Charlotte Strethill-Smith

Digital Media Design Student

Projection Mapping Workshop — February 26, 2016

Projection Mapping Workshop

This week I had a projection mapping workshop, where I learned basic MadMapper functions including:

  • How to mask shapes to an object
  • How to project videos and images on to an object
  • How to use image and video editing effects in mad mapper such as changing the RGB values

I also learned basic functions of the software Resolume for live video composite and effects with real time rendering. This software can be used with MadMapper to display live video on to objects.

This workshop has been useful in teaching the basics of two programs that will aid my graduate project. However, I have familiarised myself with these basic functions of the program MadMapper already. The next workshop will involve working with interactive projection software such as Isadora and CVV.

I have also been practicing projection mapping in my spare time, by using a cardboard model from previous unit to map white onto the 3D blocks. I then changed the background in between the blocks. This shows the birds eye view city model with simplistic blocks to represent buildings will work visually. I also tested projecting on polystyrene, the piece I used gave an interesting shimmer effect to the projected image. One thing I will need to take from this is that the projector casts shadows, which may mean I wont be able to project onto areas with more buildings. This could be resolved with a second projector projecting in between the building blocks.


Kinect as an Interactive Feature —

Kinect as an Interactive Feature

To start testing if the Kinect sensor could be used as a way of interacting with the projection, I firstly borrowed a Kinect model 1414. Kinect sensors have an infrared projector, infrared camera that picks up the infrared projector and an RGB camera. This helps detect depth perception. I also bought an adapter with a usb and power supply in order to use the Kinect with my Mac.

I looked for tutorials on how to use the Kinect and projector together to create an interactive element and found Open Kinect with processing by Daniel Shiffman (also available as a youtube playlist). Whilst I followed the tutorial, processing came up with the error There are no kinects, returning null and after trying a multitude of ways to amend this, I could not fix the problem. I also looked into OpenNi; an open source structure sensor, however it was recently bought by Apple so no longer available.

As the Kinect sensor was suggested due to its depth perception use, it’s possible I may not need to use this method as I only want to detect a person in an area and project in that place. For this reason I will look into other uses of projection interaction that may be easier and more effective.



Graduate Project Equipment — February 17, 2016

Graduate Project Equipment


So far I have gathered most of the equipment needed for this project which includes:

  • Epson Projector (On sale from Staples, also possibility of borrowing another projector from the university if needed)
  • HDMI to Thunderbolt adapter (from Amazon, Apple iMac doesn’t have a HDMI port)
  • Xbox 360 Kinect sensor (Borrowed)
  • Kinect sensor power supply and USB adapter cable (from Amazon, to connect to computer)
  • Polystyrene (Free from the tip)
  • Solvent-free glue (Polystyrene disintegrates otherwise)
  • MadMapper (Projection mapping software)

Further equipment needed:

  • A frame or some sort of projector support
  • First surface mirror (To project downwards, normal mirrors will reduce sharpness of image)
The Graduate Project —

The Graduate Project

This final unit is an opportunity to develop and present a substantial digital media artefact and portfolio piece. The following posts will document developed skills and understanding of various domains; drawn upon from course experience and future trial and error. The culmination of this journey will be presented at Bournemouth University’s end of year exhibition. In the previous unit, Developing Media Design Concepts, I produced a dossier in which the following graduate project was proposed.

Regularly experiencing public spaces as a design problem has led to a proposal of a development tool using projection mapping to stimulate discussion on urban renewal for urban settings. This idea originally formed through experiencing my closest city and one I regularly visit, the city of Southampton. This city was heavily bombed during the second world war and left a large need for new housing; thus many high rise flats were built. Through researching the history of architecture in this city a deeper understanding was gained of functionalism’s influence over city architecture.

“Functionalism was an integration of ideas on the aesthetics of buildings with ideas on desiderata for family and community living” (Coleman, 1985).


Functionalists envisioned people thrown together by designs by the sharing of building and grounds to promote a strong community and social life. However, this resulted in anonymity amongst the communities and created confused spaces with no clear indicators of which blocks pertain which grounds. This anonymity resulted in questions of ownership and lack of identity. Looking at this as a design problem I developed my ideas through Guerrilla Gardening movement and The Do It project; in order to propose ideas of the community regaining ownership over their public spaces. Guerrilla Gardening is simply defined as: “the illicit cultivation of someone else’s land” (Reynolds, 2008). Whereas the Do It project is “the generation of a work by following written instructions, and the insertion of chance in the realisation of an artwork.” (Obrist, 2004). In these movements a bottom up approach from individuals groups and activists sees the public creating their own public spaces, rather than the functionalist creations where a higher power creates residences without consulting the residences first.

I hope to create an interactive installation model of a cityscape, possibly Southampton, as this is the city closest and most personal to me. The city model will be made out of cardboard or polystyrene which will be modelled as a birds eye view of the city. A projector will be suspended above and project an image downwards on to the model. The project will be interactive and either a Kinect camera or Arduino sensor will be used to detect audience interaction with the model. This interaction will be detected and project an image in that area of the model. The images projected will be ideas of how to improve the area: such as plants, allotments, artworks etc. This could provoke discussion on further uses for the spaces and hopefully result in a digital tool which communities can give input and visualise their public spaces. This project could be set up in community centres or art galleries. It could assist with community or local action plans, appraisals and community forum.




Coleman, A. (1985). Utopia on trial. London: H. Shipman, pp.9-122.

Obrist, H. (2004). Do it. New York, NY: E-flux.

Reynolds, R. (2008). On guerrilla gardening. New York: Bloomsbury, pp.1-3.