How to create content for video mapping?

Video projection mapping has been around for a long time now. Advances in technology are enabling more and more people to artistically project content onto any surface. Creating live, interactive augmented reality projections. In this article lets look at how to create content for video mapping?

It can be both creative and excruciating to create content for video projection mapping. The best way to start is to have an end in sight.

First create a mood board for your animation, take clips from YouTube, look at other amazing works online to get inspired. Once you have a fair idea of the style you want to create, you can start creating scenes.

Video projection mapping is such a vast field that it’s hard to nail down one tool or one method as the best method for creating content. Every artist has their own set of tools and their own techniques for creating content.

A lot depends on your existing skillset if you are a complete beginner I recommend you learn a little about photo editing, video editing & video compositing in general. This will help you get your feet wet and make it easier to create content for video mapping.

If you are someone who creates motion graphics or 3D animations, you will find it easy to create 3D projection mapping content. You can use stock video mapping footage to Create Video Mapping Show 90% faster.

Steps to an accurate 3D projection mapping video.

The idea of projection mapping is to create content based on an existing structure. You then take that content on-site to project it onto the actual surface and use a software to map the projected output onto the surface. Thus creating an illusion of augmenting reality with projections.

Get a 3D model of the actual surface. (building/car/object you want to map) If you cant get a 3D model and can’t create one, then you need a flat frontal image of the object.

Determine the number of projectors you will use to cover the object. (a building usually has more projectors than a car). Based on that calculate your final pixel resolution. (your canvas)

Use the 3D model or frontal image, as the base plate of your canvas. Create your animations on top of that plate. When you render, you remove the background plate and render with alpha channel.

Tools to create content for video projection mapping.

Use these to practice and hone your skills, until you find your own workflow and methods. 

  1. After Effects (Adobe)

By far one of the easiest ways to get started with projection mapping. You can create a lot of interesting animations with AE. A vast library of plugins allows you to create animations with particles, 3D elements, motion shapes and more. After Effects is almost like a one-stop tool for creating projection mapping content.

  1. Cinema4D (3D Animation)

Cinema4D is a great tool to have in your arsenal. One of the easiest 3D animation software in the market, specially designed for people who create motion graphics. You won’t find cinema4d interface daunting or clunky, unlike most 3D animation software, Cinema4d is clean, minimal and gets your creating interesting animation within minutes.

  1. Blender (3D Animation)

Blender is a free 3D animation software. Equally powerful to most professional 3D animation tools. Blender can have a bit of learning curve for some people, but once you get around the interface it allows your to create powerfull motion graphics.

  1. NotchVFX (Live VFX)

NotchVFX is great if you are looking to create content for live performance. It’s a new tool that has a different approach to motion graphic production. Using a node-based environment NotchVFX allows you to create dynamic content that you can edit and push live during a show. This give you the added advantage of saving render time and being able to adjust your mapping content on-site.

  1. HeavyM (Live animations)

HeavyM is not a full-blown motion graphic software, unlike the others listed above, HeavyM aims to target a niche market of live visual artists. Making it easy for small mapping projects to create content on the fly. 2D shapes are used to create content like outlines, fills etc. This could be a tool you can use to create some quick video mapping setups.

Learn After Effects and Cinema4D if you want to master the art of creating video projection mapping content. These 2 tools alone will allow you to make any kind of content you can imagine. Keep in mind, the more complex and bigger your animation is, the more processing and graphics power you need on your machine.

Lime Art Group has a collection of video projection mapping content, that you can use to plug into your own creations, these royalty-free loops make it easier for you to create content. As the age-old saying goes “why reinvent the wheel?”  visit Video Mapping Store to get a head start on your creation.


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