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multiple display HD project - Particular Z world space

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bart stevensmultiple display HD project - Particular Z world space
by on May 26, 2011 at 7:10:30 pm

I'm creating a multiple HD display project. The goal is to use the multiple displays as one massive canvas.
I have a massive comp - 22000 wide by 6000 tall - that contains all of my HD displays in scale. I need pixel accuracy so I'm working from my smallest HD display size. It's at 1920x1080 larger (physical displays are greater resolution and then scaled down).
My main effect is a "light streak" created with Trapcode Particular.
I animate the emitter across all displays in this comp.
Obviously I cannot expect a realistic render at that comp size, so I've placed multiple 1920x1080 solids in the comp and render only the area I need for that display. This works fine if I:
A) generate a camera with the same X / Y settings of the solid or,
B) I use the transform world setting in Particular
This works only if my transformations are in X and Y space, as soon as I introduce any movement in Z, my compositions lose alignment.
I figure this problem occurs because of my camera and it's field of view, but I'm not sure how to solve this.
Any ideas?


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Dave LaRondeRe: multiple display HD project - Particular Z world space
by on May 26, 2011 at 7:39:09 pm

Tell you what: before you get too deep into this project, seek out the advice of Walter Soyka, who does this kind of thing all the time. You'll find Walter's clickable image at the top of this forum's page.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Walter SoykaRe: multiple display HD project - Particular Z world space
by on May 27, 2011 at 2:02:57 pm

[bart stevens] "I'm creating a multiple HD display project. The goal is to use the multiple displays as one massive canvas. I have a massive comp - 22000 wide by 6000 tall - that contains all of my HD displays in scale. I need pixel accuracy so I'm working from my smallest HD display size. It's at 1920x1080 larger (physical displays are greater resolution and then scaled down)."

This is the part I'd like to understand a little better -- because a simple math mistake here will totally derail your project. You have different displays with different pixel densities, and negative space between displays?


[bart stevens] "Obviously I cannot expect a realistic render at that comp size, so I've placed multiple 1920x1080 solids in the comp and render only the area I need for that display."

I'd use a single, comp-sized solid -- more on this below. Big canvases like these require big renders. Build it into your budget and schedule.

I'm the same way about resolution that Christopher Walken is about cowbell. I've got a fever -- and the only prescription is more pixels! That said, a light streak might be the sort of element you could produce at half-res and scale up without anyone noticing -- especially if there are other full-res elements in the comp.


[bart stevens] "I've placed multiple 1920x1080 solids in the comp and render only the area I need for that display... This works only if my transformations are in X and Y space, as soon as I introduce any movement in Z, my compositions lose alignment. I figure this problem occurs because of my camera and it's field of view, but I'm not sure how to solve this. Any ideas?"

Particular seems to be built under the assumption it will always be used on a comp-sized solid. As you've discovered, Particular does not take the position of its 2D layer relative to the comp camera into account when rendering perspective, so each of these solids will seem to have their own perspective.

I hate to sound like the doctor who tells his patient "Don't do that" when the patient complains that some activity hurts, but I think that if you need these displays to work together in a single camera view, you will need one big particle system seen by one big camera.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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bart stevensRe: multiple display HD project - Particular Z world space
by on May 27, 2011 at 3:13:09 pm

Thanks Walter and Dave,
I had to sleep on it for a night, but I think I have it figured out.
Pretty Simple, if I'm right.
I'll create my animation with a null in the massive comp, just a null that is a child of a center null parent. The display canvas (for reference) will also be a child of the center null. I create my animation across all the displays, and then cut and paste the null animation into a HD comp. I position the center null for the specific display, and render particular in that comp.
I'll be testing this morning, so I'll let you know if I hit another wall. Thanks again for the expert advice.


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