Intro to Projection Man in Cinema 4D | Part 1

What is Projection Man?

Projection Man is a tool that was originally created exclusively for Sony Pictures Imageworks and for awhile was only available for studios to use – It was used on such films as Polar Express and Beowulf.  Since R11 Maxon started including Projection Man in public releases so anybody could use it.

Projection Man is basically just a Projection Manager for camera mapping (I’m assuming that’s how it got it’s name., Projection Man-ager.)  There is nothing in Projection Man that you can do that you can’t do yourself in Cinema 4D.  C4D has been capable of camera mapping for a very long time. The benefit of using Projection Man is that it will help you set up your projections in a much easier and streamlined way than doing it all manually.  Once you set up your camera and geometry it only takes a couple of clicks to set up everything else that you will need.  It works very well with your Photoshop files and has a streamlined interface for loading in your image, alpha channel, as well as any other channels you need. Even creating patches to fix your projections is very streamlined and simple, simply tell projection man to do a coverage render and it will create a new camera and save out a new photoshop file for you to work with.  Nothing that you couldn’t do yourself but if you have a very complicated scene it is an invaluable tool.

Camera Mapping

Camera mapping is the technique of projecting a still image out of your ‘projection camera’ onto some basic geometry and then moving another camera throughout that scene. What you gain by projecting your image onto some basic geometry is turning your still image into a full 3d scene without having to model, texture, and render every element.

Set Up

When you open up Projection Man (located under the “Window” menu) you are greeted with this box.  All of your geometry as well as your cameras are listed here.  To set up a projection simply click and drag your object from “Unassigned objects” underneath the camera you want to project from.  You are then asked to load an image you would like to use as well as other channels that you need. The channels are as follows:

Projection Man Channels

If there was anything that we skimmed over or didn’t make clear just let leave a comment below and we can help you out!


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