In the introduction tutorial series we learned that Z Vector is in essence a depth map manipulation, effecting and rendering software. Just as an audio or video editing tool requires interesting media to produce a compelling output, so does Z Vector. This tutorial series takes a deeper look at how the various input parameters, the virtual camera and smoothing affect the final rendering.
Watch the equivalent video tutorial series on Youtube:
Continue to the first part in the tutorial series:
Z Vector has five different input colour modes (from top to bottom):
Intensity (gray scale)
Generated gray scale
Pressing the corresponding button can activate any of the five modes.
For an example on how to use these various modes for different looks, try turning on the RGB colouring mode from the input and manoeuvre to the Controls tab. Next turn up Gradient/Fill to maximum and choose Intensity from the Gradient/Mode. Now try playing with the scale va…
The space right over the input contains controls for some of the most interesting features of Z Vector (from left to right):
Automatic input center tracking
Background filtering based on depth
Automatic human form filtering or autofilter (only available if the prerequisite libraries have been enabled in Preferences)
Mirror mode flips the image horizontally. This can be useful depending on the use case (for example for background projection at an event).
Automatic input c…
The input center defines the Z Vector camera’s center of rotation when the input mixer is set to show only one input. If the input mixer is anywhere but the very ends of the controller (-100/100), the resulting input center will be a mix between the locations of each input center.
In layered and side-by-side input modes, you can move the input center freely by clicking the input preview with the left mouse button. Doing so will place the input center at the depth of the pixel directly …
The fact that a depth sensor is capable of capturing the distance of each pixel relative to the sensor device enables a feature in Z Vector that we’ve come to call the “virtual camera”.
Clicking on the “Edit A” or “Edit B” button (available on the mixer panel) enables the controls for the virtual camera. From here the camera’s yaw, pitch, roll, zoom and field of view can be controlled (and animated if the animation controls are exposed by clicking the animation icon). Out of these, two…
Controls smoothing adjust the smoothing of parameter changes for the input and controls tabs. Camera smooth does the same for the camera controls. A high (particularly controller) smoothing value can prolong the interesting transitional effects that often happen during profile changes. Small smoothing values on the other hand are useful in avoiding jerky changes in the visualization caused by uneven mouse or MIDI controller motions.
Let’s first see how camera transitions work without s…