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Hey Everyone,

The past few weeks I have been trying to delve into the realm of Architectural And Scenic Projection.  I wanted to get some opinions, and hopefully resources, from others who actually know what they are doing.  I am trying to get together some knowledge to do another small architectural projection in December.  I have tried to search the internet, but have only found very few bits and pieces that are useful.

I am specifically working on masking at this moment.  I have a set comprised of Scaffolding and I made a mask for it.  I attached a picture to show what I came up with.  The way I did it was very very hit and miss, and required a lot of Importing and scaling (guess and check).  I essentially mirrored my computer to the projector output and traced out the structure with paint.net.  Although, I made this work, I spent nearly 2 days on it.  There is a picture below to give a visual of what was trying to be accomplished.  

Is there a better way to do this?  I have heard that you can import a file from vectorworks, but wasn't sure exactly how.  

Also, how do you go about building set specific content (I know this is much more work than just masking a wall)?  Do you just start from a mask fill and make your changes in Photoshop or Final Cut?  Does most everyone sub out this work to a digital design firm, or is it done in-house?

Any thoughts?  Also any tips or tricks on how to do things better.  Sorry, I know this is a little vague, but I still trying to learn exactly which direction I need to go towards.






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As with most things, it depends on what you're trying to do. If you are just trying to highlight the scaffold members, you could take a picture, make a mask in photoshop, and then scale it and send it to a secondary monitor, which would be what you project.  Do you require video or animation to be played within the mask?  What kind of projector? Does the computer have the horses for video playback or would a media server bode well?  Not sure on the VW question, but there are a lot of mapping-specific apps out there....Madmapper, Touchdesigner, etc....There are a lot of ways to skin this cat...you can PM me for more specifics- I'm afraid I could speculate ad-nauseum here...or have a look at http://www.projectionfreak.com for ideas.
Jeff,

This is awesome.  I have been searching for applications like these.  I will certainly be in touch with you at some point.  Thanks,

,Steven

Steven,

 

Also keep in mind that if you are using this in a wide-screen (multi-projector blend) application, you will not be able to use a single photo to create a mask, since the angles for each projector are different than if you take a single pic from a center location... trust me, I've had some bad experience with this in the past.

 

I do some scenic masking with my Encore system - it can do keys, DSK's, and even key cuts and fills, and allows you to do some work on it while viewing it live on screen (especially with the newer versions of PowerPoint, where you can manipulate a slide while it is in presentation mode).Not sure if you are using this with your Encore, but there are a lot of powerful things that it can be used to do for scenic elements.

 

Let me know if I can be of any help with specific projects... I'm glad to help if I can! BTW, I'm working this week in the Delta Ballroom again - the scene of our last crime, er, show together!

 

Kirk

Kirk,

Thanks for the insight.  I am running 2 distinct outputs and not doing blending yet.  I am going to try and shore this in more before I move on to bigger and better things.  I have got a lot of really good pointers and am going to try a few different ways and see what works best.  Once I get more time to play with It, there is good chance I will get ahold of you.  Have fun in Nashville... yah show.... not crime.... i think.

,Steven


Kirk Garreans said:

Steven,

 

Also keep in mind that if you are using this in a wide-screen (multi-projector blend) application, you will not be able to use a single photo to create a mask, since the angles for each projector are different than if you take a single pic from a center location... trust me, I've had some bad experience with this in the past.

 

I do some scenic masking with my Encore system - it can do keys, DSK's, and even key cuts and fills, and allows you to do some work on it while viewing it live on screen (especially with the newer versions of PowerPoint, where you can manipulate a slide while it is in presentation mode).Not sure if you are using this with your Encore, but there are a lot of powerful things that it can be used to do for scenic elements.

 

Let me know if I can be of any help with specific projects... I'm glad to help if I can! BTW, I'm working this week in the Delta Ballroom again - the scene of our last crime, er, show together!

 

Kirk

Hi Steven,

 

We've been playing with rudimentary masks based off of several things.   The attached images all use masks.  With the hard sets we used the original CAD drawings of the scenic pieces to create the base mask then running a laptop in parallel we used the "actual size" feature of photoshop to do final touch ups on the mask.   For the most part this works very well.  The daignosis of the following images is as follows:

 

The cubes are easy...  firstly it's RP and secondly there is a border.  This entire presentation was custom built content built to a mask we generated directly from the CAD drawing and then played back via an encore system across a 4 projector blend....   we had 0 issues with the mask and all content worked perfectly from load in...

 

These panels took a little more tweaking just because the spacing was based on "human" placement so the zero point varied between panels.  The also have more detail in terms of the outline... and it's FP so no border to hide things with.  Still it came out very well...  tweaking in photoshop took approx 3 hours to be show ready after projectors were focused.  The content was all built as a flash presentation.  The mask we created in photoshop was put into a layer above everything in flash and some of the content was shuffled via "containers" in flash to fit....  the sweeping panoramas were easy but there were images that conformed to a single panel....  the content... uh yeah..  client based...

 

The final image is another flash presentation that was played back across a single 12K projector on hanging fabric panels.  These scrolls were probably the most difficult to mask because of their fabric nature.  Sure they looked square from the naked eye, but once we started playing with geometry on the projector across the set of hanging fabrics... man...  this was probably the most difficult.  Especially since the Background was a transluscent white voile that took light really well.  Even a pixel over and you got a silhouette on the Backdrop.  We found it was more preferable to be a pixel or more inside the surface than outside.

 

The last two were done on entirely consumer programming with no specialty software and no media servers.  Flash, motion, powerpoint and photoshop are all extremely powerful with a little imagination...

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