Sketchup sculpture into video mapping templates tutorial
This is a quick tutorial for my video mapping class at Berklee College of Music.
It may only make sense within the context of the class progress.
1. Open your project in Sketchup
2. Center your 3d sculpture, ideally using one of the standard camera views
3. Visualize where your projector will be in space, and make sure you’re “looking” at your 3d sculpture from that perspective
4. For a clean / neutral projection template, it may be worth turning on “parallel projection” under “camera” menu option.
5. Make sure you shut off any edges in the “view” menu option, and make sure your sculpture is brightly colored, with each important facet being of a different color.
6. After you are sure you’re looking at it from projector perspective, and everything is perfectly centered and nice, it’s time to export your image.
7. Go to “file – export – 2d graphic”, and export your image as a png with transparent background, make it at least 3000 pixels wide.
8. Open your image in Photoshop, select-all and copy.
9. Create a new file in Photoshop, exact size of your projection project (in this example we’ll use full HD, 1920×1080 as our project resolution).
10. Paste the image into the new file, center it, and make it as big as possible without touching the edges. Turning on rulers, and using guides can help you center it. When transforming ALWAYS hold down “shift” key to make sure you are not distorting the image, also hold down “option” key to keep it centered. It is super important not to distort it.
11. Create a new fully black layer to use as your background.
12. Save your project as a master psd template.
13. Save a png with no background, to use as a mapping template, but also an overall mask of the sculpture outlines.
14. Merge the image with black background, select facets that you want cut out with magic wand tool, then press delete (or choose “cut” from “edit” menu).
15. Go to “image – adjustments – levels” and bring whites all the way down to 0, to turn the full image black besides the cutouts.
16. Save each resulting mask, properly labeled, as a png image.
17. Undo and repeat with a different set of facets.
18. After being done with this process, you can test your masks in Resolume.
19. Create a new full HD set in Resolume.
20. Seed a few clips or sources into Resolume layers (one layer for each mask you have).
21. Put masks on the layer panel, find it and select “alpha” under mask type, and choose “invert” to make them work properly.
22. This setup allows you to map the sculpture fully from one composition, without routing separate layers into your advanced mapping routings.
23. These masks can also be useful for animation in After Effects.
24. Use a template to create a new composition, mess around with transparency button to make sure you’re seeing your alpha channel properly.
25. You can convert alpha into mask vectors, which can be used to automate various effects (by selecting an image mask with alpha cutouts, going to “layer – auto-trace”).
26. One effect that’s really easy to test is under “effects – generate – stroke”.
27. Test it out by making sure “all masks” is selected in stroke preferences (after you apply it to the layer with vector masks), animate beginning and end, line thickness, color, etc.
28. Doing all of this will put you in a really good place to create some custom content for your video mapped sculpture, as well as ensure that your Resolume VJ set for your sculpture will be easy to build.
Music by Bija