edddison projection table

Getting Started#

edddison for projection tables gives you the possiblity to control your 3D Model with tangible objects on a floor plan.
For more information about the edddison hardware options please visit: edddison Hardware Controllers

The set-up of edddison projection table is a little more complex than the edddison tabletop controller, but is certainly the most professional and top of the edge presentation mode to wow your clients.

What you need is:

  • A Projection Table - How to build one
  • PC running 3D software and edddison. See Getting Started.
  • Presentation screen - e.g. a pc monitor, tv or projector
  • Tangible objects 3D-printed, laser-cutted or any other object that is available, e.g. toys
  • A4 printer to print the object markers

How does it work?#

edddison for projection tables is based on specially developed Object Markers (like Barcodes or QR-Codes) and camera-recognition of these markers.
Through a simple camera underneath the projection table the edddison software can see object markers and will recognise movements.

This way, when you move or rotate your marker on the floor plan, the edddison software knows exactly where you want to go and translates your movements to the 3D software.

The difference between the tabletop and the projection table:

In edddison for tabletop the camera recognises the markers from the top, so the markers are visible to the customer.

With edddison for projection table all the hardware like the projector and the camera are in the table and therefore hidden to the client. The floor plans are projected from underneath to the surface and can be changed via object markers instead of exchanging paper floorplans.

There are different options on how to get your own projection table:

  • We can build it for you! Contact us at sales(at)edddison.com
  • You can build it yourself with this Tutorial How to build one
  • Also have a look at our IKEA Synas Version to get ideas!

Software Configuration#

First make sure the edddison editor and the 3D Model are correctly started, as if you would use with a Software Controller.

Add a device#

Note: You can only use one device. If you already added another one delete it first.

  • Connect your camera (in the projection table) to the PC. Note: If you installed the PC into the projection table its likely connected already and you just have to connect the presentation screen per HDMI(VGA)
  • In edddison click Add Device

  • The wizard will guide you through the setup

  • Choose Projection Table as Device

  • Make sure you have connected your table. (camera & projector)

  • Choose your camera

  • Choose which screen to use as projection table. You can still change this later.

  • Click Finish to open the Projection table calibration wizard

Calibrate projection table#

The wizard will lead you through the calibration of your projection table. Please follow all the steps carefully.

Calibration markers are used to calibrate your projection table once in the beginning of your presentation. You can either print them while doing the setup of your projection table or with the edddison print dialogue.

  • When clicking on Print calibration markers, a PDF will open.
  • Print it with any A4 Printer (page not ajusted)
  • Use the Calibration Marker size according to your other markers and cut them out one by one. (cutting them in squares with blanc space around is fine, they just need to be separated)
  • 30mm is the standard marker size

Calibrate table#

  • Follow the instructions of the wizard and place the markers facing downwards as shown on the table corners.
  • Each marker is labeled with the corresponding corner and not interchangable.
  • Make sure, that the midpoint of each marker matches the corresponding corner of the projecton.
  • When you are done click Start calibration

  • In a separate window the MRI preview mode will start. (may be hidden by other windows)
  • Take a look at it and make sure, that it shows a dashed rectangle, which encloses all four markers like in the picture.
  • If the preview doesn´t show a rectangle, not all the markers are placed correctly or the camera is not able to see them.
  • If so, please check the Troubleshoot-Section of this tutorial for further information on camera settings and then repeat the steps following the wizard.

  • Finish going through the wizard

You should now see a button Projection Table next to the Add Device-Button.

  • Click it

Floor plans#

In order to use edddison you need a floor plan.

Floor plans help you to navigate in the 3D scene. With the projection table floor plans are shown as a projection, so there is no need to print them.

When you followed our tutorials to setup your 3D project for edddison you should already have at least one floorplan in your edddison editor. Please refer to Getting Started for more information

Object Markers#

Every edddison object needs a unique marker. With this marker the edddison software will recognise the movement of your tangible objects.

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They can be used to control the point of view, to show and move additional 3D objects within the scene or to add pictures and videos to your presentation. They are also used to change between rooms/ floors.

Configure object markers#

Every edddison object needs a unique marker. With this marker the edddison software will recognise the movement of your tangible objects.

In the object settings you will see the Marker ID. This ID is unique to each object. But you have the possibility to change it.

Note: Using existing markers If you want to use already printed markers from other projects, you can change the marker numbers on your own.

Note: Marker numbers are only visible if hardware controller was added before.

  • In the edddison editor select the Print plans and markers icon. (Printer-icon on the top left)
  • Select Created object markers

  • Choose the 3D objects you want to print
  • Select printer and paper format
  • Marker-Size: This is a advanced setting, which only needs to be adjusted if your markers are not getting recognised correctly (camera too far away, etc.) Please refer to the chapter "Marker Sizes" further down in this tutorial.
  • Select Print Preview to review your settings
  • Print Markers

Note: If you want to print your markers from a different PC or at another time you can click. Click "Print Preview" and save as PDF.

Note: When printing use opaque paper or glue the markers to a non-transparent object. If the paper is too thin, the contrast between black and white will be reduced, thus making recognition more difficult. A good choice are (round) self-adhesive stickers.

TEST the marker size for your requirements before you continue and glue them to your tangible objects!

Marker Size (optional)#

Depending on your set-up its possible to change the size of the markers to be bigger and more easiliy recognisable.

How to test#

The best way to test the perfect size for you is to print a set of object markers and one floor plan and give it a try in your setup. If the camera recognises them quickly and correctly you can try to make them smaller.

TEST the marker size before you continue and glue them to your tangible objects!

The necessary marker diameter depends on the quality of your camera and the lighting conditions.

App benchmarks in mm#

  • Cheap webcams: navigation area up to 500mm (long side), marker diameter up to 40mm
  • Good quality webcams: navigation area up to 900mm (long side), marker diameter up to 45mm

Use industrial professional cameras for bigger floor plans or smaller markers

Attach object markers to tangible objects#

Now we can attach the Markers to our tangile objects. You can do this anyway you want, we recommend glue or double sided tape. Best Pratice is to use (round) self-adhesive stickers.

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In edddison for projection tables the markers are recognised from the bottom (where the camera is situated).

Also the markers are direction-sensitive. Make sure you attach the markers to your figures correctly. The little number on the marker has to face the same direction as the object (object front = marker front = 3d model object front).

Done? Wonderful! Lets move on!

Set Up the Hardware#

If you followed the tutorial you should have by now:

  • 3D Software + edddison editor with an projection table-device started
  • Tangible Objects (with object markers attached)
  • Printed corner calibration markers (optional)
  • Make sure your camera is connected to the PC
  • Make sure edddison editor is running
  • Make sure the presentation screen is on and shows the 3D Model (3D Software)

Start projection#

  • Click on Projection table-device.
  • The inspector on the right side of your screen will show you a few settings and the option to start your device.

  • After starting the device, the camera preview window will open (if you can't see it immediately, it might be behind the edddison window).

Afterwards, you also have to start the floor plan projection. To do so, click on the Start projection GUI-button.

Set up projection table#

Now you can move the projection GUI window to your projection table and maximize it (file > maximized). Pressing Esc ends the full screen mode.

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Camera preview#

In the MRI preview window you can check if all markers are recognized correctly by your camera. All 4 corner markers should be recognised. If you dont see the preview window, make sure you started the device in the edddison device options)

If this is not the case, try changing the lightness of your camera or try with bigger markers.

Note: If your markers are too small, the camera won't recognize them even if everything else is set correctly.

Important: be sure, that the camera preview shows you this image!

The picture on the left shows you the correct recognition of your floor plan. You will see the green rectangle if the camera can recognize your floor plan correctly.

As soon as you see the green rectangle, untick Corner calibration active in the edddison editor.

If you see something like this, please refer to the troubleshooting section.

  • Position your 3D Objects outside of the floor plan area, so that they are not recognised by the camera.
  • Take your POV-tangible object and position it on the floorplan.
  • You are now able to move in the 3D Model on the presentation screen by moving your POV or any other 3D object across the floorplan!

Thats it! You are all set up for your edddison projection table experience!

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For in-depth documentation on how to navigate your favorite 3D software, read the corresponding tutorials.

If in any case something is not working or you want to fine tune your experience, please refer to the next Chapter Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting + Tuning#

Incorrect camera preview#

If there is too much light, not enough light or the light is not equally distributed on the floor plan, the camera will not recognize all the markers and therefore the projection table will not work correctly. Also, make sure all calibration markers are placed correctly.

Marker Recognition#

If the markers are not recognised correctly or recognition is too slow, please go to the edddison editor, select the projection table-device and adjust the following settings:

Lightness: The video image of the camera should not be too dark or bright. Change the Lightness" value to adjust the image.

To see if the brightness is set correctly, place your Point of view (POV) object on the plan and move it around. In the preview window, you should see the ID in orange letters. Your POV should move fluidly in the preview window without lag. If the camera recognition is too slow, the brightness has to be adjusted. Try moving the slider to find the best position, depending on the light conditions. Generally, the preview should be really dark and the plan should be hard to recognize.

Advanced camera settings: Depending on your camera, you will have to adjust this too.

Jitter compensation: to tune the sensibility of camera movement or shaking.

If the markers are recognised too far outside the floor plan or you want to expand the recognition area, adjust the following:

Recognition Outside: Choose if the webcam should track markers outside the navigation area or not in %.

Tips#

Floorplan Switching#

edddison has two different modes how to switch between floorplans.

Imagine this situation:

  • There is a floor plan-marker (1) lying on the surface. (=visible to the camera)
    Floor plan 1 is active.
  • You add a second floorplan-marker (2) on the surface (=two markers visible to the camera)
    Floor plan 2 will activate.

Now, when you take the second floor-plan-marker (2) away from surface (=invisible to the camera), depending on the chosen mode, the following happens:

  • Projection Mode:: Switches back to last active floor plan (1)
  • Tabletop Mode: Floor plan (2) stays activated.

Here is a table to explain this:

Marker Tabletop Mode Prrojection Mode
becomes "visible" to the camera Bounding Box activated Bounding Box activated
becomes "invisible" to the camera Floor Plan stays activated Switches back to last floorplan

The reason for this is, that in tabletop mode it is easily possible, that the floorplan marker is covered to the camera (e.g. a hand moving objects) and this would, since the camera is positioned above the floorplan (human interaction is happening between floorplan and camera, unlike with the projection table). When this happens in projection mode the floorplan would jump for this brief moment to the last active floorplan. To prevent the floorplan from jumping while this is happening we implemented this different modes.
If you have any questions feel free to contact us!

To activate the Tabletop Mode/Projection Mode simply select it in the settings.

Lighting conditions#

If it is too bright, too dark or the light is not equally distributed on the floor plan, the camera will not recognize all the markers and therefore the projection table will not work correct.

Example: a hot spot on an edddison projection table caused by the sun. The marker in the bright area will not be recognized.

Camera sharpness#

Check the sharpness of the camera. A sharp focus is important.

Printer#

  • To print markers a laser printer is best. Sometimes the pigments applied by a laser printer have a rich, deeper black than those of an ink jet printer.

  • Dirty markers can result in poor tracking. Change the markers from time to time.

  • Whenever possible, attach the markers to somewhat larger objects, because a white edge around the marker can improve the consistency of recognition.

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  • Too long USB connections (more than 2 m) are not going to work, use an active USB repeater cable.

Markers dirten too fast#

On heavy use or use of a less quality printer and paper it can happen, that the printed marker shows signs of use/dirtens.

Here are two tips how to counter this:

Use self adhesive films#

Self-adhesive films are very cheap and easy to print on them with any printer. The quality stays better for a longer period of time, because they dont dirten that fast and can be cleaned with light use of water.

Produce a marker disk with indentation#

Produce a disk with a indentation of 0.5mm. The disk will slide on the border of the disk instead of on the marker directly leaving the marker unharmed.

How to produce:

  • 3D printer
  • Milling
  • Laser cutting and make the indentation on the lathe (I did it this way)