Rapid Projection Mapping System from Kyle McLean on Vimeo.

Kyle McLean is quick. He’s apparently quick at connecting together visual wonders in the multimedia patching environment vvvv, and he’s now focused on an environment that allows augmented projection to be “sketched” quickly onto surfaces. That speed doesn’t mean laziness, though: it means the ability to be improvisational with creative ideas.

Details on the rapid prototyping, rapid projection system:

I developed a very fast and flexible projection mapping system which we were asked to present at Pecha Kucha Brisbane. This was part of that demonstration, however the same setup can very rapidly map out all sorts of shapes.

There are a couple of cuts, but NO post FX at all, I promise. Developed in VVVV.

Programing: Kyle McLean
Editing: Eva Luenig
Camera work: Pancho Colladetti
Music: Antony Raijekov (CC BY) tony.cult.bg/

Check out Kyle’s work previously. This makes me want to have my next audiovisual event out in a public square somewhere. (Why do I have a feeling Chase Manhattan Plaza next to my place would not be so into a nighttime rave? Or maybe we could go in front of Goldman Sachs; I think they owe society.)

Projection Mapping at The Edge Launch: Kyle McLean Augmenting Public Art

vvvv deserves some credit here, too, for supporting an environment that makes dealing with textures, visuals, and 3D uncommonly elegant. I wish there were an equivalent for OpenGL and not just vvvv’s DirectX, but in the meantime, I can stand in awe. It’s not an image from Kyle’s project, but here’s what the vvvv interface looks like:


  • http://www.colour-burst.com cat

    Why is it that because vvvv uses directx that everyone is disappointed because its not mutli-platform and opengl?

    The really crazy part is a lot of vvvv people bootcamp macbook pro's, why is this such an issue for everyone else? We get to look at what goes on in mac-land, you do have quartz composer which is similar, with a prettier interface, but a pain in the arse to use! (Don't believe me, you need to see spreads in action, rather than structures! )

    vvvv uses diectx because it has been in development since the late 90's when opengl was far behind technically, its was conceived from the start as a realtime 3d network capable application, meaning using cheap clients to run multiple screens or offset cpu draining tracking tasks to separate pc's, and once you get over the fact that it doesn't use windows or mac conventions to create patches, it is incredibly fast to work in. The interface was in fact the diploma project of one of the developers Joreg, and I think he needs to be congratulated for thinking outside of the box!

    While the project isn't open source, its plugin architecture is, I heartily recommend trying it out if you haven't already, especially now Westbam has created some video tutorials.

    Node 10 is coming up later in the year, if you need some more help, with newbie workshops and more…. <a href="http://node.vvvv.org/” target=”_blank”>http://node.vvvv.org/

  • Peter Kirn

    cat, I worded it the way that I did because I mean it:

    Not "I wish vvvv used OpenGL."

    "I wish there were an equivalent for OpenGL."


    "I wish OpenGL had something as good as vvv."

    Got it? Significant difference. ;)

    And yes, unlike Quartz Composer, you're not locked into any specific hardware, since any Intel architecture will run Windows. That's a significant point, too, and one not lost on me.

    We sort of just did this with the comment rant about Quartz Composer, but I'm not quite sure why these statements are controversial. It's sort of a matter of fact. vvvv doesn't use OpenGL. Quartz Composer only runs on Apple hardware. I mean, I could just stop pointing this stuff out.

    I think vvvv is a marvel. For what it's worth, I think it's a lot more flexible as a general-purpose patching environment than Quartz Composer, and is more intelligent about how it handles data and structures. (Now I'm *really* going to start a flame war.) And as far as the OpenGL comment, I can't put it any differently: I'm jealous of vvvv when working on OpenGL projects. But make no mistake: there's nothing stopping you from using vvvv as a tool, because Windows runs about everywhere.<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span>

  • http://www.colour-burst.com cat

    Ok Peter, I get you! :)

    Other openGl apps would be isadora and salvation, which might be 'as good as' but I don't use so can't say, although Salvation did borrow spreads from vvvv, so might be worth checking out. I wish vvvv had multithreading and system integration like quartz composer, so you can't have everything! TBH I think the differences between apps are the interesting parts, its all swings and roundabouts to me, not either or, but and !

    But you could always ditch the openGl superbible and just do it all in vvvv of course :P

  • Peter Kirn

    I could do that, but I've dropped the OpenGL superbible on my legs and now I can't move. ;)

  • http://vade.info vade

    I really want spreads in QC. So bad. This is lovely work :)

  • http://www.williams-shamir.com/ nachum

    wow!this is fu*** amazing!!

  • Eric

    Cant this be done on Mac using MaxMSP?


    I dont fully understand the differences fully between MAXMSP and VVVV. I know VVVV is a video dedicated application, but doesn't MAXMSP do the same things?

  • Peter Kirn

    @Eric: Yes, Max/MSP/Jitter (with the Jitter added) shares capabilities with vvvv — along with other tools, like Quartz Composer, Pd with GEM and PiDiP, Salvation, and code languages like Open Frameworks and Processing. Just as with many creative applications, you have different environments that share basic capabilities, but accomplish those capabilities in different ways.

    What's unique about vvvv is that it specifically wraps Microsoft's DirectX for graphics, the native 3D API on Windows, and it has data structures that can make it really quite quick to work with.

    But all of this is most relevant in terms of the comfort of the artist/developer. There's nothing in this video that isn't possible with other environments – it just may be that, in this case, this was the environment that was the quickest and most productive for their means of working.

  • Eric

    So this could be done in with Jitter then? I think that is my main question.


  • Peter Kirn

    This could be done in any of those environments with enough effort, but yes, including Jitter. People have already done augmented projection projects in Jitter.

  • Eric

    I am saying the speed. I will just download the demo and give it a go. I know QC pretty well and this seems like a load of work in that app. I know in MAX you can draw and pick points and such. I will just throw my hat at it and hope it lands.

    Thank you for the help.

  • http://www.everyoneishappy.com Kyle McLean

    Thanks for posting this Peter.  I really have to say all credit goes to VVVV for being so fast, easy and pleasant to use.  The really killer feature of VVVV for me is that there is no runtime mode or compiling process between you and your results.  It is basically like doing open brain surgery on your program, and you get instant feedback of what does what.  For me that is hugely useful in prototyping ideas, and also really lends itself well to projects like this one.  And yes, spreads do also rock.

    Eric, I'm pretty sure you should be able to do all of this in Max/Jitter, although I have not really used Max so much, more Pure Data.  If it would be much harder or easier I couldn't (shouldn't) really say.  If I had to hazard I guess I would say harder though.

  • http://thecovertoperators.org Wetterberg

    one thing that sets vvvv apart from all the rest though; spreads. That stuff KILLS, and the minute I wrapped my head around the workflow was the end of doing 3d visuals with Jitter for me.

    I'll still use Jitter for matrix management, but if I need to I will still OSC over matrices to vvvv for final visualisation.

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  • Markus Heckmann


    seeing this really inspired me to work on my own mapping/masking system and a short while ago I finally had the time to work on it. It's a TouchDesigner component that enables the creation of rectangles, freeforms and bezier shapes/masks and the assignment and editing of video to them. Thanks again to Kyle McLean for inspiring this. It's posted in our Forum: http://derivative.ca/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&amp

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