The Art of Projection Mapping: A Beginner’s Guide

by Wayne Sables

Projection mapping has revolutionised the world of visual arts, transforming ordinary objects into captivating, immersive experiences. Whether you want to create jaw-dropping displays for events, enhance architectural structures, or simply express your creativity, projection mapping is a fantastic medium to explore. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the essentials of projection mapping, from the equipment you’ll need to the software programs and third-party apps that can take your creations to the next level.

Equipment Needed: To get started with projection mapping, you’ll need the following equipment:

  1. Projector: Choose a high-quality projector that suits your specific needs, considering factors such as brightness, resolution, and throw distance. Ensure it has sufficient lumens to project vivid images onto your desired surfaces.

  2. Computer: A reliable computer is essential for running the projection mapping software and handling the demanding visual processing tasks. Opt for a system with ample processing power and RAM to handle complex designs smoothly.

  3. Projection Surfaces: Projection mapping works best on surfaces with distinct shapes and textures. Consider walls, buildings, sculptures, stages, or any other object that can serve as your canvas. The possibilities are endless!

  4. Media Server (optional): If you plan to create intricate and synchronized shows with multiple projectors, a media server can help manage and playback your content seamlessly.

Software Programs: Here are some popular software programs for projection mapping:

  1. MadMapper: MadMapper is a powerful and intuitive projection mapping software that allows you to map, warp, and blend multiple projectors onto various surfaces. It offers a user-friendly interface, advanced features, and supports various video formats. Check out their official website for more details: MadMapper Official Website
  2. Resolume Arena: Resolume Arena is a versatile software that enables you to create stunning audiovisual performances. It offers real-time control over your visuals, allowing you to mix and manipulate content in live environments.
  3. HeavyM: HeavyM is another popular projection mapping software that provides an easy-to-use interface for beginners. It offers extensive effects and a library of pre-built scenes, making it an excellent choice for quick prototyping and experimentation.

Incorporating Third-Party Apps: To enhance your projection mapping projects, you can leverage various third-party applications such as:

  1. DaVinci Resolve: DaVinci Resolve is a professional video editing and color grading software that can complement your projection mapping workflow. Use it to fine-tune and enhance your video content before mapping it onto surfaces.
  2. Adobe Photoshop: Adobe Photoshop is a powerful image editing tool that can help you create custom textures, graphics, and visuals for projection mapping. Design unique elements or modify existing images to match your artistic vision.
  3. Adobe After Effects: Adobe After Effects is widely used for motion graphics and visual effects. You can utilize its capabilities to create animated elements, add dynamic effects, and incorporate them seamlessly into your projection mapping projects.

How to Get Started: Now that you’re familiar with the equipment and software, let’s walk through a beginner’s guide to starting your projection mapping journey:

Step 1: Gather your equipment: Acquire a projector, computer, projection surfaces, and any additional gear you might need.

Step 2: Install the software: Choose a projection mapping software (e.g., MadMapper), and follow the installation instructions provided by the respective developers.

Step 3: Experiment with simple surfaces: Begin by projecting onto basic surfaces like walls or simple objects to understand the fundamentals of mapping and alignment.

Step 4: Create content: Use third-party apps like Photoshop or After Effects to design or modify visuals that align with your artistic vision. Export your content in compatible formats for projection mapping software.

Step 5: Start mapping: Launch your projection mapping software and import your content. Use the software’s tools to align, warp, and blend your visuals onto the chosen surfaces. Experiment with different mappings and effects to create the desired impact.

Step 6: Refine and iterate: Continuously evaluate and refine your projections. Experiment with various settings, surfaces, and content to enhance your skills and create unique experiences.

Conclusion: Projection mapping is a captivating medium that allows artists to transform static objects into dynamic canvases. With the right equipment, software, and a dash of creativity, you can create mesmerizing visual experiences that captivate audiences. Incorporating third-party apps like DaVinci Resolve, Photoshop, and After Effects further expands your possibilities. So, grab your projector, unleash your imagination, and embark on an exciting journey into the mesmerizing world of projection mapping!


  1. MadMapper Official Website: MadMapper
  2. Vimeo Course: Projection Mapping Course

Projection Mapping Videos:

  1. “Box” by Bot & Dolly: Box – Projection Mapping Video
  2. “Lightning Bolt” by Oskar & Gaspar: Lightning Bolt – Projection Mapping Video
  3. “Facade Projection Mapping” by Skullmapping: Facade Projection Mapping – Video

Remember, projection mapping is an art form that requires practice and experimentation. Embrace your creativity, push boundaries, and let your imagination run wild!