An Introduction to Lightform Labs

Lightform Labs
Lightform Labs

What is Lightform Labs?

Lightform Labs is an extension of Lightform Creator that includes beta, and experimental features. As our team develops new features and functionality, we make some of them available without support as they’re being developed or tested. Lightform Labs has always been a part of Lightform Creator and many features that are now core elements of Lightform Creator started off as Labs only features such as blend modes and asset transform properties. While features in Lightform Labs are unsupported, we welcome bug reports and feedback, to help us continue to build the best software for projection mapping.

 

How to Access Lightform Labs

To enable Lightform Labs within Lightform Creator, click Help > Enable Labs. When Labs is enabled you will see the icon in the top-right corner of Creator.

What You Can Do in Lightform Labs

Once Lightform Labs is enabled, new controls and settings will be revealed in different parts of Lightform Creator. On a high level, this includes changes to the following areas of Lightform Creator:

  • Labs Menu
  • Control Page
  • Asset Properties
  • Surface Properties

Some of the Labs features allow for advanced capabilities such as making effects reactive to sound over Open Sound Control (OSC). We have also documented the full list of features with descriptions on the Lightform Guide.

 

Lightform Labs & You

Lightform Labs is a great resource for Lightform users to experiment and take projects to the next level. If you have feedback about Lightform Labs features contact us (include link). We’re eager to see how you use Lightform labs in your projects and invite you to share your projects in the comments section below.

Lightform OSC Interactivity: How To Use Open Sound Control With Lightform

Lightform OSC Interactivity: How To Use Open Sound Control​ With Lightform
Lightform OSC Interactivity: How To Use Open Sound Control​ With Lightform

Lightform OSC Interactivity

The possibilities of what you can do with your Lightform are infinite when you add interactivity into your projects with Open Sound Control (OSC). Lightform devices can be configured to respond to changes in their environment and be controlled by external devices. The communication protocol that Lightform supports is OSC. In this post, we will explore Lightform OSC interactivity: what OSC is and how it works in conjunction with Lightform.

 

Open Sound Control (OSC)

Open Sound Control is a protocol that was originally developed for communication between synthesizers, musical instruments, and other multimedia devices but has transformed into a popular tool for interactive installations, particularly as an alternative for MIDI. There are many advantages to using OSC such as increased flexibility, interoperability and accuracy.

OSC can be used with Lightform in a number of ways such as to advance slides and trigger other playback controls, and manipulate effects and generators. OSC allows for another device or program to send data to Lightform Creator over a wireless network.

Choosing which OSC program to use depends on what you’re trying to do. The Lightform Guide includes some use cases about interactivity with OSC that might help you find what you’re looking for.

 

How does OSC work with Lightform

Have you noticed Open Sound Control settings on the Control page in Lightform Creator?

Lightform OSC Interactivity: How To Use Open Sound Control​ With Lightform Creator

This is where you can decide how to map your OSC controls and watch your project update in realtime. Before you can make effects reactive through OSC, you have to make sure that Labs is enabled and the effect or generator is Live. This OSC Controls article on the Lightform Guide goes over the configuration and set up in Lightform Creator so you can start using OSC.

 

Lightform OSC Interactivity Examples

Audio Reactive Visuals

Sound2Light is a program that uses your computer’s microphone to analyze incoming sound which you can use to map to your Lightform project to make media that is reactive to sound. This is a video of Lightform user, Taylor Henson, using Sound2Light to project on posters.
Vezer is a timeline-based sequencer that can send OSC commands to Lightform based on the sound input. Similar to Sound2Light, you can load a song into Vezer and have Lightform media synchronize and react to it.
If you want to produce your own music and link it with your Lightform project, Ableton Lite is a great option as it allows you to send OSC commands from what you create. While this is a more advanced workflow than Vezer and Sound2Light, it also provides the most customization. In this below, Lightform and OSC were used to project audio-reactive visuals on the wall of a dance studio by one of our customers.

OSC Controllers

Designed by the game company, Elgato, Stream Deck is a customizable hardware controller that can be used to interact with your Lightform project. By mapping the LCD keys through OSC, you can trigger content on the fly like switch slides and launch effects. The customizable visual design of this controller makes it a fun and easy to use hardware accessory.
Commonly used during interactive installations or live performances, TouchOSC allows you to build touch interfaces on a phone or tablet that lets you send and receive OSC messages that enable you to control your live Lightform project remotely.
For those that prefer command-line tools, sendosc is a good tried and tested option that can be used to control any type of supported OSC property on Lightform Creator. Though the learning curve is higher, the amount of control sendosc gives you is worth the learning.

You can use voice assistant commands on devices like Alexa to control your Lightform device through If This Then That, also known as IFTTT. When you make an account with IFTTT, you can design ways for your devices and apps to communicate with each other. One clever example is when our Product Engineer, Christophe, used his Alexa and Lightform to change the scene and make fireworks appear on framed art hanging in his house.

 

These are only some ways to leverage Lightform OSC interactivity. We are actively trying out new OSC integrations to use with  Lightform devices and adding them to our Guide with more tutorials. If you’re using OSC in your Lightform projects, we invite you to share it with us! Tell us about your project and include a video link in the comments below.

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.