Fully automatic multi-projector calibration with an

Fully automatic multi-projector calibration with an
Fully automatic multi-projector calibration with an uncalibrated camera
Ignacio Garcia-Dorado
McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Jeremy Cooperstock
McGill University, Montreal, Canada
[email protected]
in order to avoid the need for manual recalibration.
Of particular interest is the use of multiple commodity projectors in parallel to achieve even higher resolutions
in display walls or immersive (CAVE-like) environments,
whether for information visualization, education, or entertainment. In these settings, projector calibration is more
important, since misalignment results in visible overlap or
gaps between images, and variation in projector intensities
and color response produces seams at the junctions. Typically, multi-projector alignment is a complex, sensitive process that requires the services of a skilled, experienced professional.
One fully automated and several semi-automated methods have been proposed for this problem, ranging from
structured light calibration to other computer vision techniques, but none allow for a fast, pixel-accurate solution,
with a simple deployment by a non-technical user, using
commodity hardware alone. This motivated our development of a robust, easy-to-use, COTS-based, fully automated
calibration system that can generate a seamless, aligned,
multi-projector display on any reasonable configuration of
planar display surfaces. The only requirements are the use
of simple markers to define the borders of the target display
area and the placement of an uncalibrated camera at a position from which the entire display surface is visible. From
there, our system self-calibrates to create a uniform intensity, undistorted, continuous projected display that fills the
target area, insofar as is possible. Significantly, the solution does not require human intervention to manipulate the
equipment and avoids the often painful step of camera calibration. Moreover, the system has been demonstrated as
scalable to a distributed architecture, with individual clients
connected to the multiple projectors, rendering the frame
buffer computed at the server.2
The remainder of the paper is organized as follows. First,
Section 2 summarizes previous solutions from the literature.
Next, our solution is presented, beginning with a description
Multiple video projectors can be used to provide a seamless, undistorted image or video over one or more display surfaces. Correct rendering requires calibration of the
projectors with respect to these surface(s) and an efficient
mechanism to distribute and warp the frame buffer data to
the projectors. Typically, the calibration process involves
some degree of manual intervention or embedding of optical sensors in the display surface itself, neither of which
is practical for general deployment by non-technical users.
We show that an effective result can in fact be achieved
without such intervention or hardware augmentation, allowing for a fully automatic multi-projector calibration that
requires nothing more than a low-cost uncalibrated camera
and the placement of paper markers to delimit the boundaries of the desired display region. Both geometric and
intensity calibration are performed by projection of graycoded binary patterns, observed by the camera. Finally,
the frame buffer contents for display are distributed in real
time by a remote desktop transport to multiple rendering
machines, connected to the various projectors.1
1. Introduction
The ubiquity of small, low-cost, high resolution projectors has enabled wide-scale deployment of large display environments that were previously limited to the screen space
of desktop CRTs and LCDs. By default, the location and
orientation of a projector must be defined carefully and
maintained to ensure that the optical axis is perpendicular
to a single, planar display surface. Otherwise, the resulting image suffers from keystone effects and appears distorted. Although many projectors now include keystone
correction controls, these are often limited by optical constraints. More problematically, the physical realities of mechanical mountings and thermal variations [16] and vibration necessitate periodic adjustment and realignment. Often, users simply accept a certain amount of misalignment
demonstration of the system is available
2 However,
a bug in the third-party (NoMachine) rendering code
presently results in significantly reduced frame rate when multiple clients
connect to the server in shadowing mode. This is anticipated to be corrected in an upcoming release.
of the system layout in Section 3, including the computer
vision techniques used for geometric calibration and brightness correction, and the implementation of a distributed architecture for real-world deployment, in Section 4. Finally,
Section 5 summarizes future work and concludes the paper.
to calibrate the system and render keystone-corrected rectangular images [17]. This approach required only a single
camera and a blank wall as a target display surface for the
calibration pattern thereby obtaining improved accuracy at
the cost of requiring additional correspondences to obtain
the homography.
Raij et al. [15] proposed using relative pose estimation
and structured light to find the correspondences between the
defined display area and a calibrated camera. To avoid the
need for fiducial markers to define the display area, they assume that the x-axis of the image is parallel to the ground;
this permits determination of the vertical plane by calculation of a cross product. Since the method involves an iterative minimization, reasonable initial values are required in
order for the system to converge to a solution.
2. Literature Review
Relevant prior work in the area of projector calibration
consists primarily of computer vision techniques in association with one or more cameras that view the projected
output. The various approaches differ mostly in their camera calibration requirements and the type of projection pattern used during the calibration process. Regardless of the
method, all approaches calculate the intrinsic and extrinsic parameters of the projector, then pre-warp the projector
frame buffer so that it appears correctly on the display surface.
2.2. Uncalibrated Camera Approaches
Camera calibration, of course, generally requires manual
involvement. For the more interesting case of systems that
avoid the need for a calibrated camera, several approaches
have been proposed. However, these require either considerable calibration time, uniform color display areas, only a
single planar display, or non-trivial augmentation of the environment, e.g., the addition of fiber optics [10], to achieve
high accuracy.
For the special case of a single, moving user, a singlepass rendering process was described [16]. This used the
collineation between points of the screen and the projector pixels to display images that appear correct from the
viewer’s perspective. Collineation is a one-to-one mapping
from one projective space to another that can be expressed
as a matrix transformation. In this case, the first projector is used to describe the transformation of the projected
image, so that it is seen correctly from the user’s point
of view. This is calculated using eight points. The mapping between the first and the remaining projectors is computed observing individual pixels. This allows for creation
of larger displays using a two-pass rendering process. For
such an approach, the first step involves determining the regions of overlapping projection as necessary to compute the
appropriate transformation matrices. In an immersive environment such as a CAVE, this simply requires determining
which projector pixels illuminate the corner markers, a process that can be performed by activating each projector in
turn and observing the designated screen positions with an
uncalibrated camera. Such a system, of course, requires integration of an accurate 3D tracker and is not appropriate
for rendering a display suitable for multi-user viewing.
For their multi-projector system, Chen et al. [4] began
with an assumption of approximately aligned projectors,
with no more than a ten-pixel misalignment between them.
Next, they projected a series of grid patterns and points to
measure the misalignment between projectors. A global
2.1. Calibrated Camera Approaches
In general, methods that require a calibrated camera cannot by fully automated, given the need for manual intervention in this process. Most such systems perform camera calibration using Zhang’s method [24], which consists
of image matching using geometric constraints and a least
median of squares. Typically, a checkerboard pattern is
displayed in at least two different positions to provide the
necessary inputs. The method then calculates the homographies for the intrinsic and extrinsic parameters. For this
step, the display must appear rectangular on the target surface from the perspective of the camera and, in some cases,
to be able to determine the projector-camera homography
where the intrinsic projector parameters are known. As an
alternative to the traditional checkerboard pattern, it is possible to use patterns that contain more information in each
code, and thus, reduce the number of required calibration
patterns to obtain the projector parameters. For example,
Fiala [7] employed augmented reality tags (ARTags) viewed
by a calibrated camera, which allowed him to use only three
ARTag patterns rather than the 18 Gray code images previously required, resulting in significant speed-up.
Raskar et al. [18] used two cameras to recover a 3D
representation of the display environment, allowing for the
more general case of an arbitrarily complex display surface
geometry. The cameras were first calibrated using a pattern
printed on a cube, rather than the traditional checkerboard.
This allows two different homographies to be obtained simultaneously. Next, the display geometry was determined
using structured light projection, resulting in the generation
of a 3D mesh. Alpha masking was used to improve transitions in regions of overlap. This process took anywhere
from one to fifteen minutes per projector, depending on the
sampling density used. Raskar also presented a method that
uses a projector-camera pair, with an attached tilt sensor,
minimization algorithm was then applied to obtain a corrective transformation that aligns the overlapping projectors.
Their system achieved pixel precision with only a 0.1% error. Subsequently, they decreased the calibration time to
a few minutes, using an approach similar to the one we
present here, also involving use of PTZ camera [3]. However, their method requires a single, uniform, planar display surface and the projectors must be positioned such that
the display misalignment between them is less than ten pixels, neither of which is an acceptable constraint for our purposes.
Sukthankar et al. [22] calibrated a single projector using
an un-calibrated camera in just few seconds to within a maximum error of 0.8%. Their technique further assumed that
the screens appear in the camera image as uniformly illuminated objects with edges that are visible against the planar
background. The projector-camera mapping was first estimated using a bright, projected rectangle, whose corners, as
seen from the camera, were used as features to recover the
homography. The calibration was subsequently refined using a display of white circles whose centers were estimated
and compared to the predicted locations in the camera image. Finally, the maximum available projection area was defined by a greedy algorithm that segmented the camera image, grouping adjacent pixels with similar intensities. Rehg
et al. [19] presented a similar system, although not intended
for a single, large display, but instead, designed to project
a fully overlapping region that was illuminated by all projectors, stable even when a projector, camera or screen was
slightly moved. Moreover, their system was able to remove
shadows cast by the user without requiring 3D localization
of the components and users. This was achieved by applying an alpha mask to each projector, computed from the reference and observed images. Similar to us, they used four
fiducials to define the desired display area. However, unlike our approach, they imposed additional constraints of a
uniformly illuminated background and all markers simultaneously visible to the camera, resulting in a non-trivial error
of 2.5% (tens of pixels).
Lee et al. [10] used embedded optical sensors in the corners of the display surface in conjunction with a projected
Gray code pattern to determine the display geometry and to
improve the speed of the projector calibration process. This
data was then used to pre-warp the projected image so that
it fit the target area delimited by the sensors. The entire
calibration process was extremely fast, limited only by the
display refresh rate and the response time of the optical sensors. However, since the optical sensors must be embedded
into the screen, this system is impractical for display walls.
Their system achieved an error less than 0.3%.
To determine the intrinsic parameters, Draréni et al. [5],
moved the projector between at least four different positions
and orientations, with the projected checkerboard display
observed by the camera. This provided many highly accurate point matches and allowed them to achieve a wallprojector calibration accuracy on par with a direct method
based on a printed planar grid fixed to the wall.
Draréni et al. [6] also presented a method that did not require a physical calibration board or full knowledge of the
camera parameters to determine the wall-camera homography. Instead, they explored the space of all possible orientations of the hemisphere and selected the direction that
minimized the reprojection error as the correct plane orientation. This also obviated the need for markers to define
the projection surface. This approach satisfies almost of our
requirements, but the need for manual involvement in the
projector calibration could prove problematic for many installations, e.g., where projectors are mounted semi-rigidly.
Okatani et al. [13] described the calculation of a
projector-screen-camera homography from multiple images
when the projectors and the projected patterns are known.
In more recent work [14], they used this approach to calibrate a multi-projector display system using a hand-held
six-megapixel camera. In their case, the projected area was
required to be a unique planar screen. To calculate the
unique solution, either four projectors, placed in a perpendicular grid layout or three projectors and a partially calibrated camera were required. In the latter case, camera
calibration involved both intrinsic and extrinsic parameters,
apart from the focal length, for which only an initial estimation was needed. Their method is fast and accurate, obtaining an average error of 0.3%. However, some prior knowledge is required concerning the layout of the projectors and
the desired image rotation. A further drawback is that this
approach does not solve the situation where the projected
image exceeds the available area.
3. System Overview
Our solution to remove the human from the loop and obtain faster calibration begins with affixing visible markers
at the corners of the projected display that limit the desired
boundaries of the display region. This one simple addition
allows us to employ an uncalibrated camera and still achieve
pixel precision of the multi-projector wall display. Geometry information obtained by the camera is then used to prewarp the contents of the graphics display according to the
projector-wall homography. Finally, intensity correction is
performed to create an undistorted, uniformly illuminated
output. This process relies on two assumptions: the camera
and projector optics can be modeled by a perspective transformation and the display area corresponding to the output
of each projector is planar or can be defined as a geometric
figure, drawn in OpenGL.3
3 Our initial implementation simply uses the rectangular texture from
the framebuffer, transformed by the projector-wall homography.
3.2. Projector-wall calibration
This implementation has been evaluated with four Sanyo
PLC-EF30 projectors of 1280x1024 pixel resolution, illuminating a three-wall environment, and an NTSC Sony
EVI-D30 camera, arranged as illustrated in Fig. 1.
Once the relationship between display geometry and
camera parameters is established, our system uses a structured light calibration approach to determine the projectorwall homography, that is, the mapping between pixels in
projector space (x, y) and the corresponding positions (X, Y)
on the target surface. For this process, we set the camera to
a minimum focal length to maximize the visible area. As
a compromise between speed and resolution at which the
markers are viewed under these conditions, we require that
two markers are visible to the camera at each position, thus
allowing for calibration of two points simultaneously. If
necessary, zoom control can be used to increase the viewed
resolution of each marker in order to achieve pixel accuracy,
at the cost of a longer calibration time.
For the camera viewing this display, averaging or median filtering of multiple frames of video input is required to
cope with the transition between successive patterns, which
are not registered by the camera as instantaneous. This
has the additional benefit of reducing the effects of camera
Various options exist for structured light patterns to identify the correspondences between surface points and pixels of the projected pattern, as described in the survey by
Salvi et al. [20]. Time-multiplexing techniques, using Gray
code and/or phase shifting, offer the benefits of easy implementation, high spatial resolution, and the ability to achieve
highly accurate measurements. To cope with moving surfaces, spatial neighborhood techniques can be considered,
as these concentrate the pixels needed to identify the given
codeword into a local region. However, for our system,
which assumes a static surface, this is unnecessary. Finally,
direct coding techniques are useful for achieving high spatial resolution with few projected patterns. However, the
limited bandwidth of LCD projectors and noise limitations
of the imaging system result in integration of intensity values, complicating the correct identification of every projected pixel value.
Figure 1. Our multi-projector layout
3.1. Marker placement and detection
We manually place the fiducials, which must be within
the region “reachable” by the projectors, to delimit the desired display area. The accuracy of their placement affects
only the definition of the boundaries of this region, which,
for a horizontal arrangement of projectors, is generally relevant only for those projectors responsible for the left and
right edges of the overall display.
The position and pose of fiduciary markers [1] relative
to the camera can be tracked with various libraries such
as ARToolkit.4 Because of the complexity of the associated visual patterns, the markers need to occupy a minimum 14 × 14 pixel region in the camera frame to be
detected and decoded [23]. For our configuration, with a
fixed camera position viewing the entire scene from a distance of approximately 3 m, this implies a marker size of
10 × 10 cm. Although this can be reduced by approximately
20% if we forgo decoding of the marker ID, this is still awkwardly large. Instead, we opted to employ a trivially simple
marker, consisting of two black squares, which can be detected using basic pattern matching, applied to the output of
a Canny edge detector [2], at a resolution of 6 × 6 pixels or
approximately 4 × 4 cm.
We use an uncalibrated camera to locate the markers,
placed around the boundaries of the desired projection region. Since the field of view of our layout is considerably
wider than 90o , we opted to use a pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera to locate each of the markers progressively, choosing a
focal length such that at least two of the markers are contained within the field of view at sufficient resolution as
described above. Our current implementation requires approximately three minutes to perform the calibration for a
four-projector system. Increased calibration accuracy can
be obtained through the use of a higher zoom factor at the
expense of greater calibration time.
Gray-coded Pattern
Sweeping Line 1Px
Sweeping Line 2Px
Pattern and Sweep
Lights ON
Lights OFF
Table 1. Camera error as a function of ambient light.
In our configuration, the camera resolution is approximately one quarter that of the projectors, suggesting that
without zoom control, we might be limited to a best-case
error of four (projector) pixels. However, our calibration
process overcomes this limitation and reduces the error as
required, at least to an accuracy of two pixels using the linesweep method described below, and to single pixel accuracy
4 http://www.hitl.washington.edu/artoolkit
using zoom control. We selected our calibration technique
based on the results of a single-marker test, with five repetitions per technique, shown in Table 1. Gray coding was the
only method that achieved zero error, and did so using the
fewest number of necessary projected patterns.
Figure 3. Luminance measurement along the sweeping line
of freedom p = (p1 ...p9 ):
Figure 2. The first twelve gray-coded binary patterns
In order to calibrate at the full projector resolution independently of camera resolution and zoom value, we employ a combination of Gray code binary patterns, shown
in Fig. 2, and a line sweeping approach, inspired by phase
shifting. In theory, we could simply determine a suitable average intensity for “on” values of the pixels in the displayed
patterns. However, given the variance of ambient illumination, we found that in some cases, the difference between
states “on” and “off” states could be as small as 2%.5 This
made determination of a suitable threshold impractical. Instead, we first display each pattern, followed by its inverse.
In this manner, the system does not require prior knowledge
of the intensity value of an illuminated pixel, but can simply
use differencing to determine the state of each pixel.
After displaying the Gray code binary patterns, we take
advantage of our multiple projector configuration to increase the accuracy of the marker position estimation. This
is done by having both projectors sweep a line in their overlapping corners, first vertically and then horizontally, delimited by the information obtained through the Gray code
pattern detection. The position that yields the greatest luminance intensity as measured by the camera sensor, as shown
in Fig. 3, corresponds to the overlapping location between
the two lines. This achieves a position estimation closer to
the full resolution of the projectors, even though the camera has lower resolution.6 This improves upon the raw results from the Gray code pattern detection while avoiding
the need for slower phase shifting techniques.
(x, y) =
p1 X + p2 Y + p3 p4 X + p5 Y + p6
p7 X + p8 Y + p9 p7 X + p8 Y + p9
or in homogeneous coordinates:
⎛ ⎞ ⎛
⎜⎜⎜ xw⎟⎟⎟ ⎜⎜⎜ p1
⎜⎜⎜⎜yw⎟⎟⎟⎟ = ⎜⎜⎜⎜ p4
⎜⎝ ⎟⎠ ⎜⎝
⎞⎛ ⎞
p3 ⎟⎟⎟ ⎜⎜⎜X ⎟⎟⎟
⎟⎜ ⎟
p6 ⎟⎟⎟⎟ ⎜⎜⎜⎜Y ⎟⎟⎟⎟
⎠⎝ ⎠
p9 1
These equations can be solved through Gaussian Elimination using as few as four pixel correspondences, e.g., the
corners of the projector output and their corresponding coordinates in the structured light pattern. We implement the
homography as a matrix transformation in OpenGL through
the Compiz plug-in7 that warps the complete desktop to
render the calibrated, projected display as shown in Fig. 4.
This operation can be performed in real-time on low-cost
hardware, provided only that the graphics card memory is
at least the double the size of the frame buffer.
3.4. Overlap correction
Since the calibration process is imperfect, in part due to
the limited resolution of the camera, some display regions
are likely to be illuminated by multiple overlapping projectors, resulting in obviously brighter contents, or worse,
not illuminated by any projector, resulting in a visible gap.8
Fortunately, edge attenuation and brightness equalization
techniques have been reported to allow an error of as much
as 5–6 pixel in the display as tolerable [12]. We employ an
alpha blending technique to achieve an effectively seamless
overlap region, assigning to each projector an alpha mask
with intensity in [0, 1]. The blending is then performed in
real time as part of our Compiz plug-in. We found that an
3.3. Homography and Compiz Plug-in
The projector-wall homography can be expressed by a
single and unitary projective transform with eight degrees
5 We explain this surprising result by the placement of the projectors
(at varying distances from the walls), which required physical keystone
correction, differences in luminance output, intensity variation across the
projected frame, and the camera’s position relative to the displays.
6 This relies on the assumption that neither the camera pixels nor the
pixels of the two projectors are perfectly aligned with each other. Otherwise, maximum intensity would also be observed at a single camera pixel
even if the two projectors displayed lines offset by a single projector pixel.
7 Compiz is the default OpenGL compositing manager on many Linux
distributions, which uses GLX EXT texture from pixmap for binding
redirected top-level windows to texture objects. It offers a flexible plugin architecture and runs on most graphics hardware.
8 We assume that initial positioning of the projectors can resolve this
latter problem, ensuring that all necessary display locations are illuminated
by at least one projector.
gests that attenuating projector outputs based on Lmin would
be excessive. Instead, we replace Lmin with L10% , the first
decile value of Ld (xd , yd ). Thus, the Luminance Attenuation
Map, Ad (xd , yd ), which provides the attenuation value of Ld
for each pixel, is calculated as:
Ad (xd , yd ) =
(a) Before correction.
Ld (xd ,yd ) ,
Ld (xd , yd ) ≤ L10%
Ld (xd , yd ) > L10%
This represents a small sacrifice in intensity equalization
for the objective of increasing the overall display brightness. An example result from this equalization process is
provided in Fig. 5.
(b) After correction.
Figure 4. Keystone correction achieved by application of the
projector-wall homography through the Compiz plugin.
(a) Original, non-uniform output.
overlap of ten pixels between projectors is sufficient to ensure an imperceptible transition, provided that the vertical
misalignment does not exceed three pixels.
3.5. Non-uniform brightness correction
The final issue to address is variation of intensity and
color. These effects are typically evident as inter-projector
variations, but also manifest as intra-projector variations,
that is, across the pixels of a single projector, often due to
lamp design and lens optics. Correction of such variations
has been investigated by previous research [12, 11, 21].
Since human viewers are most sensitive to luminance variation at boundaries [9], we confine our efforts to interand intra-luminance normalization to those regions, both in
cases for which a single projector is responsible and in areas
of overlap between multiple projectors.
Inspired by the approach of Majumder and Stevens [12]
and borrowing from their terminology, let Ld (xd , yd ) be the
luminance response of the maximum input, i.e., the measured brightness at pixel (xd , yd ) in display coordinates, with
all projectors responsible for that pixel illuminating it at
maximum intensity, and Lmin be the Common Achievable
Response, i.e., the minimum of Ld (xd , yd ).
However, to avoid unduly limiting the dynamic range
of our display, we balance brightness after the system is
calibrated. This ensures that we ignore regions adjacent
to the display area, such as the ceiling and lower walls,
which would otherwise affect the calculations. Moreover,
we assume a semi-Lambertian projection surface, allowing
for some specularities, but also assume that some locations
will reflect very little light due to surface defects. This sug-
(b) Equalized illumination intensity output display.
Figure 5. Brightness correction.
Using the positions obtained from the geometric calibration step, we project full white at the corners and average
the observed intensity over a few frames. Images are acquired at minimum aperture over a long time exposure time
to reduce noise while avoiding saturating the sensor. The
results are then used to map to the projector frame buffer,
applied as an alpha channel texture, following Eq. (3).
4. Distributed architecture
For scalability, dedicated hardware solutions, such as the
Christie Vista Spyder, exist for a fixed maximum number of
projectors. Another solution built with once-high-end SGI
Onyx2 hardware using a customized wire OpenGL protocol
was described [8]. While this was suitable for GL-rendered
graphics, our distributed rendering architecture is instead
intended to support generic display content. The architecture is deployed with multiple client computers, each connected to a single projector, as illustrated in Fig. 6. A server
performs all the graphic computations at the target resolution and communicates its output to a set of clients via remote desktop software. The clients receive the full desktop
LAN environment using a 5120 × 1024 target display resolution, produced at the server side.
The solution should ideally be open source, or offer sufficient SDK support to facilitate further extensions as necessary. Our choice of remote desktop software for this purpose was constrained largely by questions of support for simultaneous connection of multiple clients and encoding efficiency. Specifically, it had to provide a sufficiently streamlined data transfer pipeline to operate at reasonable frame
rates, at modest bandwidth, even for high resolutions. Most
of the systems we investigated were unsuitable for these
reasons. The only viable solution that satisfied our requirements was NX, as its “shadow” feature allows multiple simultaneous client connections to the same session.10
frame buffer and make use of another Compiz plug-in we
designed to crop and transform the portion of the remote
desktop window for which each is responsible. The server
need not remain agnostic of the client-projector geometry,
and thus, could, in theory, transmit to each client only that
portion of its frame buffer that the client requires. This
would significantly reduce communication requirements.
Unfortunately, this is not feasible, either for reasons of architecture or performance, with current distributed display
protocols. For example, the Xdmx protocol provides both
control over distributed machines and remote rendering of
(portions of) the display buffer, but it runs extremely slow
when rendering anything other than simple text consoles.
The effort of redesigning the server and client of such a
protocol for our purpose remains beyond the scope of our
SSH + Xforwarding
License >25
Table 2. Remote Desktop options for 5120 × 1024 resolution
5. Conclusions and Future work
We have described a fully automated brightness and geometric calibration system for a multi-projector display using an uncalibrated camera. Our approach to brightness
correction achieves acceptable photometric uniformity in
such displays using a practical and automatic process that
solves all different types of inter- and intra-projector luminance variation without the use of any special device such as
spectrometers [12]. The geometric calibration can achieve,
within minutes, pixel-accurate calibration using an inexpensive camera and vision-based techniques. This entire process is completely automatic, unlike other methods that require some degree of human intervention. This allows for
re-calibration of the system for each use, if required, without imposing any additional burden on the user. Moreover,
our method does not make any assumptions concerning the
number of projectors or their configuration, the accurate
Figure 6. A possible network layout
Possibilities included X11 combined with SSH forwarding, Sun Microsystems’ ALP, for which no working implementations could be found, Microsoft’s proprietary RDP,
and the simple RFB protocol, used by the popular VNC
software. These protocols all operate at the frame buffer
level, i.e., they share the entire frame buffer with any connected client(s). The most promising solution we found was
NX, which compresses X11 data using a differential technique derived from DXPC,9 which exploits various spatial
and temporal redundancies to improve bandwidth efficiency
and maximize responsiveness. A side-by-side comparison
of the relevant features for each of the remote desktop protocols is provided in Table 2, based on results on a 100 Mb/s
9 Differential
10 Unfortunately,
this “shadow” feature is only available in the non-free
NX server from NoMachine. Their most recent version (3.4.0) suffers from
a bug that results in dramatic drop in frame rate when more than one client
is connected to the same server session.
X Protocol Compressor project
placement of markers, or the use of a single display surface
to create a seamless display.
Our implementation is integrated in the Linux Compiz
plug-in. This transforms the frame buffer in real time to obtain the desired transformation, based on the geometric calibration and the brightness map. Although the current implementation uses a rectangular region as the display area,
arbitrarily shaped projected regions could be achieved by
modification of the OpenGL code that draws the region.
However, it is worth noting that when the warping is performed digitally, the resulting projected image quality decreases as a result of the reduced effective projected area.
Image filtering and anti-aliasing techniques can reduce this
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