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Dome and globe projection

I Bert

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i'm currently working on a dome and a globe projection with watchout 5. I was wondering if any one had done it, and if i can get help on how to set-up the stage for each of them. And i was told that the content need to be warp before being imported in watchout. Is that correct?? can you give me a little bit more information on that at the same time.


thanks in advance.

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Hi Ian!

WATCHOUT has built -in geometry correction, which is great for many off-axis and curved screen applications

but when you want to project on a dome or a sphere, for example, the overlapping and edge-blending becomes very complex.

And it is not only that, when you do not have a flat screen anymore, there might also be special requirements for the media content.


Another important factor for a successful dome-project is a well designed set-up for the projectors and a good choice of optics.

Please find my recommendation, for different types of WATCHOUT projection applications using geometry correction, below:


1) Keystone correction - The most basic form of geometry correction. Built-into most standard projectors.

    Typically compensates for off-axis projection on a flat screen.

    WATCHOUT's geometry correction is great for this. It even has a special mode for accurate "perspective-correction".


2) Curved screens - Typical examples include curved 180 and 360 degree screens.

    WATCHOUT's geometry correction is great for this as you only have the curvature in one direction.

    One axis is still straight and it is very easy to get a perfect alignment with manual geometry correction.

    No "pre-distorted/warped/mapped" media is required for "single-curved" screen projection.


3) Dome and sphere projection - This represent projection on any geometrically well-defined round or semi-round surface.

    For this we recommend to use a camera based auto-calibration system for measuring and feeding geometry,

    edge-blend and masking data into WATCHOUT. The solution require an external auto-calibration system but the process is automated.  

    When you use auto-calibration with WATCHOUT the manual geometry correction and edge-blend functions are disabled

    but all other good features are working as you would expect.

    Projecting a 2-dimensional image on a 3-dimensional dome however requires "pre-mapped" media, such as polar-images, for example.  

    Which "pre-mapping" (planar, cylindrical, spherical etc) should be chosen depends on the shape and on

    the "viewing focus" of your audience.


4) Projection mapping - Projected 3D mapping on buildings, cars, models or any arbitrary shape.

    Although the geometry correction and edge-blending for these type of projects can be well achieved with

    an auto-calibration system (adjustments can even be achieved with WATCHOUT's manual geometry correction),

    the advanced motion effects has to be "pre-mapped" in standard 3D or video post-production tools,

    The media content has to be produced in alignment with the template created from the actual projection surface or object.

    Apart from playback, synchronization and all the other good features in WATCHOUT, producers of 3D mapping projects

    often praises WATCHOUT for its ability to make final adjustments (of both media and geometry) in realtime.


I hope this somewhat clarifies our position on this rather complex topic. Feedback and suggestions are most welcome.

If you are intreated in the auto-calibration solution I mention above, please feel free contact me off-forum.


Best regards,

Fredrik Svahnberg


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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Hi Fredrik,


I would also like to know more about the auto-calibration and projection mapping, most of our projection screen are curve or odd shapes and it takes me days to align a single screen with 6-projectors. I heard there are softwares to project some grids, then taking pictures of those grids and computer software can help to auto-calibrate...


On the other hand, I know the basics of projection mapping, but here there are clients keep on asking this, I want to know more.. is there any reference that can help me to kick start?


Thanks and Regards,



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  • 2 years later...

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