Pittsburgh Skyline Projection Mapping Tutorial

It’s been a while since I have been able to post some of my projection mapping adventures, but this one with Lazercrunk was fun.  You don’t have to be local to appreciate an 8′ tall projection mapped city skyline.  10 buildings, spanning 16′ wide by 8′ high across the stage. Here’s an example of what it looked like by itself.

So for all of you who are interested in Projection Mapping, I’m detailing a little bit of my workflow in this post.  While this design looks more complex than some of the ones I have done over the years, it is actually easier with proper planning and forethought.

Essentially you start with an idea.  In this case, Todd Keebs wanted to do a Pittsburgh Skyline to celebrate Lazercrunks 7 Year Anniversary.  In order to cut the shapes out of foam core and have a design to share with me for content creation he used a vector and took it into his favorite program (Illustrator or Photoshop to give me templates for each building.

Pittsburgh Skyline Vector Search

Make a cut out a Vector cutout for each building and separate them by layers.
Pittsburgh Skyline Photoshop


Now we could leave the buildings connected for the next step, but part of this project was to rearrange the buildings on site to get the desired look within the projectors throw dimensions. To do this, simply separate the buildings and fit them into your desired output resolution.  For me that is 1920×1080.  I will be using a projector that is 1280×800, but I am going to let the mapping software do the down scaling.  My building template in after effects now looks like this:

After Effects Projection Mapping Vectors

From here I can control each layer and customize my content as I see fit.  The key here is to use the template for all of the content creation.  Once you have chosen your template do not start moving the buildings otherwise you will have to keep readjusting your setup within the mapping software.


Now the building out:

Building Cutout


Todd any I have been working together for quite some time and we have  learned a lot from one another.  For this next part, I went to making custom content, and Todd started on the cutting.  For most projects we use 4’x8′ sheets of foamcore, it’s lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to cut.  Todd simply took the largest building in the set and set its dimensions to 8′ tall, in doing so with simple CAD software (or even illustrator) you can get the exact cut dimensions for each building just by using the internal rulers and measurements.  Each building was then cut to scale and stacked in a safe place before the show.

Then the setup:

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The projector was turned on to show the full output and the buildings were squeezed into place.


As you can see this is an example of a simple single projector setup.  To eliminate shadows cast from the single projector source at this point you could add another projector and add a whole new element to your illusion, but for time sake I made the decision to hold off on this addition. (I’ll get into the pros & cons of using multiple projectors some other time).


Now it’s time to map. (Mac Only)

Using VDMX (my VJ application), I sent a signal to Madmapper via Syphon containing a still frame of my template.  Once this is in the pipeline we simply make a rectangular selection for each building on the left (template / source window) and stretch it to fit onto the buildings on the right (output to projector).

MadMapper Pittsburgh SkylineUsing masks and visual overlays we can make sure that the extra corners from the template don’t bleed over onto the other buildings. The final “mapped” output to the projector now looks something like this:

Madmapper Pittsburgh Skyline 2


And here is the result:

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So it is simple enough to pull off a multi-plane design like this with a single projector, I obviously skipped over the time it takes to create content, cut the designs, & and setup, but you shouldn’t be afraid of a setup like this.  After all, we had a blast doing so, watch the final video to see more:


Thanks for stopping by:

projectileobjects projectile objects

Geoff, Todd, & Cornelius (ProjectileObjects)











Tutorial: The easier way to projection map for advertisement on a building. Drink Pink Hard

Hello to all visualize-ees and visual-ities, this month is going to introduce a new turn for as I have decided to make more frequent updates, tutorials, posts, and reviews.  To help support me in my constant struggle with social media procrastination I ask that you, like, follow, share, in anyway that you can this website and my Facebook page.  For if not, I may just continue to do the work that I have been doing for the past 6 years and keep my feet in the clouds and my head behind the curtains.

“For it is the VJ who gives the artist the ultimate spotlight.”

-ProjectileObjects (fortune cookie)


Let us begin.


Outdoor projections for advertising.

Quick video sample.

Task #1: Scout your location, during the day and take a picture.

projectileobjects outdoor advertising

projectileobjects outdoor advertising day scouting

Task #2: Scout your location at night and take a picture. 🙂 

projection mapping tut 003

This step is extremely important as you will need to look for sources of light that may ruin your image.

Also it is important to note parking, building specs, potential hazards, height requirements (can’t shoot 10,000 lumens into oncoming traffic), and so on.  Use common sense as your ally.

Click here to view the rest of the post!

Downloading Youtube Videos for VJing Mac & PC.

Update:  Check out the latest  post on this subject here:



You may have seen one of my previous posts, Batch Downloading and Converting Youtube Videos.

It was a great method that has stopped working only within the past few months.  The reason being = DASH.

Dash is a streaming protocol that has made it difficult to download entire videos with the old methods out there.  Trust me I tried them all in a 2 day panic before a show and only found 1 downloader that worked properly with the Dash Protocol. (I read about FFMPEG w/ JDownloader working, but only on windows and some macs)

The best so far, CYS Downloader: works perfectly with the Firefox web browser.  I would lay out how-to’s, but it is a very simple process and all the necessary instructions are on the website.

Hope that helps, leave any comments or questions you may have.



Part 1: Batch Download and Convert Youtube Videos for VJing

Update:  Check out the latest  post on this subject here:


old_UPDATED: As of DECEMBER 2013 This method of downloading will no longer work due to Youtube’s modification of how videos are streamed.  I have created and updated thread HERE with the most up to date method of downloading.  The rest of this post will remain for those who are investigating multiple techniques.  Thanks ProjectileObjects

Ripping Videos from Youtube for VJing  Batch downloading and converting on your MAC
Click here to view the rest of the post!