Projection mapping: the best software solution for your projects


Projection mapping is making a name for itself. You might have seen it in many different scenarios without being aware of the name. Or you might be aware of the practice and want to try it to sublimate your art, create an unforgettable show or enliven your home or office. It can be monumental or at a reduced scale, it is used in nightclubs as well as corporate workshops, and it is installed in many pop-up exhibitions in addition to countless permanent installations. There are many forms of projection mappings and numerous softwares that will help make your vision alive. But these softwares have their own features and limitations designed for specific projects. We’ll try and list the main players to help you make your decision according to your needs.

Projection mapping softwares


  • For visual artists, designers and permanent installations
  • Hardware mandatory
  • Not made for live events

Let’s start with the only projection mapping software solution of our list that is packaged with hardware elements : Lightform. In order to use the software, you must equip yourself with Lightform’s LFC. It’s a compact computer that will scan the environment you want to map on in order to transmit the information to your screen. You can then use the Creator software to add visuals and colorful designs. In that regard, this solution is well-suited for permanent and digital art installations as the mapping phase is eased up by the scanning process. The workflow allows you to prepare the scene and your animations beforehand and then just press play once the event starts.

On the other hand, Lightform solutions were not designed for live events or shows. The process is that you just design your project, upload it fully and then appreciate the result. Therefore, it is a linear process, if the rendering doesn’t suit you, you need to retrace your steps, modify, go through the uploading process and do it again if need be.

Additionally, you are limited in terms of video outputs as the compact computer works with only one projector and the solution functions solely through that.

Those facts added to the lack of MIDI connection makes it difficult for scenic artists to conceive a show through this solution



  • Versatile
  • Built-in editor for coding
  • Complex UI

Onto an advanced tool for video mapping and light mapping : MadMapper. This projection mapping software is a very versatile one and can be used for many different projects. In fact, it is adapted for fields such as architectural projection mapping, artistic installations, stage design and live performances. You can take advantage of their high-speed video player to project your media onto surfaces using multiple projectors. This solution includes a live editor for coding and an online library that allows you to exchange assets with other users. Moreover, the included DMX protocols are also a must if you wish to control stage lighting and mapping in a single rendering.

MadMapper surely is a powerful tool with numerous features, but it is consequently not a very simple to use software. The interface is pretty dim, not so user-friendly and that can discourage beginners or artists who are short in time. You need to really immerse yourself in the software and be committed to learning it for a specific purpose. As an example, MadMapper pro training courses usually last a full week, so the learning curve is long and a bit complex.



  • For live performances
  • Layer mixing
  • Not made for various mapping projects

Let’s follow up with a reference in the realm of VJ softwares : Resolume. This solution is widely known from VJs, AV performers, media artists and nearly everyone related to the live performance world. This software allows you to create, modulate and arrange graphic video clips that are then organized in individual layers. Moreover, you can divide your composition into multiple slices which can then be mapped onto different surfaces. Additionally, you can send out colours to DMX fixtures for lights to be in sync with your visuals.

The basic VJ software is their entry-level product : Resolume Avenue. Their more advanced version which includes enhanced options regarding projection mapping and blending projectors is Resolume Arena.

You surely must have got it by now, Resolume was designed for live shows and AV performances. It is a go-to if you have a concert or a music event coming up.

On the flip side, this solution was not thought for anything less than that. The drawing tools do not allow meticulous mapping and are not fit for various more artistic projects. Moreover, there are no ready-to-use effects that can adapt to the designed shapes. The software is therefore not very well suited for more permanent installations. 



  • User-friendly projection mapping software
  • High-quality mapping in a few minutes 
  • Vast library of visual effects, shaders and animations

Last but not least, here comes our final contestant: HeavyM. This projection mapping software is the most user-friendly of our list and was designed to foster quick learning. It is a highly versatile solution, and it has been used for many various projects. That includes digital art set-ups, permanent installations, events and trade shows. Get inspirations.

However, it is particularly well adapted for live performances as it supports real-time projection mapping. That means that any change of settings in the software happens in real life at the same time. In fact, the workflow is such that you can create, modify and reiterate designs on the fly. What’s more, you can exchange real-time video streams with all audiovisual softwares including the ones we mentioned earlier such as Resolume. All those combined features appeal to both professional and amateur users which are mostly AV providers and scenic artists.

As you can’t spell live performances without mentioning music, HeavyM’s built-in sound analysis allows you to synchronize automatically what you hear with what you see. It is the perfect tool to create a show with pure visual and sound effects coherence 

While the software is compatible with all types of projector, HeavyM was not designed to work on massive scale and monumental projects such as for the Sydney Opera House or the Hoover “Dam” Mapping.


Whether you’re willing to create live shows or aiming for more permanent installations, HeavyM offers you the most various possibilities and is the quickest projection mapping software to handle