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 SHAPE Alignment Tool 
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Post SHAPE Alignment Tool
3D Projection Mapping is rapidly growing within the Entertainment Industry. A 3D workflow has many complex steps including, 3D modelling, UV mapping and content creation. The final step in the workflow is aligning the projection onto the physical structure. This stage can be one of the most pressured points in the chain being on site, communicating pixel accuracy over radio with a tech, late in the day, in the dark after other departments have finished their rigging (if your lucky).

Traditionally you would align each flat surface of a 3D structure by manually selecting 4 points in the content then aligning each point on the physical structure. So that is 4 points per flat surface. The amount of points you have to align quickly escalates if the model is multifaceted. There are many products in the market that map video to structures that way. This method is extremely time consuming, curved surfaces are difficult to achieve good results on and if you are using multiple projectors it is going to take a while.

SHAPES alignment tool turns this complex process into a simple process. No matter how complex the structure is, SHAPE only needs to know the position of 4 points to accurately map the whole structure. SHAPE has no problem dealing with complicated curves and it can map points that you might struggle to see from your position.

Within the software SHAPE’s Alignment Tool opens a new window that shows your 3D Model.

In this view you can select the models virtual vertexes and align them to the physical points on the structure using the Crosshair. The Crosshair in SHAPE is configurable to any situation. You can adjust its colour, thickness, circle size and if you need horizontal, vertical lines or both. Moving the Crosshair is done with the arrow keys, by default the crosshair moves pixel by pixel, modifiers ctrl and shift can increase the movements. If the projector has been rigged at an odd angle to maximize the amount of pixels hitting the structure that’s no problem, to make up ‘up’ and not left or right adjust the Up Angle in SHAPE and your Crosshair will correspond how you expect.

Naturally alignments are best executed in the dark. Sometimes so dark you struggle to see the model! You can either adjust the background colour of the projection to create some ambient light while you map or you can hold F to ‘flash’ the structure and see your points.

If you have multiple projectors hitting the same area of a building and your struggling to understand what you are seeing simple hit H to ‘hide’ the model on the conflicting projector to only see the model on the projector you want to align.

Aligning Structures has never been so quick. SHAPE is the only commercially available 3D mapper that only needs 4 points to align a complex 3D structure.

(In this case points don’t make prizes.)

Peppe Tannemyr
SSR Beacon DigiGobos®
Sweden retailer of Hippo systems

Wed May 06, 2015 6:18 pm
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