Weekly Sprint 09 — Experimenting with Projectors
This week I went back to test out both the Pico and Epson projectors. Last time I was having difficulty because I was testing in my apartment and didn’t have much space to set up, so I moved to the ULab and had better results. Now, I had the correct adapter for the Pico projector, but I found that it was still too small to project over my entire display. This time around I had better results with the Epson projector. I still needed to figure out how to mount the projector so I went to the sculpture studio to see what my options were.
I was shown two projector mounts made out of wood that art students use in the installation classes. Aside from the standard forward facing projection mount, there was one designed to hold the machine so that it projects straight down on to a surface, which is exactly what I need for my setup. Last time, I found that it was too difficult to project at an angle, so projecting from above will simplify the mapping process. The projector fits inside and I will need to drill holes in it so that I can hang it from the ceiling and aim the projection down on a table or surface.
Frustratingly enough, the VPT software did not want to cooperate. I found that VPT only seemed to work when it felt like it, so I revisited my software list to download another option. I played around with HeavyM which was so much better than VTP. It is more user friendly and intuitive to use. I am most excited about the fact that and you can easily save your projects. As you would think, saving a project should be a standard feature on any software, but it was lacking for some odd reason in VPT.
I easily got the hang of the software after playing around with the free version. The only downside is that many of the features were limited on HeavyM free. The logo flashed on the projection every so often and it did not allow more than one media projection showing at one time. Since I needed to display 5 videos on a loop, I bought the 3 month license for HeavyM Live. This full version included all the capabilities and also included 2 computer licenses, so I may even split the cost with one of my classmates who is also using projections for her thesis project. She told me about VPT and since then also found that it was a pain to use, so this works out for both of us.
For now, I set up the Epson projector to face a white board. I drew squares on the board that were the dimensions of the mortar boards of my graduation caps to use as reference for the projection mapping. Below is the HeavyM screen where I positioned the square masks and added a sample video of looping text to each area. The interface of HeavyM is clean and easy to navigate in comparison to VPT which only gave me headaches and unsaved projects.
The projection mapping process was fairly simple. I can easily adjust this for when the projector is setup to mount from ceiling and I am projecting directly onto the tops of the graduation caps. The image below is the sample projection on the white board and the sketch is a layout setup for the installation room.