The best-known projection mapping tool now lets you do more with lasers. Oh, and if you’re not qualified to mess with those, there’s a bunch of other stuff, too.
MadMapper 5.2 is official, available, out of beta now. It’s a free update for MadMapper 5 users, and if you don’t have a current license, there’s a Black Friday “MADWEEK” sale on through tomorrow the 29th.
MadMapper added laser connectivity with 5/5.1, including AVB control of Laser Animation Sollinger Devices. Now, crucially, the safety disclaimer here – popularizing lasers is not the same thing as popularizing projection mapping. You do need a qualified safety technician to handle lasers, with assorted legal requirements, because you can hurt people. That being said, the ability for artists to work with the medium more fluidly opens up creative possibilities.
For a quick review of what lasers can do in MadMapper:
See the MadLaser extension
The developers aren’t stopping there, though, as they keep working “to make laser mapping accessible” as they put it. So new in this release:
Laser 3D Surfaces let you import OBJ files as three-dimensional laser surfaces you can animate (and sync to music, etc.)
Laser Generators now include Mixer, Countdown, and Text Generators. (Countdown is also available in video.)
Laser Projector Delay helps you sync lasers to video – ironically because it’s video that’s slow, and lasers that might be too fast without latency compensation.
More than lasers
What else is new in this version of Mad?
Video sampler generator – a great idea that brings back the Korg Kaptivator sampler (who remembers that?)
DMX CSV import with all the extras
Xbox Controller support joining existing PlayStation controller integration
Depth Masker now supports Kinect ONE (v2) on Windows, Mac, and even Apple Silicon Macs, plus Intel RealSense up to Monterrey.
The Preferences panel is improved. And this, which I’m going to copy-paste partly because this was the first I’d heard of PONK, and looking into it, it’s really cool:
– PONK support: an opensource framework to share polylines over the network. More info: https://github.com/Ponk
– Color Profiles for NDI / FFmpeg
– Text Generator upgrade
– Countdown generator: so useful to let the audience know when the show will start!
– User interface parameters now saved in project: the ultimate feature to have your installation computer load up your files the way you left them.
That CSV thing, while I buried it in the article, might well be the most important feature here, in that it eases a huge amount of otherwise manual work dealing with DMX fixtures.
I like that MadMapper made a little animation to celebrate:
They also have this nice animation of 3D objects here made by ongoing artistic partnership 1024architecture: