Popular Lightform Guide Entries

Lightform Guide – Getting a Good Scan

The Lightform Guide is where we document everything related to our products, such as manuals, tutorials, and examples. The Lightform Guide is quite extensive, but we’ve found some articles are more popular than others. Below are the 5 most popular Lightform Guide articles to date that help people get up and running with their Lightform devices.

WiFi Pairing Workflow

All Lightform devices are designed to be used over WiFi freeing up users from having to carry and attach HDMI cables. Pairing over WiFi is one of the first steps in setting up your Lightform device and has to be done every time you are in a new location or using a new WiFi network. This Lightform Guide article takes you through the steps to pair your LF2, LFC Kit, or LF1.

Understanding Projector Throw Ratio

When choosing a projector, one of the most important things to understand is the projector throw ratio. This article on our Lightform Guide explains what it is and why it matters. This article is worthy of reference when evaluating which projector to use for your project(s) because the LFC Kit is a component that works in conjunction with your projector.

Set Up Your Lightform Device

Each Lightform model has different hardware, so it is set up differently. This Lightform Guide article has instructions for how to correctly assemble and power your Lightform so you can begin working with it in short order. While this might seem basic, this guide article covers a lot of great information to store away for future reference.

Getting A Good Scan

The foundational step underlying Lightform’s visual magic is scanning. Getting a good scan of the environment that you will be projecting on is the first step in creating a project with a Lightform device. Understanding the factors that can positively and negatively impact the scanning process will help save time and simplify the creation process. This article covers scanning tips and tricks to get better scans, explains the scanning process, and provides help on what to do if scan results are poor.

Networking Options

Not every environment is the same when working with Lightform. This is particularly true during the setup process as pairing a Lightform device requires some degree of networking and/or internet connectivity. This Lightform Guide article details 5 networking options to get you connected to your Lightform device including, Wi-Fi pairing, Ethernet, Mobile Hotspot, Pairing Mode without internet access, and sharing an internet connection from your computer.

These guide articles are a great resource to reference when setting up a Lightform device. Once you are comfortable with the workflow, you can explore our tutorials section to learn more about content creation and interactivity within Creator. If the Lightform Guide is new to you, we invite you to check it out.

10 Projected AR Examples By Lightform Customers

Disney Rise of Skywalker Movie Theater Experience

At Lightform, we strive to simplify the process of creating epic visuals with light. Our customers cover a broad spectrum of professions (artists, makers, business owners, engineers, educators, etc.), and we enjoy seeing what they create with Lightform projected augmented reality (AR). Below is a showcase of 10 creative uses of Lightform by our customers. It should be noted that selecting these projects wasn’t easy, as there are so many impressive projects shared by the Lightform community. In the future, we’ll continue to look out for exciting projects and installations to share, so if you have one you’d like to share with us add it in the comments at the end of this post. Let’s dive in. 


Projected AR Examples Using Lightform

 

Light Sculptures

Erick Dunn is a light and sound sculptor who creates organically inspired glass and resin forms. His sculptures are interactive as well as uniquely beautiful and lifelike. Erick uses Lightform to project onto translucent surfaces with programmable LEDs, which is a rare application of projected AR. He creates his animations within After Effects and then maps them onto the sculpture and background. He has successfully used a microcontroller to control the LEDs with a smartphone. Erick describes his work as “light art beings somewhere between the interstellar and microcosmic.” You can see more of Erick’s work on his Instagram page @light_beings_art

Wall Art Visuals For Event Venues

Ryan McCoy is a Lightform power user and manager of the house of D4 (aka @theillbehavior on Facebook). He and the D4 crew have produced some fantastic murals that intensify artistic expression and bring that wow factor to media marketing. He has also created large-scale renegade projection mapping stake-outs, like the Renegade Projection Mapping project completed in St. Louis, and lit up the IMRSD creative community space with futuristic club vibes. Their installations make great use of combining Lightform effects with various blend modes to create truly mind-bending experiences. 

Stage Backdrops

Megan Farabee, a talented projection artist, is part of the Lightform beta tester program. She specializes in combinations of painting, sculpture and projection mapping. Her art show called “Whimsy” used Lightform to project onto hand-drawn artwork. One of her first experiences with Lighform was mapping a wall full of her art and tapestries to demonstrate a mock stage backdrop. Now she uses Lightform to map real-world theatre stages and strives to design bigger & more intricate experiences. Megan has also enhanced replicas of famous paintings using Lightform technology and augmented original sculptures in collaboration with sound designer Nick Nonno. Visit Megan’s website to view her creative portfolio. 

House/Building Projections

John Meehan, a projector engineer, decided to try out Lightform projected AR on his cabin… in the rain. Even though the rain cut things short, he got some nice visuals. To accomplish this, he used a Panasonic VMZ50 projector and played with toggling effects and surfaces on the different areas of the cabin. John recorded how Lightform first scanned the scene, adapting to the depth of the building and later the final result of the experience. Other customers have also used Lightform to light up their houses/buildings and design eye-catching decoration including:

 

Gallery Exhibitions

Jesse James Allen (@jessejamesallen on Instagram) is an immersive media content creator from Orlando, Florida. His specialty is experimental interactives and augmentations with mixed reality and sound. As one of Lightform’s first superusers and early adopters of our legacy product, the LF1, he has created a versatile catalog of experiences including projecting on objects, creating beautiful light shows around his house, projecting on tapestries, and more. Recently, Jesse collaborated with artist Ya La’ford on a gallery exhibition called “Sublimation: Ancestral Pattern,” an augmented projection mural & sculpture blending fine art with virtual elements. It was featured in the CityUnseen 2.0 presented by Snap! Orlando. 

Short Films

Kira Bursky, a filmmaker and a content creator, enjoys using Lightform to turn herself into a work of art. She has posted several stories on her Instagram channel (@allaroundartsy) that have awed the Lightform team. Her body projections are amongst the most creative we’ve seen. She recently created the short film, New Thought / No Thought – short metaphysical quarantine film. It is a solo film made for the Stuck at Home 48 Hour film challenge. She applied her previously tested body art techniques, and her creative skills to turn her apartment into a surreal alternate reality. Her concept is that you can travel to other worlds by transforming your environment with Lightform. 

Signage for Film

We’ve enjoyed seeing Lightform used on film posters and promos, one of the most notable being The Rise of Skywalker from Walt Disney Studios. Viewers can see the magic happening before the movie starts. In this case, Lightform was utilized for “The Rise of Skywalker” IMAX experience at AMC Lincoln Square 13 in New York. Another example of Lightform enhancing moviegoers’ experience was deployed last year for Disney’s Dumbo film. 

Product Displays for Retail: Footwear Projections 

Projected digital merchandising is a perfect Lightform use-case for marketing and event agencies, small business owners, retail in general, and anyone who wants to draw attention to their product. Headlooper, an agency based in Portland, Oregon, has utilized Lightform in numerous creative installations. Headlooper’s Instagram feed (@headlooper) showcases the many ways they’ve employed projected digital merchandising for a variety of branded kicks and clothing. Another example of creative product displays utilizing projected AR is Chicago based agency Perficient Digital Labs. Their team has successfully designed sneakers with Lightform technology that react to touch interaction, as highlighted in their video Lightform Mixed Reality Projection Mapping Shoe Configurator.

Vehicle Light-Show for Corporate Meetings

Karma Event Lighting is a full-service event production agency. They have been using their Lightform to utilize Lightform projected AR on different types of cars. Using custom videos and eye-catching effects, as seen in this example video Projection Mapping a Car, they’ve leveraged Lightform to attract the attention of visitors during meetings or exhibitions.  

Photo Booth for Community Events

The National Museum of Play invited Site Hub, a digital marketing agency, to be part of a Lights and Legends community event in Rochester, NY. They used Lightform to augment a superhero-themed photo booth. The kids taking part felt like superheroes as they posed surrounded by magical effects and the Legion of Legends.

Bonus Projects: Augmented Pets!

 

Surprisingly pets make for a fun and unexpected projection surface. The Lightform team, who is comprised of numerous animal lovers, has a soft spot for examples of Lightform being used to projection map on sleeping or resting pets. When we first conceived of Lightform devices we never envisioned dogs, cats, or reptiles could rock lighting effects or trendy colors. Case in point here are a few of our favorite examples of augmented pets :

Everyone at Lightform has a projector at their desk for prototyping, so when Simi (one of our office dogs) was taking a snooze, we tested some Lightform effects. 

Hercules: The one Lit Lizard!

Customer Nathan Espinoza (@3dmysteries on Instagram) surprised everyone on our team when he tested Lightform on his buddy Hercules. We are looking forward to seeing how his reptilian assistant helps him with more Lightofrrm experiences in the future.

Tip of the Iceberg

These are but a few examples, the tip of the iceberg some might say, of how Lightform has been used in innovative ways. Lightform technology is limited only by your imagination to enhance offices, home, creative spaces, restaurants, retail spaces, classrooms and beyond. We hope these examples inspire you to create your own projected AR experiences.

 

Have a cool Lightform installation or project we should know about? Let us know in the comments below. Also don’t hesitate to tag your videos #lightformcreations on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to have your work spotlighted on our blog and social accounts.

Lightform LFC Kit vs. LF2 – Choosing the Right Tool for the Right Job

Lightform powered mural projection

The great thing about Lightform is its flexible application of projected augmented reality (AR) across art, events, retail displays, signage, and much more. It is a versatile system that offers countless possibilities to enhance different spaces and create eye-catching experiences, all while making the process simple, whether you’re a beginner or a projection mapping expert. Flexible application is great, but which Lightform device is best for your needs? 

 

In this blog post, we’ll review the Lightform LFC Kit and LF2 AR Projector to help you determine which is right for you.

 

 

Built for Different Use Cases

When choosing between Lightform devices, base your decision on the experience you’d like to create. Thinking through your specific use-case and the conditions you are working with is an essential first step. Do you want to map a projection in a smaller or larger space? Lightform devices can transform objects and environments in settings ranging from the intimate, such as artwork, an office space, or the sign on the wall of a shop, to expansive environments, such as murals and stage backgrounds for live shows. With this in mind, when making your choice between the Lightform LFC Kit and the LF2 AR projector, there are several elements to consider, including setup and requirements, the size and the lighting in your scene, projector features, etc. Let’s look at them in more detail.

 

 

Setup & Requirements

 The Lightform LFC Kit and the LF2 hardware are aesthetically different. The LFC is designed to be used with an existing projector for maximum flexibility. The LFC Kit is composed of the LFC computer, a Logitech Brio 4K camera, an assembly, and a mounting kit.  It can be attached to almost any projector using mounting accessories included with the device. Which projectors are compatible with LFC? We cover that farther below.

Lightform LFC
LFC Accessories

The LF2 is an all-in-one device with an integrated projector and a built-in camera. It comes with a remote and battery. In addition, an optional stand is available to order. The LF2 has a visually appealing sleek black design that not only blends into your decor but helps minimize the visibility of wires and cables.

Lightform LF2 AR Projector and stand

Both devices come with the appropriate AC power adapter and interchangeable plugs for US, EU, UK, Australia, and HK standard outlets. If you’re curious to learn how to set up either of these devices we recommend reading the Set Up Your Lightform Device entry on the Lightform Guide.

 

Both the Lightform LFC and LF2 share the same minimum computer requirements. Lightform’s free Creator software is compatible with computers running MacOS 10.13 or Windows 10 and later. To yield the best results when using Lightform Creator software, we recommend using computers that exceed our minimum computer requirements such as those used for media and graphics editing.

Scene Size & Ambient Light

To best determine which Lightform product will work best for your needs, it’s important to factor in what you’ll be projecting on, the size/area of your projection, and the lighting environment of your scene.
Lightform powered mural projection

The Lightform LFC is an ideal choice, when paired with an existing projector, to create medium to large scale installations. Using an existing high lumen projector with an LFC will enable the mapping of objects and spaces at a farther distance. An LFC can scan matte objects that are at least 1 foot away and can be used to illuminate almost any size scene when paired with the appropriate projector. If you will be projecting in an environment with a significant amount of ambient light, or if you have a very large scene size, you will need a brighter (high lumen) projector. 

Lightform LF2 Scan Scene

The LF2 AR Projector is an all-in-one solution ideal for smaller-scale indoor installations for home, office, and retail spaces. In bright ambient light, it can scan scenes up to ~6 feet wide, and in dark environments, it can scan scenes up to ~12 feet wide. Additional information on this topic can be found in our guide article How large of an area does the LF2 cover?

 

The quality of the projection varies with the amount of sun or artificial light in the scene. The brighter your scene, the more powerful/brighter your projector will need to be. If you are projecting outdoors, keep in mind that the best results will be visible at night time as opposed to daylight. Lightform devices must be protected from weather conditions since they are not water-resistant. We also recommend ensuring proper ventilation around the device. Ideal operating temperatures are between 32°F – 86°F (0°C – 30°C).

 

Projector Choice

The decision between using a Lightform LFC or LF2 often comes down to projector features and projector compatibility. Since the LFC is an independent unit you can pair a wide variety of projectors, normal and short-throw, for maximum flexibility, and lumen strength. The LF2, on the other hand, simplifies the process by pairing Lightform technology into a projector unit. LF2 is the full-package so there’s no need to pair it with an external projector.

 

Using Your Own Projector with Lightform LFC

If you have a projector of your own, the following criteria are required for LFC compatibility:

  • HDMI – A minimum of 1 HDMI port.
  • Throw ratio – 0.5 – 2.0
    Throw ratio is the relation between the distance from the projector’s lens to the projected image and the width of the projected image. If interested in more detail about throw ration we recommend checking out our guide article Understanding Projector Throw Ratio.
  • Brightness (in lumens) – 100 -100K.
    The LFC works with projectors of any brightness. The visual quality of projections will vary depending on the ambient light present in your scene. The brighter your scene, the brighter your projector will need to be.
  • Lamp Type – no requirement
    LFC will work with projectors with any lamp type (e.g., LED, Laser, bulb).
  • Output maximum – WUXGA (1920 x 1200)
    The LFC works with 4K projectors that accept HD input, but will only result in HD content. Generally, 4k projectors accept 1080p input and natively upsample the 1080p content to 4K resolution.

To check supported specs and throw ratio for projectors we recommend using Projector Central’s Projector Throw Distance Calculator.  If you don’t already have a projector, using this resource will help you narrow in one that will work for your use case. Minimum projector requirements are also listed in the Lightform User Guide.

Lightform LFC Kit Mounted to Small Projector
Lightform LFC Kit Mounted to Large Projector

There are limitations to using your own projector. The LFC must remain connected to the projector via HDMI at all times. Content plays off of the Lightform device and the camera can be useful for realignment or taking another scan if something moves in the scene. 

 

Using the Lightform LF2 AR Projector

The advantage of using an LF2 AR projector is that it provides a compact all-in-one system with its integrated projector. It is best suited for small scale installations and indoor spaces. The LF2 projector’s specifications are as follows:

  • Throw ratio – 1.2
  • Brightness – 1,000 lumens
  • Lamp life – 30,000-hours via LED light engine
  • HDMI – 2 HDMI input ports + LAN
  • Resolution – 1920 x 1080p native HD resolution

The LF2 has an RGB / IR Camera and a lens with motorized focus. You can use Lightform Creator to author AR content. You can also opt for a useful tabletop stand to set up your LF2 AR projector.

 

Performance

Projector performance is important to consider when evaluating how much processing power or memory you’ll need. Performance needs will differ between running a live show or a concert and running simple effect loops in a home/office. The more effects being run, the more computational power needed. 

As a comparison between the two products, LFC has 8Gb of RAM while LF2 has 2Gb. The LFC has a Dual-core Intel Celeron N4000 (64 bit) processor and the LF2 has a Quad-core ARM Amlogic T968 (64 bit) processor. Regarding GPU power, the LFC has an Intel UHD 600 and the LF2 has a Mali-T830 MP2 to handle the graphics. All in all, the advantage here goes to LFC, which is 2-4x faster than LF2 depending on project content. So, if your main criteria is faster performance, then you should opt for the LFC. You can see some more differences between LFC and LF2 in the spec sheet below:

 

 

How are Lightform LF2 and LFC different?

Lightform LFC and LF2 spec sheet comparison

 

Budget Considerations

Historically projection mapping has been expensive, complicated, and daunting for beginners. Lightform has simplified the process with innovative hardware and easy-to-use design tools, all while keeping the entry-level price point affordable. To minimize out of pocket expenses for hardware two paths exist: 1) existing projector owners can add on an LFC kit, and 2) those looking to cost-effectively combine the purchase of a projector and Lighform technology can do so with the LF2 AR projector. Unlike other solutions that charge for their software (purchasing a perpetual license or charging a subscription), Lightform includes a Creator software license for free with every LFC or LF2 order. 

 

Looking to Try Out Lightform Creator Software?

 

Lightform Creator software is free for download and a sample project is available in case you want to try it out and practice working on your first scan.

 

Lightform Creator

Below are two recent examples of installations utilizing the Lightform LFC Kit and LF2 AR projector. Check them out to get a feel for what is possible. If you’re hungry for more examples we invite you to check out our recent blog post 10 Projected AR Examples By Lightform Customers.

 

Lightform LFC at The Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco for “Nightbloom”

Lightform LF2 AR projector with 3D Drippy Sculpture by artist Dan Lam

While there are many differences between the Lightform LFC Kit and LF2 AR projector they share a common advantage, they make the process of image mapping and projected augmented reality (AR) quick and easy compared to older tools and technology. Now it’s possible to deploy projected AR installations in minutes.

 

Have more questions about the Lightform LFC Kit or LF2 AR Projector? Contact us and we’ll do our best to help you

Our Favorite Lightform Shelter-in-place Projects

Thank You Projections & Messages of Hope by Ross Simon

Quarantine has been tough on most of us. Humans are social creatures, but during this pandemic, we’ve had to follow shelter-in-place and social-distancing guidelines. Staying apart is not always easy: friends and families are missing each other, small businesses are missing their customers, and we are all missing the outside world. Social events we were looking forward to like weddings, festivals, trips for the holidays have been canceled or postponed. However, people have been finding creative ways to send out messages of hope and support. Some of our customers have used their Lightform devices to create exceptional experiences that are worth sharing. From large-scale projections to show gratitude towards essential workers, to DJ’s turning tables in their living rooms, these customers are doing their best to stay positive (and sane) during these difficult times.  Here are some of our favorites projects:   

 

1. Lightform Goes Retro at the Drive-In

The team at Blue Starlite Drive-in in Austin Texas wanted to share something special with their customers as they count down to reopening their business. Using the Lightform LFC Kit, they created a shelter-in-place cinematic art installation on their RV concession stand. We were impressed by this experience and we reached out to Josh Frank, the owner of the drive-in, to find out more about what they thought of Lightform. Here is what he had to say: “I love the ease of use to create lighting effect scenes at my little urban movie theater. Our Lightform is definitely going to get a lot of use. It was very easy to use given I know Photoshop. It helps to have a projector that can have a widespread close up so the camera can get the best detail. I was limited in the first outing because my projector needed to be far away to cover the whole object. Using imported video files was easy. You can really do anything you can imagine. You are only limited by your creative palette and imagination.” This is a perfect example of how a small business can keep innovating in times of uncertainty. Blue Starlite is also expanding to Round Rock. You can find out more about their live shows and grand reopening on their website

2. Quarantine Party Nights

We can tell that some customers are missing dancing and partying at the club. They have been raising the roof of their own house with Lightform. From salsa dancing to mixing in the living room, these customers are on fire. Best of all is how DJs and VJs have been streaming live on Facebook to bring the party into your home. Some of our favorites include:

DJ Lax aka Carlo Canaletich

Connor Davis-Green projected backdrop: Mixing live from his living-room

 

3. Art for the Neighbors with LF2 AR Projector

Vi Tran, aka Cleo Patra, is an exhibit designer with an abundance of creative energy. She has been displaying nightly shows with her LF2 AR Projector to cheer up her neighborhood. She projects mostly onto the sheer curtains of her house. Vi has published numerous projects, from a psychedelic Easter Bunny to celebrity self-portraits, and paintings by Shepard Fairey, Vasarely, Dali, and many more artists. Here are two of our favorites: 

Vi has committed to doing a show every night while sheltering in place and has been producing content ever since. As of the time of publishing this post, she’s produced 51 unique projections. We admire that kind of commitment and discipline. You can find out more about Vi’s design experience on her website Applied Curiosity

4. Happily Ever After – 3D Models of Disney Castle

Matt Maldonado is a designer, painter, and miniature model maker from California who has been adding magic to his home during the quarantine. He built a 3D model of the Disneyland Castle and used his Lightform LFC Kit to create an incredibly detailed projection show. He used clips from Disney movies and incorporated a great music score. As he explained: “I wanted to create this show for the Disney fans that are not only are missing the parks but the magic as well.” You can see the full video on Matt’s Youtube channel

5. Thank You Projections & Messages of Hope

Ross Simon is a Scottish born bartender based in Arizona. He created an impressive large-scale experience to show gratitude and support the medical staff at the front lines. He lit up the Residence Inn hotel in downtown Phoenix. Through his projections, he also attempts to educate the public on the correct measures to follow to protect themselves from COVID-19 and encourages everyone to maintain a sense of solidarity during these trying times. Several news outlets covered the experience and highlighted the message of hope shown by this struggling business owner in times of uncertainly.

During the daytime, Ross operates two bars, one, Bitter & Twisted is an award-winning cocktail bar and he recently opened Little Rituals. Ross also produces the annual cocktail event Arizona Cocktail Weekend. He is eager to open his bar but is also concerned about the safety of his staff and customers. In the future, Ross hopes to use Lightform to light up the menu in his cocktail bars and he can’t wait to create experiences for the enjoyment of his returning customers. You can see his inspiring “thank you” projections every night in the heart of downtown Phoenix. You can learn more about Ross’s business here

Other examples of customers projecting thank you messages towards healthcare workers and hope messages for the community include:

 

Eric Bernal from Skyline Productions in Colorado similar project in Denver

Eric Bernal from Skyline Productions in Colorado Medical Staff Thank You Projection

Alayna Hughes in Valencia creating ‘thank you’ projections for healthcare workers during Spain’s quarantine. 

Welbr Dos Santos “Projection Mapping COVID-19” in the façade of his house with a message of hope for his neighbors.

 

We found these projects inspiring, both in reminding us how important it is to be thankful for the efforts of healthcare and essential workers and also the creative spirit of our customers. We love seeing the messages of hope and support shared by the Lightform community. If you have created or know of other shelter-in-place projects, don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comments below.