Lightform’s Black Friday sale starts today. For a limited time, Lightform LFC Kits is now $699, and LF2 AR projectors is $899. If you’ve had your eye on Lightform, there has never been a better time to get started with projection mapping and add visual effects to real-world objects. Don’t delay! This offer is good while supplies last.
Promotion Fine print: Offer valid through 11:59 PM PT on Monday, 11/30/2020. Promotions and discounts cannot be applied to previous purchases, shipping, or processing charges or combined with other coupons or discounts. Quantities are limited, and offers are subject to change, valid for both US and International orders.
Today we’re excited to announce the release of Lightform Creator 1.11.13. This release includes several new features and major improvements to some of Lightform’s existing core features like scanning, pairing, and creating masks. A complete list of updates in this version of Creator can be found in our Release Notes.
What’s New in Lightform Creator
Stock Assets – Video Library via Storyblocks
Lightform Creator 10.11.20 includes a built-in stock video library found under Asset Browser > Stock Assets > Browse Catalog. Users can now browse through a library of 901,000+ videos and animations and download an unlimited number of them to use in Lightform projects. The stock video library has been made possible through a partnership with Storyblocks. The addition of Storyblocks video library into Lightform Creator makes it easier to enhance your projects beyond using our built-in effects and generators or manually importing videos and images.
Learn how stock videos can be browsed and downloaded to use in projects in our Adding Content guide article.
In addition to the new Lightform Creator release, we have also released new firmware for LF2 and LFC devices. Once you’ve updated the firmware of your Lightform device(s), it will display a new test card redesigned to make it easier to get information about your device’s status. New colors corresponding to the device state will display on the test card border upon completion of this firmware update.
This enhancement will aid in the pairing process when setting up your device for the first time or connecting it to a new network. The border of the test card will always display one of these colors, making it easier to identify your Lightform device’s state at all times. The added color scheme can be seen in the graphic below. Within the Creator interface, these colors will also be updated and correspond to the same device state legend.
The grid pattern and text on the newly designed test card will better help you focus your projector. When in the scan dialog and about to initiate a new scan, the test card color scheme will invert, changing the background from black to white. This change in the test card will help you achieve better scans by identifying reflective objects in your scene.
Lightform scan algorithms now provide more accurate results thanks to recent improvements and updates. You’ll also experience faster scanning speed, greater post-processing control, and better response in darker lighting conditions.
The scan dialog has been updated with more controls in the scan settings section of Creator.
In addition to creating a Camera Mask, you can now also choose to add Smoothing and Noise Reduction to your scans. Previously, these options were enabled by default and caused certain scenes to have significant distortion or degradation when scanned. We now allow the user to apply these settings only if necessary.
Masking Tool Enhancements
Lightform Creator’s pixel based masking tools (Magic Wand, Magic Brush & Brush) create a mask at the pixel level on top of your scan image corresponding to a physical region in the scene you’re projecting on. As part of this update, we’ve enhanced these tools. The Quick Select tool has been removed as its functionality can now be accomplished with the improved Magic Wand and newly added Magic Brush tool.
Magic Wand has been improved to smoothly select regions of similarity and is less sensitive to noisy areas in the scan image.
Magic Brush expands the capabilities of Magic Wand by allowing the size of the brush tip to be adjusted, allowing you to select similarities over a larger/adjustable region rather than a single point.
The updates in this release open up many new possibilities in the Lightform workflow. With better scans, more control over masking, and an infinite amount of videos to choose from, this holiday season is bound to be lit and we can’t wait to see how you will use these newly available assets in your projected decorations. To receive future Lightform enhancement news and updates we invite you to subscribe to our blog in the right panel of this post or our newsletter at the bottom of this page.
Editors Note: Continuing our Behind the Scenes blog post series Sean Servis, Lightform’s production engineer, details what went into projection mapping a product launch for Nice Kicks. Discussed are the technical details about location set up, equipment used (including the Lightform LFC and LF2), ambient lighting management, and more. Read on to learn more about the event and what went into capturing the visuals for our Nice Kicks product launch project video featuring Lightform projection mapping.
In the summer of 2019, Lightform had the opportunity to collaborate with our friends at Nice Kicks to transform a portion of their retail space using projection mapping. Located in the Upper Haight neighborhood of San Francisco, their shop’s top floor had recently been gutted to prepare for a remodel. It served as the perfect setting for a launch party for their new sneaker release celebrating the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. We met the Nice Kicks team a few weeks before launch in their luxuriously black space – black marble floors, black trim, and in some areas, black ceilings – and made a plan for how Lightform could be best deployed to augment their plans to turn that space into Woodstock, 1969.
Laser distance meters are a helpful addition to any projection mapping toolkit.
Testing Lightform Creator’s reactive projection mapping effects on the Woodstock sneakers, an Adidas Ultraboost collaboration with bright tie-dye patterns, felt like cheating. The most psychedelic shaders in the Lightform software tend to perform well on psychedelic subjects, so no one was surprised when Ganzfeld, Palette Trip, and Ripple took it up a notch. With a screen printing station for customizing handmade tie-dye shirts, there were plenty of test subjects to choose from.
Our wizards testing out different elements and deciding where to mount everything within the projection frame.
The fully-dressed set with completed projection mapping.
A second skylight shaft near the opposite wall was the perfect place to hang another LF2 projector to showcase three large prints from the sneaker’s photo marketing campaign. We picked out a few key photo elements to highlight with colorful effects but left most of the photographs un-illuminated not to overpower them. We had some real estate left above the photos, so we imported some JPEG files of all of our logos into Lightform Creator and threw some extra branding in the space.
Projection mapping on product photography.
The skylights were as far back from the windows facing the street as possible, but as the setup progressed and we took stock of the ambient light throughout the day, it became apparent that there would still be too much daylight coming through them for the first hour or so after the doors opened. Usually, we would use some duvetyne and or a tarp for a temporary blackout. Still, since we had some spare posters for the event lying around, we used those to cover the windows instead making for a more cohesive ambiance while still meeting our lighting requirement.
Side-mounting Epson 1060s from ceiling joists using a hodgepodge of 5/8″-16mm grip components.
The second half of the space faced the street and had floor-to-ceiling windows that were not easily dimmed. To address this, we opted to use some brighter (3100 lumens) Epson 1060 home cinema projectors with Lightform LF so that intruding light at sunset wouldn’t present too much competition. Two-thirds of a long, bare wall running towards the window was soon covered top to bottom with a vinyl collage of black and white photos with some empty white rectangles. Like many commercial and industrial spaces in San Francisco, this building dated back to the 1930-40s and features large exposed redwood joists in the ceiling. Using Avenger baby plates and swivel joints, we mounted projectors out of sight by screwing them into the joist’s sides.
Two Epson 1060s with LFCs gave us enough coverage for projection mapping on the photo wall. The Magic Wand tool, in Lightform Creator, made picking out elements like brake lights and protest signs to highlight super easy. The empty white rectangles in the collage gave us the perfect areas to project archival film footage in color, a striking video presentation surrounded by still images.
The remaining section of empty wall space had a more mural-like vinyl decal covering it, a line drawing of a dove rendered after historic Woodstock artwork with the words Peace and Love. The black linework of the large vinyl decal sat atop a white background. This stark contrast made the selection of different inner sections of the dove a simple two-click operation with the Magic Wand tool. Filling in the voids with Lightform Creator’s trippiest, most colorful effects made the whole thing come to life, particularly after one of our engineers added a new tie-dye generator to Lightform Creator for us.
Two Epson 1060s with LFC projection mapping video and Lightform Creator Effects on vinyl.
The Nice Kicks crew knocked it out of the park, both in transforming the physical space, and making a whole line of products that were a natural fit for projected augmented reality. The Woodstock launch allowed us to showcase a few different ways of using Lightform for retail and events all at once, on photography, on products, bare walls, murals, neon signs, and more. The attention to set dressing details really gave Lightform a great starting point to take the whole scene to the next level, and for me, it reinforced that some of the most compelling projection mapping events benefit from paying just as much attention to the physical elements as the digital ones.
Lightform’s very own Tomato loves projection mapping and product launch events.