Control interactive animations with the Touch Board
Projection mapping, also known as video mapping or spatial augmented reality, allows you to make your surroundings come alive. It involves taking a video, animation, images, or any other visual material and project them onto a surface or objects to provide context or information or create an immersive experience. In the simplest form, projection mapping requires a computer, mapping software, a projector, and video content mapped onto a surface.
And with the Touch Board and Electric Paint, you can make projection mapping immersive! You can extend the Touch Board's twelve capacitive sensors with the Electric Paint to create points of interaction on the projection surface. Touching your Electric Paint designs sends a signal to the software and triggers an animation or video. We've seen incredible projection mapping projects on walls, floors, and even 3D objects. Electric Paint and the Touch Board make it possible to transform any surface into a stunning, interactive projection-mapped project!
In this tutorial, we explain how to set up projection mapping with the Touch Board and make an interactive wall. We use the tools that come with the Interactive Wall Kit and use MadMapper as the mapping software, but you can use other mapping software, like Resolume or any other software that can take MIDI signals as inputs. You can download a trial version for MadMapper from the MadMapper website.
For projection mapping to be most effective, you need to choose a bright projector. If you have a short distance between where you place the projector and where you want your projection mapping to happen, you need a short-throw projector. One of the most popular choices is the Epson 1060 projector, which is bright enough to work in daylight.
Many artists and advertising agencies have created projection mapping installations with our Touch Board, making their event and brand more engaging. You can find these projects in our Blog section.
We love it when you share your projects! Post your project on Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter, and make sure to tag @bareconductive or use #bareconductive. You can also send your videos and photos to email@example.com so we can post them on our site for the world to see.
You will need:1 x Interactive Wall Kit
1 x PC or Laptop running your chosen projection mapping software
1 x Projector
Step 1 Set up your Wall
We designed the Interactive Wall Kit to create interactive walls with sensors painted with Electric Paint. When these sensors are touched, the projection mapping software plays the associated video or animation.
So that your project can get off to a great start, we've designed a unique Electric Paint stencil that will align with the projected video later in the tutorial. Using the stencil will help the painted and projected shapes to line up perfectly. You can download our stencil here. Want to bring your designs to life with Electric Paint? No problem. Get creative with what you paint. Just make sure to follow the connection instructions below.
Whether using our stencil to paint your wall or using your design, you'll need to follow similar steps.
Connect the Electrode Pad from the Interactive Wall Kit through your wall, then paint your Electric Paint design on the front of the wall. For a tutorial on this process, take a look here. Finally, connect your Electrode Pad to the Touch Board. In this tutorial, we're going to connect to Electrode 0.
Step 2 Set up the Touch Board
If you haven't already learned how to reprogram your Touch Board, make sure to follow the steps here and then return to this tutorial. With the Touch Board attached to the wall, upload the "Midi_interface_generic" code to the board. You'll find it under File→Sketchbook→Touch Board Examples→Midi_interface_generic. Make sure that you have selected the right settings for the Touch Board, including "Bare Conductive Touch Board (USB MIDI, iPad compatible)" in
Tools → Board
This code will send MIDI messages to the computer, so you need to keep the Touch Board connected to the computer.
Step 3 Set up the video in Mad Mapper
Connect your projector to your computer and turn it on. Ensure that your computer isn't mirroring its display and that the projected display is larger than the sensor.
In this tutorial, we are using a trial version of MadMapper. You can download it from the MadMapper website.
We have a sample video that you can download here, but you can also design your own. We used Adobe After Effects to create this video, but you can use any specialized software that allows you to create a video, including Adobe Photoshop. Make sure to leave an empty frame at the beginning and the end of the video.
With your projector connected to your computer, open MadMapper and drag and drop the video into the workspace. Next, we want to scale and transform the video to fit with the sensor we painted. Pause the video and drag the play head to the start of the animation. Enter the "Full-Screen Mode" of MadMapper and then move and scale the video to your liking, checking that the images you are projecting are fitting nicely with the sensor.
Step 4 Set up the Touch Board with MadMapper
When you have the video on the workspace, make sure the Touch Board is still connected and is running the MIDI interface code.
Then, change the video's play settings to "Play the movie to the end of the loop and pause." Now, open the MIDI control settings in MadMapper. Select the video, then click the "Goto beginning" button, then touch the sensor on your wall. The "Goto beginning" button should now be grey and have something written across it, like "1/C2".
Exit the MIDI mode and touch the sensor again. You should see the projection mapping experience unfold!
Step 5 Next steps
Projection mapping is not limited to a wall as a canvas. You can also use objects. The Interactive Wall Kit isn't limited to walls either. The kit works great with 3D objects too. Remember that you don't always need to drill a connection for the Interactive Wall Kit. You can also make wall sensors with copper tape. Click here to find out more. Ultimately, you could even use a building or a facade to act as a sensor!
To take your project to the next level, you could map imagery and sound simultaneously. We've seen some fantastic interactive projection mapping projects, from retail displays to student projects to tradeshow stands. Interactive projection mapping is a unique way to give viewers a self-directed experience that you can populate with fun or informative effects.
If you run into any problems, please check out the Touch Board troubleshooting guide. If you are a Raspberry Pi user, check out our projection mapping with the Pi Cap tutorial. The Pi Cap is a Raspberry Pi add-on and allows you to combine projection mapping with more technology.