Victorian House Set Extension with Projection Man: Setting up Basic Camera Mapping

Photo of Joseph Herman

Instructor Joseph Herman

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  • Duration: 05:09
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In this video you will begin to use Projection Man, Cinema 4D's built-in projection mapping toolkit.

In this video you will begin to use Projection Man, Cinema 4D's built-in projection mapping toolkit. Learn how to take the original two-dimensional photograph and project it on the low resolution model of the house.



- In this video, I'll show you how to use Projection Man to project the image of the house on our low-resolution geometry. Now, here's the camera that we use to calibrate. So let's name that "Calibration Camera". What we're going to do is we're going to make a copy of that camera. On the copy of the camera, let's call it "Projection Camera". Now, let's remove the camera calibrator tag from the Projection Camera. We're going to use this camera to project our image onto the geometry. So let's go ahead and on the background, let's hide the background, and let's go ahead and make it Gouraud Shading with Lines. So basically, what we've done here is we have two cameras and they're in exactly the same position, one on top of each other. So I'll move up the Projection Camera so you can see what I mean, and I'll undo. The Projection Camera is the one that we'll be using to project the image from. So we can add a protection tag to it to make sure we don't move it. So now I'll go ahead and open up the Projection Man window. This window is crucially important to the whole process of projection mapping and camera mapping. Let's go into Photoshop for a minute and check out how this file is built, the one that we'll be using for projection. There's a background layer, which has the image of the house on it. On the layer on top of it, you'll see that we've got the areas that have transparency in them, the area on top of the house, the little window there that has that transparency, and then this part of the gate. So we've basically got two layers in this file, and this is the file that we'll be using to do the projection with. Switching back to Cinema 4D, I've decided that what I want to do is consolidate some of these objects. It'll make things a little simpler. So I'm going to just take all of the objects, except for the House Transparency object, then I'll right-click on them and choose Connect Objects and Delete. Okay. Now, I have two objects, one that contains the polygons that have transparency on them, and the other object has everything else. I'll name the one that has everything else just "House Base". Now it's time to do the actual projection, so let's take the House Base in the Projection Man window and drag it over to the Projection Camera. From the popup menu that comes up, let's choose Load Bitmap. Then, we'll choose the image that we'll use for the projection. In this window that pops up, we want to choose the image that we're going to use, the projection on the left, and on the right, the Alpha channel. In this case, we want to use the layer Alpha. So let's click OK, and we'll notice that it takes that background image, and it projects it from the camera onto our geometry. Now, what I'm going to do is, on the Editor tab of the material, I'm going to change the texture preview size to 1,024, so now you'll see that the image is a lot sharper. There's something weird, though. Some of the image looks like it's a little bit lighter. I'm going to go into the material and turn off the default Specular, because those were caused by specular highlights in the material, so we don't want those. Okay. So as you can see here, let's actually not look through the camera, and you can see that there's the camera and through that camera, the image is being projected onto the geometry that we built. So we can actually move around our scene a little bit and that image is nice and stuck on there. By the way, here in this area, we can see a little preview of our Luminance channel and our Alpha channel, so that's kind of handy. Let's take the House Transparency layer, and drag it on top of the Projection Camera as well, and let's load the bitmap again. Same image, click Open, only this time we're going to click on the Mattes layer for the Luminance and the layer Alpha of the Mattes layer for the Alpha. Once again, we're going to click on this material that just got made, and we're going to increase its texture preview size to 1,024, so it'll be a little bit less blurry. You can see now that in these areas, you're actually looking through the Alpha channel of the image. So we're now going to be able to see through those polygons in the transparent areas. So we'll be able to see the sky behind it and things like that. In our next video, we'll animate the camera and make a coverage render.
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