How to do 3D-projection mapping with Blender

Written version:

Let’s take a look at how to do 3d projection mapping in Blender.

This is our projector and this white table is our projection target.

We’ll work with the computer screen that we are also simultaneously projecting using this hdmi splitter. Now let’s go to the image editor and create a new image which matches the resolution of the projector. Then we can switch to paint mode and draw some lines that indicate the center and the edges of the image. Then we’ll set the Blender window to full screen mode. We should also make sure that the zoom level is one.

Now we can look at the projection and draw two parallel lines that flow across the table edges. Then we should draw another set of parallel lines that are perpendicular to the first ones. We’ll draw lines also on the third axis here just so we’ll have more options to choose from in the next step. Finally we’ll save the image we created.

Next we should download and run fspy to do a reverse camera solve for the projector. We’ll drag and drop our image on top of the program. Now we should align the axis lines of fspy with the lines that we drew in Blender.

When ready, we can save the file. Next we’ll install the fspy addon for blender in order to import the solution data to Blender. Making the window full screen should match the drawing again with the table. If we now add a plane, it should match nicely to the table surface. From there we can model the rest of the table using standard box modeling techniques. 

After the model is ready, we can do all kinds of fun projections, like different colors and textures. We can duplicate parts of the table and animate them in cool ways. We can add virtual lights and move them around. Texts can be projected on top of the surfaces.

When we are ready, we should simply render the animation to a video file that we can then play in the projector. Here is our final result filmed with a mobile phone. 

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