FAQ

 

General

Does it have sound/audio?
We don't have direct audio support with Lightform, but this feature is on our roadmap. If you want to sync your audio from an external source, you could use a 3rd party tool, or network communication (e.g., via OSC) to sync music with the Lightform to achieve the desired effect.
Is a microphone built in that can be used as input (for example a clap)?
There is no microphone on the LF1/LFC. However, you can use external sensors (microphones) to detect a signal and trigger projected content through Lightform.
Can Lightform track moving objects?
Lightform is designed to use structured light scanning so it can work with most projectors with various lenses. Lightform generates a high resolution (1080p) scan of the scene. Lightform does not support real-time tracking.
Does it work outdoors?

Lightform is designed to be used in controlled environments.

  • Water Resistance: None (Use caution if operating outdoors)
  • Operating Temperature: 0°C - 30°C (32°F - 86°F) ambient conditions; Ensure proper ventilation around the device. Do not install in tightly enclosed spaces. Ambient Light: If you can clearly see the projected image, then the Lightform device can scan the object.

Overall, projection doesn't work in direct sunlight, and performance varies with the amount of sun or artificial light in the scene.

How do I remotely access multiple Lightform devices?
We have yet to release details about Lightform Creator Pro and Enterprise, which will allow you to remotely control and update your Lightform devices.
Can I leave Lightform on all the time?
Yes, Lightform was designed to be deployed in permanent installations and left on 24/7.
Can you help me plan or pre-visualize my installation?

Lightform is focused on building the Lightform platform, and doesn't provide professional services at this time. Here are some online resources to help.

Can you recommend a projection mapping agency to help us?
Lightform is focused on building the Lightform platform, and we currently don't have any specific recommendations for projection mapping agencies. We've intentionally built Lightform so any designer and creative agency can create projected AR experiences, without specific experience in projection mapping.
Is Lightform moire based mapping?
Lightform uses visible structured light patterns (grey codes) to acquire a smart scan of the scene, which resembles moire patterns.
Is it interactive? Can I use Lightform to create an interactive game?
Lightform renders interactive content on Lightform devices, like the instant effects that are real-time shaders running on the color and depth estimate scan of the scene. Lightform is designed to use OSC to trigger content on the Lightform. Therefore, Lightform content can be interactively triggered by an external sensor or device (e.g., mobile phone). However, Lightform does not support real time tracking.  
What ambient lighting does it work in? Can it be used in low light, bright light?
Lightform can be used with high or low ambient light, as long as you can see the projected image well, then Lightform can do the scan. This means you will need a bright (high lumen) projector if you have a significant amount of ambient light or have a large scene size.
Why are non-projected areas still lit?
One of the easiest ways to make the "black" areas of the projection where you don't have content to fade away is to increase the amount of ambient light. In a completely dark environment, it will always be difficult if not impossible to remove 100% of the black rectangle emitted from the projector. One technique we sometimes use is to add some basic up-lighting to the areas that you do not want to see the rectangle, or increase the ambient lighting a bit. Also you can try reducing brightness on the projector, playing with the contrast settings, and change the image mode — Cinema or Natural will be the best. Another more advanced option is to wrap the lens with foil, (preferably black cinefoil, here is an example). Foil won't get rid of the contrast areas but will let you feather and shape the edges of the contrast areas to make it fade away. We have a bit more info about some related concepts here

 

Connectivity

Do I have to have an internet connection to use my Lightform device?
Your Lightform device needs an internet connection to get the latest software and firmware updates. You can otherwise use your Lightform without an internet connection, however, we recommend using WiFi or ethernet for a more reliable and robust experience. If you wish to use your Lightform offline, you should make sure to update your software and firmware while on an internet connection first. 
How long does it take to publish content to the Lightform device?
This depends on your network and the amount of content you're pushing. Publishing your project involves both rendering your project content to video and uploading your project to the Lightform device. This is comparable to rendering out videos in video editing software. If your project only contains live effects, then rendering is trivial and won't take long. The more complex the project is, the longer the render and upload time. Projects with more and/or longer slides and with more content increase render and upload times. To minimize latency, you can connect to the Lightform device over Ethernet.
How do I forget a paired Network on my device?
  1. Navigate to the Control Page. Your device’s properties are displayed there.
  2. Enable the "Labs" features by checking "Enable Labs" in the Help menu.
  3. Find the Saved networks property box on the left
  4. In the Saved networks property box, right-click on the network you would like to forget.
  5. Click the Remove network '[network name]' option. Lightform Creator and your device will forget the network and once you restart, you will need to go through the pairing process again.
Is there a way to factory reset my device?
You currently cannot reset the device to factory settings. If you are having trouble pairing your device or updating your firmware, please submit a bug report and reach out to our support team at support@lightform.com for help.
What is the password to pair directly to my device's network?
"lightform"
What if I don't see my Lightform device in the list of available wifi networks?
Please make sure you are using the right network configurations (see here). We recommend restarting both Lightform Creator and your Lightform device. If this doesn't work, please try again with the device in closer proximity to your computer (preferably <3ft). The Lightform device's WiFi is not quite as strong as a laptop or phone, so you may have to try moving the Lightform device closer to the access point or re-orienting the device with respect to the access point (the LF1 antenna works best when the LF1 is pointing generally towards the access point -- this isn't a necessity, but it helps). It may take a few tries to work depending on the strength of your wifi network and the environment. 
Can I connect my Lightform device to a 5GHz network?
The LF1 does not currently support 5GHz networks. If you are using a LF1, you need to join a 2.4GHz network. 
Can I connect my Lightform device on a public wifi network? Like my work's guest network or at a cafe?
No - Lightform device's firmware is not capable of connecting to Unsecured, Captive Portal, WEP, or WPA/WPA2 Enterprise/802.1x networks. In these scenarios, a wired ethernet connection is suggested. 
Why is my LF1 LED blinking yellow when my device was already paired and online?
There are a few things that may cause your LED to blink yellow.
1. Your device is attempting to connect to the last network you were paired to when you are now in a new network environment. Please make sure your device is paired to the same network as your computer. If you are having difficulty, follow the instructions here to forget the last network your device was paired to before attempting to pair in the new location. 
2. Your projector is not on/in standby. Please check that your projector is still on and not in standby mode. If your device was online but your projector went into standby mode, it may blink yellow indicating it has lost connection to the network. 
Why is my LF1 LED blinking blue when everything is plugged in?
Please make sure your projector is on and not in standby mode. If your projector is off, the HDMI signal may be disrupted. 
My HDMI is connected but I am getting the error "no hdmi detected". What does this mean?
Please make sure your projector is turned on. This error may display if your projector has gone into standby mode or if it is not on. You may also get this error if your firmware is not up to date. Please make sure you are connected to the internet to see if your firmware needs to be updated. If you need a firmware update, you will be prompted to update firmware once your device is online. 
  

Content

What file formats does Lightform Creator support?

You can add your own imported media (video or images) to your project. Lightform Creator supports the following video and image file types:

Video .mov, .mp4, .mpg, .mpeg, .flv, .avi*
Image .bmp, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff, .tga

Note

*We recommend encoding your videos with the h264 codec, .mp4 container, at 30fps, with H.264 Profile: "High".

Can I use my own computer to stream real time visuals to Lightform?
Currently, Lightform does not support live streaming of content from your computer to the Lightform device.
Can I use my own images/videos?

You can import your own images and videos, or use our library of built-in effects.

Can I export 3D mesh models?
Lightform does not export 3D mesh models. Lightform uses the depth estimate map of the scene to make content creation easier within Lightform Creator.
Can I import/export masks?

You can export masks in Lightform Creator to use in other content creation software. You can then publish the video back into Lightform Creator. See more information on how to do this in After Effects here

Is it possible to stream content to the projector from another application? Can I use it with my projection mapping software (MadMapper, Resolume, Arkaos, HeavyM, Watchout, QLab)?
Lightform is designed to be an all-in-one solution for projection mapping. Lightform doesn't support streaming from other applications into Lightform Creator. You can import images & video content, and you can control interactive content via Open Sound Control message from another application.
Can I import an animated 3D object (.obj) or models?
It is not possible to import an animated 3D object into Lightform Creator at this time.
How does it realign content?
To re-align content you should re-scan the scene, then realign your content via the move and edit tools.

 

Effects

How many Instant or "Live" Effects can run on Lightform devices?
Currently, you can have one live effect on each slide. We are still exploring the best way to optimize instant effects on Lightform devices, and we will be releasing more details on performance requirements in the future.
Does it support custom effects?
Lightform Creator includes a library of real-time customizable effects that are optimized for Projected AR. 
How do I change the speed of an effect?
In the effects panel, edit the "Loop Frequency" to change the speed of an effect. The longer the duration is on the loop frequency, the slower the effect will appear. 
How do I get effects to loop without cutting out abruptly at the end?
The slide duration should be divisible by the effect's loop frequency duration. For example, if you have a 10 second slide, the loop frequency should be 1,2,5, or 10 seconds. 

 

Hardware 

Will you be selling the accessories on their own?
At this time, Lightform accessories are only included in the Starter Kit. 
What is the power voltage for Lightform Devices?

The LF1 uses a 12V DC input and draws up to 20 Watts depending on usage. We include the appropriate AC power adapter and interchangeable plugs for US, EU, and UK standard outlets.

The LF2 comes with a 19VDC 6.32A power supply that requires a 120-240V AC input and includes standard plugs for the region it is purchased in.

The LFC comes with a 12VDC 3A power supply that requires 120-240VAC input and comes with interchangeable standard plugs for North America, Europe, UK, and Australia.

How much storage capacity does Lightform have?
The LF1, LF2, and LFC have 20 GB of eMMC on-board reliable storage.
How do I make my own Starter Kit?
Epson sells the Starter Kit projector under a different name in Europe, the Epson EH-TW650: https://www.epson.eu/products/projectors/home-cinema/eh-tw650. We are exploring offering accessories separately down the road. The tripod that we typically recommend can be found here on Amazon.
Can I use a VGA 2 HDMI adapter cable?
We haven't tried this out ourselves yet, so we can't say that it is officially supported. HDMI adapters sometimes have poor performance and drop signal, but it may work adequately.
If the IR blaster 1/8" plug isn't being used for that IR could it handle a microphone?
Unfortunately, the IR line does not support audio. However, we plan to support external audio integrations in the future. Let us know if you have any thoughts on what would be most useful for you.
Can I buy the IR Controller?
The IR transmitter is only available with the LF1 kit (sold out) and is used to control the projector.
Can I use the extra USB/HDMI ports on the LFC to plug in other projectors/audio?
No - the extra USB/HDMI ports on the LFC are not functional and should not be used (e.g. you can't plug in two projectors, or plug in a usb drive or another camera/etc.)

  

Projectors

Can I use a pico/micro projector?
Lightform works with most normal throw projectors (throw ratio 0.85-1.8), irrespective of the projector's size. Lightform must still be able to see the projected image.
What projectors are compatible with Lightform devices? 

The LF1 works with most normal throw projectors (throw ratio 0.85-1.8).

The LFC works with projectors with most normal throw projectors and some short throw projectors (throw ratio 0.50-2.0). 

Compatible projectors must have HDMI input and support 1080p input resolution. Projectors of any size and brightness can be used. As long as you can see the projected image well on an object, then Lightform will be able to perform a scan.

Does this work with short throw projectors?
The LF1 supports projector throw ratios between 0.85-1.8. The LFC supports projector throw ratios between 0.50-2.0. We will add support for other throw ratios in the future.
How large of an image can the Epson 1060 throw?
The Epson 1060 projector is 3,100 lumens. In high bright lighting (e.g. retail) it works well on a 4 ft wide scene, in a darker room (e.g. an event) it works on a 10 ft wide scene, in pitch black (e.g. at night) it could be used on a 20 ft wide scene. Projector Central has a calculator to help with projector placement. https://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-Home_Cinema_1060-projection-calculator-pro.htm
Does it work with 4K projectors?
The LF1 and LFC outputs up to 1920x1200 resolution. Thus LF1 and LFC works with 4K projectors that accept HD input, but will only result in HD content. 

 

Scanning

What is the range of the LF1 scan?
Lightform works with normal throw projectors (throw ratio 0.85-1.8) and can scan almost any size scene, from a coffee cup to a building. The LF1 hardware can scan matte objects that are at least 3 ft away. If the LF1's camera can see the projected image and the projection is in focus, then it can perform a scan.
What is the range of the LFC scan?

LFC will scan any size scene 1ft to infinity. Your projector image must be bright enough for the camera to see, and the projected image must be in focus. LFC works with projectors that meet the following criteria:

  • HDMI input
  • Throw Ratio: 0.5 – 2.0
  • Any brightness (depending on ambient light)
  • Any lamp type (e.g. LED, Laser, bulb)

LFC outputs a maximum resolution of 1920×1200. Using a projector that is longer than the recommended throw ratio may yield a low-quality scan. If LFC can see the projected image and the projection is in focus, then it can perform a scan. Lookup your projector specs, including throw ratio, here.

Can you map content to a reflective & changing surface?
Lightform uses visible structured light scanning, so like most scanning systems it doesn't work on reflective surfaces. Lightform doesn't support real time tracking, so if the surface changes, you will need to perform another scan.
What is the scan resolution?
The resolution of the scan is dependent on your projector. For example, if your projector is set to display at 1080p, then the resulting scan image will also be 1080p.
My device won't scan. Are there ways to force this?
Please make sure everything is working properly. Likely, if your device isn't scanning it is because one of the following steps needs to be taken.
  1. Restart the Lightform by unplugging the power cable and plugging it back in
  2. Restart the projector
  3. Make sure the HDMI cable is connected to both the projector and Lightform
  4. Make sure the projector is on the right input mode 
  5. If you have the scan window up, you should see a projected test card. If for some reason the test card is appearing but you still get this error, it might be because the projector is too dim. 
What does the error "not enough correspondences" mean?
This error usually means that the items in the scene are too dark to scan, the projector isn’t bright enough to scan the items, or the projector is too far away. When scanning again, you could try the following: 
  1. In the scan dialog, turn on “Safe Mode” and turn off “Apply Mask” under Advanced Settings in the scan page
  2. If that doesn’t work, move the projector closer to the scene and/or zoom the projector in

If none of that works, please reach out to our support team at support@lightform.com.

Why are there so many holes in my scan?
The holes that you're seeing in the scan are parts of the scene that are seen by the LF1 OR the projector, but not both. Because the LF1 camera lens and your projector lens can never be in the exact same physical position, there will always be small portions of the scene that can be seen by one lens but not the other. These are referred to as "shadows" or "blindspots." We recommend checking out this article: Common Scan Issues & Resolutions. You will be able to adjust the amount of hole filling using the 'Fill' slider under scan properties. To find this: click on the scans widget on the bottom left corner of the app and locate the Scan Properties in the panel on the right.
Can I use an image as the template for a project instead of using a scan? 
There are some workarounds to accomplish this but it is not currently a feature-- it is, however, on our roadmap for future development. You could: 

1. Replace the color image in your project file with the image you'd like to have act as your "scan". To do this, you would: 

  • Take a scan of anything (a blank wall for instance) and then save that scan's project.
  • Go to the project file on your computer and replace the color image in the project file with the image you'd like to use as your scan. Please note - this image should be the same resolution as your projector's resolution. 
  • Restart Lightform Creator and open the project with the replaced color image. This will allow you to use our generative effects on top of the image using the color data in the image.

or 

2. Draw on top of an image using the pen tool directly in Lightform Creator. 

  • Import the photo like you would any video or photo asset
  • Use the pen tool to create surfaces on top of the image. Please note - this would not allow you to use the brush or magic wand tools with the color data in the image so our generative effects would not work the same way they would in the first option option but it would be easy to use the pen tool to draw surfaces over the image and insert content that way.

 

Integrations

Is there an API/SDK?
Lightform LF1 has Open Sound Control (OSC) support which can be used to trigger scenes and to control the interactive intelligent effects (shaders running in real-time on LF1). We are exploring a REST API, ways to create your own shaders for intelligent effects, and additional API integrations down the road.
Can I use Twitter with Lightform?
We are working on native rendering of content from social media within Lightform, but we haven't released any details yet.

  

Lightform Creator

Does your software have the ability to apply a chroma key to my footage if I record using a green screen?
Lightform doesn't support chroma keying or streaming live content.
What are the system requirements for the software?
Please reference our minimum requirements here
Can you use Lightform Creator without a Lightform device?
Lightform Creator only works with Lightform hardware.
Can you animate slides? 
You can animate the slide transitions to fade in/fade out. To do this, select a slide in the slides panel, locate the 'Slide Properties' in the properties panel, and enable the animation you would like for that slide.
 Screen_Shot_2019-11-05_at_3.01.20_PM.png
Adding additional animation settings and time based composition features are on our roadmap, but we don't have an estimate on the timeline yet. 
Can I duplicate a surface? 
Yes - simply right click on the surface and choose "Duplicate Surface" from the options that appear. 
Can I duplicate a slide?
Yes - simply right click on the slide and choose "Duplicate" from the options that appear.
Can I rename a slide or surface?
Yes- double click on the Surface or Slide name to edit.
How do I change the duration of a slide to match the duration of my video content?
Click on the video layer in the Layers panel. The Layer properties panel will appear on the right. Click "Set Slide Duration". This will set the slide duration to the same length as the video on that surface. 
What is the difference between "Save project" and "Archive project" and why would I use one instead of the other?
The "Archive project" feature saves the current project with all of it's assets to a newly selected directory and copies all of the project's assets to that new directory. When you open the Archived project on a new computer, it will include any of the customer assets that were brought into that project in Creator. 
When you use the "Save Project" feature, Creator will still reference the custom assets that you had saved locally on your machine so if you go to open it on another computer, there will no longer be a connection to the original assets. When you publish the content, you may notice that the custom content does not play -- this is because it has lost connection to the original source file. 

Lightform Creator Pro

What is Lightform Creator Pro & Enterprise? What are the differences and costs? What is the release date?
Details and pricing for Lightform Creator Pro and Enterprise will be released in the coming months. 
Do you need a Pro/Enterprise license for each device?
Yes, each device will need an accompanying license of Lightform Creator Pro if you use a pro feature.
Will I need new hardware for the Pro version?
No, the Lightform Creator Pro will not require any additional hardware and you can choose to upgrade to Pro at any point after it's released. 

 

 

 

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