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Sharper projection mapping/camera mapping? (/possible to increase shadow map beyond 4000?!)

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Tim DrageSharper projection mapping/camera mapping? (/possible to increase shadow map beyond 4000?!)
by on Jan 25, 2013 at 1:24:13 pm

I'm trying some projection mapping*, pretty exciting and it's working well except that whatever I do the projected image is quite soft compared to the original, does anyone have any ideas how to make it sharper?

I've made sure the projector light has 0px shadow diffusion, camera depth of field is off, and I've set the shadow map resolution to 4000 in the comp settings but it still looks kind of out of focus.

I'm in CS6, my comp is 1080p and the client's psd i'm using to project is 3000+ px wide, and I've tried even higher rez images by way of a test with no apparent change in the amount of softness.

Here's a simple (not my actual project) demo example; not a proper 3d photo bgnd image as you can see :) - i just threw something with sharp edges in there to obviously show the difference in softness. Normal 2D image on the left, 3d projected image on a random angled 3D solid on the right. Click to see it at full rez to see what i'm on about:


Am I overlooking something obvious? Or might it be possible to somehow hack the shadow map settings to go above 4000px? It doesn't seem to be in any of the prefs txt files I can find...

Changing the size/distance etc of the camera, light and projected layer doesn't seem to change this much tho I've not experimented very scientifically with this yet.

thanks in advance for any ideas!

(* as per this + similar tutorials:





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Tim DrageRe: Sharper projection mapping/camera mapping? (/possible to increase shadow map beyond 4000?!)
by on Jan 25, 2013 at 1:42:05 pm

Hmm just did some further experimenting and it seems like changing the camera angle/zoom effects the sharpness of the shadow map! So I might try altering that, tho alas I think that'll mean rebuilding my 3D wall layers from scratch. :-S

Any other suggestions still welcome, thanks!


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Dave LaRondeRe: Sharper projection mapping/camera mapping? (/possible to increase shadow map beyond 4000?!)
by on Jan 25, 2013 at 5:22:44 pm

If you don't have sufficient resolution in the shadow map for the resolution & distance of layers in the comp, you'll get bad results.... but you don't mention the resolution of the shadow map.

Thus, we can't isolate the problem. We need more details on what you're doing.

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


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Tim DrageRe: Sharper projection mapping/camera mapping? (/possible to increase shadow map beyond 4000?!)
by on Jan 25, 2013 at 5:53:17 pm

Thanks for the quick reply. Like I said in my original post, the map I'm using to project is 3000px wide (and 2292 high, so it's taller than 16:9) so in theory it's much bigger than my 1080p comp. (and I tried an even larger 5000+ wide random image with the same sort of results) It's 300dpi in photoshop but after effects doesn't pay any attention to that does it?! :-S And i'm using the maximum 4000 shadow map resolution in the comp 3D settings.

I did some more experiments and turns out a AE text layer also casts non-crisp shadows in the same comp.

A wider camera angle definitely seems to improve the sharpness of any of the projection maps/shadows I've tried so far. my original problematic attempt was arbitarily a 35mm camera, in my tests I tried a 20mm one to much better effect. Changing the camera angle messes up my original half-built comp of course but I think* it doesn't really make any difference if I start again in a new comp with a wider camera.

(*it's too friday afternoon to quite get my brain around whether the camera angle even makes any difference but I think I'm correct that it'll just mean the grid solids i line up will be a different size/distance from the camera?)


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Dave LaRondeRe: Sharper projection mapping/camera mapping? (/possible to increase shadow map beyond 4000?!)
by on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:59:26 pm

Well, we don't know the dimensions of your comp, we don't know how you're constructing your 3D environment, we don't know the position of your camera, and we don't know how close the camera is to the the surfaces displaying the projection.

They all affect image quality.

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


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Tim DrageRe: Sharper projection mapping/camera mapping? (/possible to increase shadow map beyond 4000?!)
by on Jan 26, 2013 at 4:48:26 am

What


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Tim DrageRe: Sharper projection mapping/camera mapping? (/possible to increase shadow map beyond 4000?!)
by on Jan 26, 2013 at 4:57:11 am
Last Edited By Tim Drage on Nov 18, 2015 at 10:48:32 pm

I explained all that, I even made a diagram with.black metal dingbat font. AND I have pretty much answered my own question anyway. I was waiting for a bus and conceptualised the whole shadow map resolution thing; naturally if the shadow map is a specific size then a camera more zoomed in will be more low rez.

[unhelpful and unprofessional comments removed, since this old thread has been bumped] :-S


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Ahmad ElMahmoudyRe: Sharper projection mapping/camera mapping? (/possible to increase shadow map beyond 4000?!)
by on Jan 26, 2013 at 10:00:08 am

Hello There,
A quick note in that case, first make sure the comp size is matching the projection output.
second if it's available to move the projector try the best position. and I think less wider lence will give better results with adjusting the focus the output of the projector
I know it's silly to say the light condition but I have to say.
Ahmed
id-labs.org


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Ridley WalkerRe: Sharper projection mapping/camera mapping? (/possible to increase shadow map beyond 4000?!)
by on Jan 26, 2013 at 4:23:35 pm

[Tim Drage] "You're the worst support/tech forum poster I know TBH. "

Tim;

I'm not sure whether you got off to a bad start today, but in Dave's defence he is a valued member of the Cow Community. Over the years his contributions here have save my bacon many times. He deserves your respect and if he doesn't respond to your liking you're welcome to ignore it.

TBH your post, while not lacking in detail, was a bit of a ramble and difficult to decipher.

I hope you realize that other every poster here is a user like yourself, other than Todd Kopriva, no one has a direct affiliation with Adobe or gets paid to post on the forum.


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Tim DrageRe: Sharper projection mapping/camera mapping? (/possible to increase shadow map beyond 4000?!)
by on Jan 26, 2013 at 4:34:52 pm
Last Edited By Tim Drage on Nov 18, 2015 at 10:49:11 pm

Yeah that was pretty uncalled for on my part to say the least, sincere apologies to Dave.

and yes I do realise that.

and Ridley Walker is a great novel!


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Ridley WalkerRe: Sharper projection mapping/camera mapping? (/possible to increase shadow map beyond 4000?!)
by on Jan 26, 2013 at 6:38:41 pm

[Tim Drage] "Ridley Walker is a great novel!
"


True that.


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Michael UnderwoodRe: Sharper projection mapping/camera mapping? (/possible to increase shadow map beyond 4000?!)
by on Nov 18, 2015 at 10:03:23 pm

Just came accross this thread while dealing with this so I wanted to reply in case anyone else was dealing with this. If setting the shadow map rez to 4000 doesn't quite get rid of the blurriness, you can leave it set on "use comp size" and just make your comp size 8k or more. Then crop your comp by putting it into another comp that is your final output size.


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