Projector and Camera, A Little Closer: New, Magical Mapping Tools, 3D Scanning, and More
Visionary 3D scanning, computer vision, and digital media guru Kyle McDonald is back again with more tools that break down the boundary between the computer and the world. Kyle tells us he spent a great part of the fall in residence at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM) in Japan. He worked with experimental projector/camera rigs — and now we get to enjoy some fruits of those labors.
The software collection is free and open source (MIT License), built for OpenFrameworks, and already includes some documentation. (The ideal is contributing back to the core of OF, adding to this artist-savvy C++ coding tool.)
A new experimental projection mapping tool called Mapamok is the major highlight for me. As Kyle tells CDM, “the idea is to get people away from clicking on so many points and drawing so many masks. Instead, you load a 3D model of the scene and then click on a small number of points (8 to 12 points), and the whole projection is automatically calibrated.”
Automatic mapping and calibration? Sounds good to me.
The tool is completely free, as part of the ProCamKit. There’s both a download an an (English) tutorial guide:
Video, at top, is described thusly:
But there’s more to this kit, cool:
3D Scanning Meets Projection
“The 3d scanning + projection stuff is something I hinted at being possible a long time ago, back when I got started with structured light,” Kyle explains. “Elliot Woods has also done some great work using the [Microsoft] Kinect for relighting.”
For more on 3D scanning and Kyle’s “structured light” concept – an effect we’ve seen in a number of music videos now – everything is at the Google Code site, from code to discussion:
Here’s what’s happening now. (Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. Also, glad he wasn’t a dissected frog. That’s just cruel.)
“The shadowplay work, i’m pretty sure it hasn’t been done like this before,” says Kyle. “It’s the first steps towards a bigger project I have in mind.” It’s a bit tough to follow, but the idea is aligning projectors, then – using the white light created by the two projectors – manipulating shadow in a way that would normally be physically impossible. It’s clearly just a first step, but you can see some compelling potential here that could evolve along a different path than we’ve seen before.
Actually, that said, for me the best part of this is hearing some of Kyle’s music, which is also lovely. (Is there anything you don’t do in digital media, Kyle?)