Jordan Halsey Projection Mapping
My first exposure to the idea of altering space with projection mapping was shortly after I started working on the last Michael Jackson concert when he passed away. This was also my first real job working on tour visuals and non-standard rendering. With my previous experience working with Bruce Rodgers of Tribe Design on large-scale concert designs, a new world opened. This new world felt like the world that I belonged in. I never really liked working in a traditional post-production pipeline, and my experience working on title design left me cold. I was extremely lucky to be at the right place at the right time, and the Michael Jackson name opened doors to a new career that ultimately changed my life forever.
I was also transitioning to Houdini from SideFX as my main software instead of Maya. I also started using Touchdesigner for the first time. Both programs are so intertwined with my life. Currently, I am a full-time professor at the University of Southern California in the School of Cinematic Arts where I teach a course on Projection Mapping. I also teach a Houdini course and an Unreal Engine course.
Touchdesigner and Houdini -Software for Creating Video Content for Mapping.
My general toolset includes specialized software for projection mapping with the main software being Derivatives Touchdesigner. I extensively use Houdini from Side Effects Software. I love Touchdesigner and think that it is the best software for individual artists to create immersive experiences. Touchdesigner is made to turn common objects into display surfaces with projection mapping as simple as possible. It is very simple to output to multiple projectors and perform edge blending. While it does not have the most intuitive interface, once one understands how the interface works you fall in love with it.
Projection-Mapping First Experience
My first projection mapping job was in season 11 of American Idol at V Square Labs. I had worked for V Squared Labs once before. While technically American Idol was using 13 projectors, there was nothing that interesting about how they used the surfaces. Then came Amon Tobin ISAM 2.0.
Amon Tobin ISAM 2.0 Projection Mapping
This was my first experience with complex projection surfaces and a three-dimensional object. Designed by Production Designer Heather Shaw with the visuals being created at V Squared Labs and Leviathan. Peter Sistrom designed the projection mapping software using Touchdesigner. He and I worked on the only really real-time rendered video projection “Razorback.” I 3D Modeled a kit of parts that matched the projection surface. I was an early adopter of game development techniques for asset production for real-time rendering.
Amon Tobin ISAM 2.0 Projection Mapping | Behind the Scenes Video
Projection-Mapping the Starcraft Stage at BlizzCon 2017
I was one of the artists who worked on the projection mapping of the Starcraft stage at BlizzCon 2017. I created the Protoss look. This was the most complex projection mapping job that I had worked on at that point. All of the projection surfaces were complex. The render resolution was 8172 X 3072 which made rendering difficult. The media server design was done by Keith Lostroco in Touchdesigner. This was a complex video mapping system that used 22 projectors with edge blending to seam the image. Kieth had built a new set of projection mapping tools that he used.
Circuitry of Life – Projection Mapping a 40′ Touchscreen Cube for Red Bull
I was the Lead Artist on a production designed by Heather Shaw of Vita Motus. Sponsored by Red Bull the projection surfaces were the sides of a 40′ cube. The projection surface was also a gigantic touchscreen. Jeff Smith and Mathew Wachter designed the projection system in Touchdesigner. The touchscreen was made possible through a dive that was capable of emitting 180 degrees of IR signals. Two of these devices were mounted in the middle of each side of the cube. This allowed the large flat surface to be fully covered in individual beams of IR. When you came into contact with a beam, using time of flight the exact location of the break could be determined.
Circuitry of Life Projection Mapping | Behind the Scenes Video
Projection-Mapping Al Dyria in Saudia Arabia for Xite Labs
In 2018 I was brought on by Xite Labs to help with a large projection mapping job in Saudi Arabia. At roughly a kilometer long this was the largest projection job that I have ever been involved with. With hundreds of projectors, and a very complex structure. My role was to spatially map Diriyah, in Saudi Arabia. We had a high-density Lidar Scan which I used to spatially map the real environment and create geometry that would be good for a projection surface. We also had to have different projection mapping methodologies, one using a single image from a front perspective, and the other using a large set of UV maps. This resulted in extremely large video files. I also created a virtual reality application that allowed our team in Saudia Arabia to view the immersive experience while we worked on it.