Using Unity3D for mapping
The above video documents a recent project Obscura did. Actually I was mostly on another project at the time but I followed with great interest the work that my colleagues Frederik and Kasper did here. For all of us this installation was a learning experience in using Unity 3D for mapping onto a spherical object. It took a bit of trial and error but Frederik and Kasper decided to make a workshop out of it instead of worrying too much about the finished result.
They ended up with these little creatures created in Open Frameworks which were piped into Unity 3D via Syphon. They then made a Unity app for mapping onto the sphere. A regular 3D mapped rendering would not do here, as the small boids react to the presence of people in the room via a motion tracking camera.
Using Unity went resonably well – it has a bit of a learning curve, but it definitely has potential for installations that combine live interactivity with mapping, although they ran into some issues that stem from the fact that this is created as a game engine and not a mapping tool.
We feel that we have only just scratched the surface here. In tandem with Syphon you could use Unity to map all sorts of live input onto complex shapes.