Projection mapping in Isadora

NOTE: this is preliminary documentation. Isadora 2.0 is currently only available via our “early adopters” program. (You can learn more about becoming an early adopter here. )


IzzyMap is a new feature found in Isadora 2.0 as of August 2014. It can be used in a variety of contexts; from theatre stage mapping, architectural mapping, DJ booth mapping and custom dance/theatre or other set design to name just a few.

In it’s simplest form the IzzyMap takes a input source, slices the video up into segments and remaps the image to make it fit a physical object. This is done by manipulating the image before it is sent out to the projector. This can be seen in the image below where the Isadora Troikatronix image on the left has been ‘cut up’ into slices and moved around, adjusted and manipulated on the right.

Projection mapping is time consuming and quite difficult at first, however the IzzyMap provides an array of tools to aid you with this process.


Getting Started

  • First, make sure you have a video source going into a projector.
  • Double click the projector and you will be prompted with an message, you can chose to never see this message again, or leave it as a reminder. create-projection-mapping
  • The main default mapper window looks like this. The default uses a rectangle mask.default-mapper-setup

Types of Masks!


  •  A four point mask which can be manipulated at all four points in an X and Y position.
  • It can be rotated
  • It can be zoomed in and out
  • Additional warping points cannot be added to it.
  • No curved paths
  • Single blend mode


  • A three point mask which can be manipulated at all three points in an X and Y position.
  • It can be rotated
  • It can be zoomed in and out
  • Additional warping points can not be added to it.
  • No curved paths
  • Single blend mode


  • Unlimited points (default is a four point rectangle)
  • It can be rotated
  • It can be zoomed in and out
  • Additional points can be added anywhere on a line by using ALT-Click (PC) or OPTION-Click (MAC).
  • Paths can be curved
  • Multiple shapes such as rectangles, triangles and circles can be added to make the shape more complex
  • Each individual mask can have a unique blend mode.


  • Maximum of 30×30 warp points (90 warp points in total)
  • It can be rotated
  • It can be zoomed in and out
  • It can be curved or straight
  • Single blend mode

 All Masks:

  •  All masks have a master opacity slider (0-100%).
  • All masks have an master blend mode (addictive, opaque and transparent).
  • All masks have an orientation switch (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right) – this flips and or flops the image.
  • All masks have individual Red, Green, Blue (RGB) adjustment.
  • All masks can be renamed by right clicking on the mask in the panel on the right hand side.
  • All masks can be re-ordered. Meaning you can change the layering. This is especially useful for  the opacity, transparency and opaque settings.

Navigating the windows.

 The Input and output windows can get a little bit confusing once you start slicing up the inputs and mapping them. So it is import you learn a few key shortcuts and basic navigation around the window.



The + and the – in the panel located top right zoom in and out in 25% increments.
The + and – keys on your computer keyboard match these icons.


You can also pick a zoom level from the menu at the bottom right in the middle of the window. This ranges from 5% to 500% or you can select a custom % if required.

 You can also use your mouse and trackpad to navigate around the workspace; the commands are as follows (depending on your system set-up)



NOTE: The mouse pointer acts as an anchor point so if your mouse is bottom right you will see the image zoom in and out offset to the top left and vice versa. Leaving your mouse directly in the middle of the window may produce a better result.


The icon highlighted blue in the image above is a really useful feature called ‘centre and expand selection’ The keyboard shortcut is E.

 This automatically fits the full image into the window and zoom in/out to make it a perfect fit.

 NOTE: This helps when working on a complex mapping and you want to navigate back to full screen.


The image above shows the ‘centre selection’ feature. The short for this is C on your keyboard. This does not effect the zoom in anyway but moves you to the middle of the composition.


 NOTE: This is ideal when you are zoomed in and editing a complicated mask(s) but need to go back to the middle of the composition for reference.

Snap off/on


You may find that masks are ‘snapping’ together when editing this is also known in isadora as Auto-Align. You can turn this off, or on, by clicking the magnetic icon shown in the grey box above or pressing the letter A on your keyboard.


 NOTE: This is a great feature when editing angular shapes that need to be aligned, but often needs to be turned off for curved masks which do not always line up.

Background colour and Intensity


Note: This is not to be mistaken for the stage or global background colour, this is purely for visual aesthetics when editing and mapping. 

You can change the window background colours from black, white, red and checkerboard effect (see image below).


This is often handy when working on masks where the edges are black, or white and you need to see the edge of the footage.

For instance a mostly black video will be hard to slice up in the input window if you can’t see where it starts, so if you change the background to white it really helps.
Likewise red and checkerboard add some variety to the background options.


In parallel to the background colour you can pick the intensity of the colour. This ranges from 0-100% in 25% increments.

Input and Output Window

 The mapper works on two principles. The input window slices up the video to create masks. And the output is where you actually map and distort the image before it is sent to the projector – the final output.

 You would also ways create at least one mask in the input before you move to the output. To go to the output window you click on the Input text located at the top of the window.



Note that the text changes to OUTPUT instead of INPUT now. Clicking in the sample place (on the OUTPUT) will take you to a split screen mode. There are two split screen modes; horizontal and vertical. Clicking three times will take you back to the INPUT window;



 There may be unique circumstances where you want to adjust the composition output size.


You can do this using the Output list on the bottom right of the screen. The list gives you the follow options:


NOTE: by default the Output is 1920*1080

 If you click ‘Custom’ then the window will change to a manual input for Height and Width:



It is also possible to publish every single element of a mask. This makes interactive features incredibly easy. To do this, right click on a mapping point and you will see all the options available to publish, the image below shows a standard rectangle mask:


Here we can see that point 3 of the rectangle can have the X and Y Offset published. If we click one or both of these you will see it change:


Offset X is now published. To undo this, simply click it again.

 So how do we see the published features and how do we control them?

 Simply close the mapping window and the projector actor will now have the published element showing, here is a before and after:

texture-projector-without-published-parameter texture-projector-with-published-parameter

You can see at the bottom of the second image (right hand side) that Rectangle 1 : Point [3] : Offset X is now published. You can treat this like any other numerical input within Isadora.



  •  Each projector has its own individual mapping properties. So if you copy and paste a projector (or have one embedded in a macro) it will copy all the mapping settings.
  • All the ‘normal’ features of a projector remain the same (Intensity, zoom, rotate, etc)
  • Published Parameters do not change the Mapping set within IzzyMap. They are used for map modulation. This is an important piece to understand. Changing a published parameter will only be seen in the Projectors output, not as part of the Projectors mapping setup.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts / Cheat-Sheet: IzzyMap Shortcuts (PDF)

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