Report on the study on how to create masks and ideal resolution for a calibrated projection


We gave a general explanation on what is videomapping and how it is used in a space like an art gallery or in a situation when you have to project on an object or even on an architectural structure when you want to give attention on certain part of the space.

Please take a look at an example of room design using 3D animation:

Living Room from Mr.Beam on Vimeo.

or on an object:

“Portal”: 3D Projection Mapped Sculpture from Integrated Visions Productions on Vimeo.

or even on a building:


EXHIBIT! | workshop & projection | Basel 2010 from urbanscreen on Vimeo.


First thing we want to do is position the video projector in front of the object. We need to do so especially when we try to do some video mapping the first time in order to master all the calibration issues that could come out. After that you are welcome to position the video projector on a higher position and or use more than one projector.

What you need to do is choose an output resolution that is going to be your guideline for all the project, so that will be your first step.

Let’s say for example we choose 1280 x 1024 which is an HD type of resolution and normally we would work on 1024 x 768 or higher.

I gave to the students a screen test pattern that they’ll use as a reference point to check if the Software they’ll use to project will be able to keep the image resolution at the same rate.

So you would like to open Adobe Photoshop or Gimp and create a document that uses 1280 Width x 1024 Length pixels or format your screen test pattern layer at that Width and Length with 72 resolution.

Create a background with the screen pattern ( by projecting the test screen saver, make sure that the area is covered and that the video projector is placed correctly) and insert a layer on top where you will design your first mask.

Now bring your external window of work on your external monitor which is the video projector pointed on the object you want to map.

Open it at a full screen and 100% with no guides or rulers.

Start creating the object mask by clicking with your pen tool all around the surface of the object.


Now that the object is selected you will be converting this path to a selection:

You can now work with your mask or apply a stroke to get an outline.

In order to create an object mask and/or its outline we should say that one of the most helpful tool in calibration is Photoshop from Adobe pen’s tool and in case you do not know much about it, here is an useful link:

Adobe Photoshop Paths Tutorial

So here we get the masks of our object and the outline for the animation. It is up to you to decide how many masks you want. It is all about your creativity.

So I asked the class what they did want to use and they replied that they would like to use Final Cut the most. Final Cut pro was not the software I was going to use that day, but why not, let’s do it!

So we need to open a new project in Final Cut Pro and select “Sequence” and afterward “Settings”


So we gave a frame size matching the final resolution of the video projector, pixel aspect ratio square, Fields Dominance none and no compression. Press Ok.

Now you can drag your psd file on the timeline and double click on it. By doing this you’ll have all the layers on your timelime.


You might want to check at this point that your layers are matching exactly with the object.

You can edit them and then play them keeping the program running as an external monitor or save them in a quick time mov.

To open an external clean monitor window in Final Cut you need to go to View:

and after select also:


Don’t forget to always use your test monitor screen or take the shape of the whole object to make sure that the projection matches exactly the area you want to cover.

In case you do want to prepare a Quick Time Movie you need simply to give the matching resolution on your “Using Quick Time Conversion” :


Now you can play your masked animation with a matching soundtrack, something that many VJ software won’ t allow you to do.






Curated by Giuliana Dieni
Location: X LAB, Skalitzerstr. 67 Berlin, 030 48810121
When: Thursday, May 5th · 20:00 – 23:00pm
(18:00 for people who have to install the software)


Hardware: Laptop
Software: Photoshop, After Effect, Final Cut or Premier, Resolume or Modul8 or Avenue
(The software cna be provided  at 18:00 in a trial version if you come one hour before the Workshop

List of Free software ( open source )
Flxer          Vj and Mapping software   [] Gimp         Pixel image manipulation    [] InkScape     Vector image manipulation   [] Synfig       2D vector animation         [] Blender      3D scriptable animation     [] Animata      Real-time animation         [] VeeJay       Interactive VeeJay          [] FreeJ        Scriptable VeeJay           [] KeystoneP5   Processing Video Language   []


from BLOG’s old URL :