This interface will certainly look familiar to those who have seen MediaMapper (and a handful of other mapping interfaces). But there are some compelling refinements to the UI and usability – and Windows support. Look for this in GrandVJ soon, at a much lower fee than MediaMaster.

If mapping wasn’t already a horse race, it is now. ArKaos adds significant mapping technology to version 3.0 of their high-end media server, MediaMaster Pro, out now and shown at the UK’s PLASA show this month. Now, of course, here at CDM, we’re eager to see the next phase of ArKaos’ mapping strategy, which involves rolling out the mapping features to us poor bohemians everyday VJs in GrandVJ. Based on what I saw at Messe, powerful as the media server is, GrandVJ users shouldn’t be disappointed. But this is already showing off some of what ArKaos engineering is doing.

MadMapper isn’t standing still, either, and I suspect the software landscape in general will involve more and more mapping functionality standard. The basic idea remains (I’m going to say this in practically every article): mapping is ultimately just about being able to treat your output surface as fluidly as you would your content.

MediaMaster is a nice media server. Highlights:

  • Official release of the Video Mapper extension (as I’ve said before, this isn’t just “projection mapping” – think mapping to LEDs, too, increasingly a component of all mapping discussions)
  • Independent layer threading, prior to LED Mapper, Kling-Net Mapper
  • Multi-threaded decoding of MPEG2 / H.264, up to 8K video in MPEG2 (mmm, 8192 × 4320 pixels)

The Video Mapper extension lets you manage display resolution and frequency and map to multiple outputs across irregular surfaces, each being a single texture or a combination of mapped textures. You get rectangles, grids, triangles, linear and curved deformations, cropping, grouping, and masking for each surface. And you can use multiple graphics cards and multiple outputs – which could be LED walls as easily as a projector.

Works on Mac or PC – which means, for those PC users lacking support for MadMapper, this is really good news.

For more, head to Belgium – erm, the ArKaos website:

Here’s a look at the MediaMaster interface: