieces
- Glued the correct pieces together to create the middle, sides and handle boxes.
Step 2: Setting Up Your Projector
For this project, you'll, of course, need a projector. Any projector will work as long as you can connect to your computer. Every projector has different inputs so make sure your computer is compatible with your project. I used an hdmi cable to connect my projector and computer together.
Step 3: HeavyM Install
I decided to use the program HeavyM as it would work just fine. The program has a 30-day trial that would work fine for my project. To install the trial of HeavyM that I used you’ll have to create an account at https://heavym.net/en/trial. Making an account is really easy. I have a windows computer and this is how I installed it. (If you have a mac the install process will be similar) To install you’ll want to open the email from HeavyM titled, “Welcome to HeavyM”. In this email, there is a download button that will download the installer for the program. If you can’t find the email make sure to check your “Promotions” folder. You'll click on the download button your download will start and once it's done you can click on it to open it. It’ll open up asking for your language. You’ll then be prompted to a quick setup. You’ll have to agree to their terms and services and then you’ll have to select a destination folder for the setup. Once your setup is done, you can now open HeavyM and move on.
Step 4: HeavyM Projection Creation
Once you have HeavyM open and your projector-connected you can start! You’ll have to make sure you have the what your going to project onto, in my case the boombox, in the line of sights of the projector. In HeavyM you’ll have to create a new project to open a blank canvas. By turning on and using the cursor and draw feature on the top right you can start drawing your shapes. I recommend drawing it while looking at your projection. The cursor tool will make it a lot easier to draw and will be a reference point for you. It’s a more consistent way of drawing them than just eyeballing the points. You can outline your object and use the cool tools the program comes with or in my case I imported video that I’ve worked on onto the program. I imported the cartoonish speakers and breakdancing guy (I’ll go into a bit of detail of how I created these later)
Step 5: EXTRA
I decided to make my projection a bit more exciting by creating a looping rotoscoped(outlining frame by frame) video of someone breakdancing as a part of the boombox. To create this I used Adobe Photoshop and used segments of a video created by " Victor King" of him breakdancing. I imported the video into Photoshop, changed the frame rate, created a blank video layer and started animating frame by frame. I encourage you to add your own creativity into the project but if you don’t feel comfortable with Photoshop or animating I wouldn’t recommend this part as it takes tremendous time. The tutorial I decided to follow and was very helpful in creating this part is here.