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  1. Here it goes- I know that both Landru & Projection Viz plug-ins cover a lot of this, but not all. And there are hacky ways to achieve a lot of this stuff, but nothing as simple as the other tools that VW Spotlight has. I would love to speak with the VW development team to help get this stuff going. VW would be the #1 tool for projection design and engineering if they were able to achieve even half of these requests. There are other apps that can achieve some of this, but nothing close to all of it. Library that rivals the lighting library, which would mean: Many more projectors Many more lenses Tool: The big one for me is the ability to focus on surfaces, not limited to screens. Many projection and video designs don't use screens. Right now the tool caters to trade show executions / simple design. Currently, the work around is that you can project on to any surface with Josh's excellent Projection Viz tool - but the focus point has to be behind the object which is great for previz but not accurate for engineering purposes (you can double up and achieve this with class visibility). Obstructions. If something is in front of a projector, shouldn't the image be clipped? Projector beams. Because: Fog etc. And projection surfaces emitting light! Projector focus points! This would be amazing. Just like the lighting focus points, it would angle the projector to match the target focus point. Accurate projection shift (set limits based on projector + projector lens combination). Projectors at odd angles to fit in the nook and crannies that are in real world situations. Projectors on other types of hang points. Right now you can hack this to make it happen (just using a projector symbol and not the plugin object). But: attaching a projector to a truss or a ceiling? The plug in should be able to handle that. Lumens studies. 2D and 3D class options for beam, projector, projected image. True representations of pixel math, aspect, and resolution. Simpler portrait mode (or any other angle other than straight on) Projector arrays! As in: pick a target surface and a dialog comes up with the ability for an AxB array with C% blending. Similar to the roof tool, you can pick an array configuration, and the desired blend and single projector height, and it will give you the overall image size OR, you pick the total surface area and a single projector width and it will give you the projector count and the blend percentage. Fairly simple stuff... Raster calculation. An array of projectors creates a multi-screen image. What's the total raster image in pixels? Linking Projector Symbols to Projector Lenses - ideally the plugin object would allow you to select lenses that are available for that projector. Much like the lighting tools and gobo options, lens options, shutters, etc. New lenses come out all the time so having the ability to add new lenses on your own. Ability to use Spotlight Numbering / Label Legends on Projectors. Show things like: PRJ number, lumens, lens type, signal type, signal source (media server ID) etc. I'm doing all of that manually and it's maddening when I've seen what Label Legends and Numbering can do for lighting. Basic geometry correction (I.e., corner-pinning within the projected image). I'd rather have spout / syphon capabilities but this would help in the interim as well. Complex geometry correction (grids + pins). Ditto re: spout / syphon. Spout / Syphon per projector would be killer. This would mean the ability to show animated / video content on any projected surface or traditional LED screen. Would also allow you test more complex projection mapping techniques: complex geometry, corner pinning, bezier mesh, masking. The capabilities are endless when Spout / Syphon are in the mix. Being able to hook Vectorworks up to MadMapper, Isadora, TouchDesigner, QLab for previz would change the game. There are previz tools out there but they are not engineering tools. An engineering tool that can also show previz - a dream come true. If Vectorworks is the go to for previz for lighting design, they would own the market if they could do it for video design as well. This can be achieved (partially) using Vision and NDI streams but because the functionality is super limited it's not very helpful unless you are using traditional screens. Obviously, supporting this would have a whole bunch of implications for system requirements, but video nerds out there can help you figure it out 🙂 More to come.
  2. This is a tough one that I've always been unsure about. How do you determine a focus tolerance when a projector is at an angle or projecting on to a curve? Usually I just focus to the middle point and that does the trick (if you're far enough away), but how does one simulate or calculate that? I've seen this called projector "depth of focus" and "depth of field" - though depth of focus makes more sense to me. Here's a good example – I'm projecting on a curve. The projector coverage is 24' wide x 15' tall, but is covering a curve that is 24'10". That means the focus variance is 2'10', where the difference between the closest surface and furthest surface is 2'10". Normally I'd focus to the middle (approx 1'5"). Is there a way to simulate this to see if it's acceptable? Do I need to determine this based on viewing distance? If I'm blending multiple projectors, would I need to focus to the blend area instead of the average? I've found this thread on Reddit, but I don't understand any of it! Optics and micron calculations are a little above my pay grade 😞
  3. I'm checking myself for places in my projection design knowledge that need some improvement and this is something I'd like to work on. I also think this will be useful to others! What is your method for determining appropriate projector brightness in a given situation? In general, my rule is that projector brightness needs to be 50fL (foot-lamberts) or higher, but some situations call for higher brightness and in some situations lower fL is totally acceptable. I keep track of what fL worked for most of my projects so I have many frames of reference. Sometimes I even take photos of other folks' designs and projectors and calculate what their fL was and am sometimes surprised. Point being: I do it "to-taste" which seems to be outdated given this can be "calculated". 16fL for a well controlled room works pretty well, but I try to shoot for at least 30fL. 50fL for a convention center looks meh. 80fL in a retail situation where ambient light is fairly aggressive looks pretty good. 90fL in a broadcast studio can look good if lighting is well controlled. So for the experts out there, I wanted to start a thread that discusses your tricks of the trade and how you calculate what is acceptable and what isn't. How do you measure fL against ambient light to determine what level is acceptable? Do you have a rule that you work with? Do you measure ambient light and determine what works well against that ambient light? Do you use an ambient light sensor? Which one do you use? Is there a secret chart somewhere that says what fL range looks good against an ambient lx range? Is it something like: the projection brightness needs to be 5x the ambient light fL? Can you do this with a smartphone? (for reference foot lamberts is calculated by brightness divided by total square footage: a 10,000 lumen projector hitting at 16x10' screen has a brightness of 62.5 fL).
  4. I've done this a few times now and I'm looking for best practices / a faster solve. I got this DXF from the manufacturer: I then go through and delete all the junk I don't care about: I then do that in a fine tuned way trying to delete all the artifact junk from the DXF: Then I pick a surface as my base extrude and use the command "Combine Into Surface" and extrude it to the depth that I want: Then I rinse and repeat for all the other blocks and then combine at the end. Is there a faster / smarter way to do this?
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