It’s Now Possible To Map And Project On Moving Objects In Real Time

June 7, 2023 by Dave Haynes

Projection mapping has steadily grown easier and better through the years, and is now at a point that a software-hardware technology stack can do all the work to accurately map and project on moving objects … in real time.

It was not all that long ago that mapping a stationary object – like a building facade – and blending the output of multiple projectors took a lot of expertise and many hours to get right.

You still need to know what you are doing, but a pair of companies that provide the underlying technology for many projection mapped experiences have developed and will be showing at InfoComm next week a solution that automatically calibrates the alignment, warp, blend, color, intensity and geometry of images from multiple projectors.

Scalable Display Technologies has announced a new Real-Time Projection Mapping API for media server companies that “automatically calibrates a group of projectors displaying onto an intricate object that moves freely in any orientation or direction in a large 3D space, while maintaining precise content mapping at every frame.”

The company will demo the capability with media server partner 7thSense at its stand – booth 3917 – next week in Orlando.

A lot of this is way over my head, so here’s how it is described in PR:

Scalable’s Real-Time Projection Mapping API includes new calibration elements and a streamlined connection to third-party media servers. Historically, Scalable has calibrated to a fixed screen location, but with this new capability, is able to auto-calibrate a single object at many different locations, generating a meta-calibration for the entire projected area. This new technique allows for high accuracy 3D mapping in real time as an object moves anywhere within the calibrated volume.
This latest functionality from Scalable is accessible from any media server integrated with Scalable’s SDK, such as 7thSense, to deliver cutting-edge visuals for the most engaging entertainment applications. Media servers integrated with Scalable’s SDK may use the volumetric calibration in conjunction with a motion tracking system to achieve accurate image registration to a tracked object at up to 240 frames per second as the object moves freely within the space.
“The world’s most well-known entertainment and theme-park attractions have relied on cutting-edge projection mapping technology for nearly a decade,” said James Pietsch, director of global accounts for Scalable Display Technologies. “We are excited to debut this capability with 7thSense as one of Scalable’s longest partners in the attractions market and a company that constantly pushes the limits of display technology. As the boundaries of projection mapping are being pushed and tested, we recognize a unique opportunity to deliver a solution that automatically calibrates moving objects in real time. While some manufacturers have introduced this technology with a single projector, or through a time-consuming manual process, we have developed a solution for multiple projectors across a much larger area with much higher accuracy.

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