Introduction: Projection Mapping on a Wedding Cake

About: LinkedIn:

If you would like to create this project, you would need:

1. Dummy cake or any preferred object (already had).

2. Projector 2x Epson, Acer or any preferred projector (borrowed).

3. Resolume Arena 4 (download a FREE trial)

4. Photoshop, After effects, Cinema 4D (download a FREE trial).

5. A laptop.

As you can see, you don't need to spend a lot of money. You can download a free trial to get started.

Step 1: Communication Between Your Projector and Software (Resolume)

Connect the BLUE wire to your laptop and change the screen resolution:

  1. Open Control Panel by clicking the start button, and then click Control Panel
  2. To use a keyboard shortcut instead of Control Panel, press the Windows logo key +P.Select how you want your desktop to be displayed:
  3. Computer only - this shows your desktop only on your computer screen.
  4. Duplicate - this shows your desktop on both your computer screen and a projector.
  5. Extend - this extends your desktop from your computer screen to a projector.
  6. Projector only - this shows your desktop only on a projector.

Connect to a projector

Windows - for Windows setup, open the display panel in the Control Panel option, on the settings tab make sure you have at least 2 displays visible and active. This is usually called having the two screens in 'extended desktop' mode.

Mac OS X - open your display preferences in system preferences Apple menu, then on the Arrangement tab make sure 'mirror displays' is turned off. Now you have two separate displays on your computer.

Output Setup:

Now start Resolume and checkout the composition settings menu by pressing Ctrl+Shift+C

Click on the mini option on the 'size', it gives you the size and recognises your projector. This will be shown on the Output Monitor of what you're projecting.

The Output option gives you the many options such as Windowed, Full-screen & Advanced. This enables you to select, which of the computer display on the main Resolume output should be displayed. You are then given an option to fill the screen or not.

Step 2: Advanced Output Settings

To access these settings, select the Output > Advanced menu option.

To setup a screen, select it on the left hand side, and choose which output of your computer (display 1 or 2). This is seen on the right hand side, it helps assign correct projector when slicing and masking.

Each screen can have one or more slices, by defining a slice, it allows you to control parts of the composition it will include. For example Output 1, will go on the right hand side of the screen which will always be displayed on the projector and the left hand side will always go to projector 2.

Useful tip: hold down CTRL and drag in the Input Selection area to quickly create a slice where you are dragging.

Step 3: Screen Warping (masking & Cropping)

Each display can be configured in two modes: Input Selection and Output Transformation.

In Output Transformation, you can apply screen warping which allows you to adjust the position or geometry on the final output. This is useful for projection mapping the output to an irregularly shaped surface or when aligning multiple projectors for a spanned output.

There are options given in modifying the object which is transform and edit points.

Transform: this is one of my favourite tool because it allows you to rotate, position and scale your slices in the output section, whereas edit points allows you to adjust the corners of the frame, you can choose between bezier, linear to curve around the edges. An example of different edit points is shown above.

Mask & Crop:

This will cut off all pixels that are outside of it. A mask will cut out a part of the image, effectively creating a hole. You can have as many crops and masks as needed.

Step 4: Design Content & 3D Modeling

The 3D animation content was generated using Cinema 4D and 3D max. The dummy cake measurements were..

  • Topmost = 15 cm diameter
  • 2nd layer = 20cm
  • 3rd layer = 25cm
  • 4th layer=30cm
  • each cake is 10cm high

A replica of the dummy was developed, modified the width and height to the correct sizes, added graphics and text from Photoshop, saved as .PNG file then uploaded to 3D max in order to change the background layout of the cake. Furthermore, I tweaked around some changes, added 360 degree, 0-240 frames and changed the rotation sizes and layout to have an eye-catching effect. This exact information can be used in Cinema 4D.

The 3D MODELING video (3D max & Cinema 4D)

The final step is designing different preferred visuals on Photoshop, Sketches or building it from a 3D software then projecting it onto a 2D surface. Finally, import the file to Resolume, make sure it's saved as .MOV, then you can begin mapping using advanced transformation menu, mask, crop and different tools to resize your image.

Good luck!