Projection tools in the wild: relief projection lab at Bit Teatergarasjen; photo (CC) hc gilje.

Projection mapping has been a running theme here, as visualists are dying to get their projections onto objects other than flat walls. If you’re ready to experiment and develop new material but have been intimidated by figuring out how to properly calibrate your projections, videoprojection tools is for you. This free Mac/Windows tool built in helps align videos with objects. It was built in Max/MSP/Jitter but runs whether or not you own Max thanks to the included runtime. (I’d love to port some of the same techniques to Processing! See also vvvv, as linked below.)

Not only can anyone try their hand at projecting onto objects with videoprojection tools, but a new v3 release brings some powerful new features:

  • 8 layer support
  • Cornerpin distortion
  • Advanced masking features
  • 8 individual video sources, 1 live video source, 1 draw source

This is on top of its extensive preset and sequencing system. Ready-to-use on your Mac OS X or Windows (XP/Vista) system, for free.

Free downloads, documentation, capture tool, video walkthrough, video tutorials, and more:
videoprojection tools

Below, a recent experiment projecting onto buckets on a snow-covered rooftop. Outdoor VJ parties tend to be associated with summertime, so it’s nice to see winter get a go. Bergen, Norway, eh? Now all this rooftop needs is a hot-tub and some vodka to keep warm. (But then, perhaps great visuals alone can warm our hearts.)

More on

snowlab, sketches (2009) from hc gilje on Vimeo.

Worth watching again:

shift v.2 (2008) from hc gilje on Vimeo.

Blocks of Light and Sound: A Mapped-Projection Audiovisual Sequencer
Projection Mapping Resource and Tutorial: How To Project On 3D Geometry with VVVV

  • VJ Air

    oooh, this interesting! i shall check this out 🙂

  • hi,
    just a small correction regarding the snow projection experiments: it is projection on snow, not on buckets 🙂


  • Tøft!

  • Yep, we need a mirror. Anyone dl´d it yet?

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  • slipa

    He's just added a tiny update to the cornerpin tool, taking it to version 3.01, and the links work.


  • Holva

    Will the source be released? I'm doing mapping stuff in Max, and would love to peek around at some of your techniques / throw some of my own in. It would be great if this went around the max community to see what kind of things people do with it.

  • v3.1 includes OSC and some basic MIDI support.
    This makes it possible to control the application from other OSCable applications, and to connect several computers running videoprojectiontool together making it possible to realise bigger projects.
    Same link as in the article.

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  • Hi i am trying to do live projection while shooting a dance performance on background, can anyone help which software I can use to do live prijection as i shoot?

  • hpixel

    What did you do to open two instances of the program in one window as it appears in the picture?

  • the picture actually shows a 16 channel version, where half of the channels are on another computer. One of the computers is then controlling all of the channels.
    This is currently not available in the public version. The current version does allow to sync the outputs from several computers using OSC though.

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  • Joshua

    Trying to figure out if vpt will project several videos from the same projector???

  • @joshua
    yes, VPT can project up to 16 layers using one videoprojector. The sources to the layers are 8 movie sources, 2 live sources or 8 mixed sources.


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  • uh.. nice share, how to get'it

  • Are only .mov files supported as clips can we also use mp4 ect?

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  • Ulfilas

    I've tried this onmy windows 7 machine with no joy :((

  • hc gilje

    just a note on Ulfilas comment. One day later he got it working:
    "I got it working. It was basically my stupidity that was the problem! I hadn’t click on some of the check boxes – I just played around – didn’t RTFM!!!!
    Great application -I love it! I’m now trying to work out some innovative ways to use it for youth work!"

  • Andreas

    Fantastisk, takk!

    Just bought an projector to try some basic video sync to midi, and stumbled upon this whole visual mapping world. Absolutely fantastic. I am now complete.

  • VPT 5 is now available, much faster and with many new features:

  • People i have a final project due next week and i need to do something similar to the 3 d projection and i please need to know which tool should i use .

  • VPT 6 is now available, with 32 layers, new interface ++

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  • Mystefier

    Sounds awesome.  Could you provide a link to where we can download it?

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  • hc gilje

    VPT 7 is now available:

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