Model Box Projections

Latest Vid: [youtube]RD4a68NP7w4[/youtube]

Here's some rationale that goes deeper into the technical side of what is happening in this video.

The top image is of the camera setup. This is how to capture the scene that is later theatricalize. The bottom image is the projector setup. A few things to note here: The camera setup (location, orientation and zoom) should be identical to the projection setup. This ensures that nothing weird will happen with depth distortions.The overall idea is that the camera documents 3d space, translates into 2d data (as film), and the projection will translate it back into a 3d document.
The first step is to capture some video. It might be useful in this step to document the distance between the subject and the camera so as to save time later on in the process. This could either be done with guidelines on the floor (we call 'em spike marks in the industry), or just some sort of notation on a piece of paper.
The camera is then replaced with the projector - the exact location, orientation and zoom. When the camera indeed matches up with the projector, the projector will throw the exact image the camera received. Although light is being broadcast in that direction, it's not going to stop until it hits something. To stop the light and to produce an image, a theatrical flat - maybe a 4'x8' white wood panel - must be placed in the same literal location of where the actor was standing when the camera captured his image.And, of course, the best way to fully activate an actor is to have the rest of the playworld treat him as if he's actually there: dialogue, violence, romance, etc...
Most projects will demand that your actors move around on stage. The same principle applies.
Instead a motionless theatrical flat, the flat is wheeled around on stage - which lends a lot of interesting potential for convention: who gets to move the flat around on stage, how will they move it, and what kind of story will it tell?

All sounds good, cept some of you may be asking a very interesting question: what about camera distortion? Don't projectors distort things also?

Cameras indeed distort things. If an object is ten feet away from you standing one foot tall, that same object will appear to be half it's size at twenty feet away from you. Because the camera picks up a 2d image, it can't tell the difference, and just makes things bigger when they're closer to the camera, and smaller when further away.

Projectors also distort. If I you move a screen closer to or further away from the projector, the image will get bigger the when the distance is bigger, and smaller when the distance is smaller.

So, something walks away from the camera / projector. As it walks away, the camera makes the image smaller. But, as the surface (the theatrical flat or foam core) gets further away from the projector, the image gets bigger. Both distortions serve to cancel each other out.

So what's all this about Machinima?

Machinima is a type of cinema that is filmed entirely in a virtual world. To get a better understanding of what I mean, take a look at what's happening over at, or just do a quick youtube search.

The next step on this project is to find a machinima director who's would like to build a scene to very specific technical specifications (size, camera distance & angle, all those things). If you think that's you, get in contact w/ me.