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DonD

Multiple focus surfaces in Watchout.

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Question about multiple focus surfaces in Watchout.

 

I'm doing imagery for an opera. There will be DS sharks tooth scrim at curtain line (I want to fit the projected image to the scrim (25'x50'), BUT for half of the opera the DS scrim will fly away and then we will be projecting on drops 40' Up Stage from the curtain line and we will have to resize the artwork to refit the surfaces that are Up Stage.

 

I have two options, 2 stacked/converged projectors OR one larger single

projector.

 

Can the Watchout software have two different converging points if we are using two stacked projectors to create a single image?  

 

Or can WO have two focus surfaces (different distances to the surfaces being

projected on) using a single projector?

 

A friend tells me "I am not sure if you are able to load a different warp at

different times in the timeline, which is basically what you need to do."

 

The Down Stage scrim images are all water, underwater trees and foliage so if

they are slightly out of focus it might be something we could live with. The US images (Full Moons, room interiors) might want to be the sharper of the images.

 

Many thanks,

DonD

 

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DonD,

 

Unless I am missing something obvious, I would think that your immediate issue would be maintaining focus on two projection planes 40' apart.

 

Of-course modern day projectors come with lenses that can be setup to have multiple memories and presets and you could potentially setup two different presets for the two projection planes.

 

Not having done this myself, but I can imagine that you can fairly easily calculate the amount of overlap you will need (if you worked with overlapped images) for the DS projection plane to still have some 'usable' overlap for the US projection plane.

 

Still I think perhaps the most 'practical' approach may be to have two individual set of projectors for each of the projection planes.

 

Having stated the above, it would be very welcome to have different warps at different points in a show, even potentially be able to apply individual warps to medias or layers.

 

Suresh Madan

DynaMix Media

New Delhi, India

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There are a few ways to do it. I firstly, I wouldn't worry about focus planes too much. Most professional projector lenses have a wide tolerance of focus shift, meaning that that if you focus mid-stage, you'll probably be in focus enough, either all the way down stage or all the way up stage.

 

The second issue is convergence. I disagree that you need different warps at multiple times in the show. You just need to place the projectors side by side and send your content duplicated to each projector separately and manually converge each media item in Watchout. The other thing you could do is set the projectors up in Watchout as 3d stereoscopic pairs and assign each media item at a different "z-depth" depending on how far upstage it is. Watchout will then do the convergence for you.

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The first thing that springs to mind is the lenses.  Unless your projection distance is very long the zoom bracketing of most lenses would rule out using the same projector for both situations.  if you have a very long throw then you may well get away with a single as the focal plane may be adequate- like cameras a long zoom has a greater focus depth than a wide angle.

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I have direct driven lens positions from watchout on projectors that have serial control by manually focusing, querying the lens positions and recalling them from an output string. what projectors are you using or what manufacturer ?

 

gp

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There are a few ways to do it. I firstly, I wouldn't worry about focus planes too much. Most professional projector lenses have a wide tolerance of focus shift, meaning that that if you focus mid-stage, you'll probably be in focus enough, either all the way down stage or all the way up stage.

 

The second issue is convergence. I disagree that you need different warps at multiple times in the show. You just need to place the projectors side by side and send your content duplicated to each projector separately and manually converge each media item in Watchout. The other thing you could do is set the projectors up in Watchout as 3d stereoscopic pairs and assign each media item at a different "z-depth" depending on how far upstage it is. Watchout will then do the convergence for you.

 

I am new to using z-depth, I was wondering if you might be able to help me with a setup provided by a designer?

 

There is a DS portal that frames the stage (DS Plane) and an US screen (US Plane). He has 2 projectors off set from center line 5' HL & HR on the balcony rail. One is covering the full US plane and the SR/HL portion of the DS plane and the other is covering the full US place and the SL/HR portion of the DS plane. So I am in need of creating 2 different types of blends one for the US and one for the DS. Right? Or as you mentioned in your post, using the Z-depth. However, I am not very familiar with the Z-depth setting. Can you explain more?

 

Thanks

Joe

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Converging 2 projectors to different distances is your bigger problem. Different memories can be used, but I doubt the tolerances of even the best projectors are going to be reliable enough from rehearsal, to opening night, to last show. 

 

One larger projector, with a long enough throw range, should leave you with a usable option. And, since you mention that the DS imagery will be sort of "out-of-focus" anyway, if you set your focus more towards the US, it will work well, I think.

 

My 2 cents...
 

Good luck!

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