Wrap video-plane around cup or cylinder


Hi there,

For a new project we would like to bring a physical cup to life with a video-animation on it.

The concept is as follows:
A man doing a triathlon; swimming, running and cycling. In the end he’s chilling in the fluid in the coffee-cup

In short:

  • User scans the cup with the Zappar-app

  • A 3D-model of the cup ‘takes over’ the real cup OR the video-plane with a transparent video is wrapped around the real cup

  • An animation starts on the cup itself of a man running and biking up a hill and finally jumps into the liquid inside the cup.

We already made a model of the cup with an anmiation in Cinema 4D. That was easy, now comes the hard part. We run into a few problems here, since it’s a rather complex concept and we haven’t got many hours of working in Zapworks Studio yet. So we’d like to ask you guys to think with us.

Problems to tackle

  1. Is it possible to ZAP an image on a cylinder? Easy to test: probably yes.

  2. Is it possible to track the motion of the cup (tilt/ pan, probably even when rotating the cup) and replace it with a 3D-model of it?

  3. Is it possible to wrap a video-plane around the cup? Or do we have to export the cup with the animation in it (if even possible?)

Hopefully you guys can help en think with us.

Big thanks in advance!



I like the idea!
I haven’t tried a wrapped tracking image yet . I will have to see. But if you could use the tags from a ZapBox controller I don’t see why I wouldn’t work. Then I make the whole thing a 3D model with animation.



Thanks! We also like the idea

I like the idea of the ZapBox controller. I didn’t thought of that yet. The only problem is that the cup doesn’t get any prettier with these tags. :sweat_smile: The cup should be fun to look at when not using Zappar.

In the meanwhile we’ve tried to apply the tracking image to the cup. It works when the Zappar-code is in view, but when it’s out of view the tracked image is not recognized anymore. We’ve got around 45 degree of ‘viewingangle’ horizontally and vertically.

The big question still is…can we track the cup with an ‘ordinary’ zappar-code? @Seb maybe you know a way to do this?


Thank you! That’s interesting that it’s triggered off the zap code and not the whole picture.



Hey @dvdkamp and @stevesanerd,

It is a very cool concept, but unfortunately not one that is currently possible with Zappar.

Our AR implementation requires that the entire tracking image be in the device camera’s view in order to display tracked content.

This is why the content will lose tracking at certain angles, as the majority of the tracking image will no longer be visible.

We have made a few experiences that are tracked to a curved surface (but never completely around a cylinder) with varying degrees of success, so it’s not something we typically recommend.

You may be able to track the experience to a portion of the curved surface, but not the entirety of the cylinder.

Hope this helps, feel free to keep us updated on how the prototype progresses. :slight_smile:

All the best,


Hi @Seb,

Great hearing from you again.

Too bad this isn’t possible yet. We’d love to see this in the future. Theoretically the cup could be tracked by using multiple tracking-images of the cup while the cup is rotated slightly for every tracking-image. It maybe wouldn’t be very smooth when rotating the cup though.

Do you have a working example (Video or Zappar-file perhaps?) of the tracking image on the curved surface? So far it looks like it’s (indeed) rather buggy and I’m wondering what you did to make this work (somewhat).



Hi Ferdy,

…the cup could be tracked by using multiple tracking-images of the cup while the cup is rotated slightly for every tracking-image.

The Zappar app doesn’t currently support the use of more than one tracking image in a single experience so this implementation wouldn’t be possible unfortunately, though there is an open feature request for this functionality.

We don’t have a working example as these were very basic in-house tests, and it didn’t involve tracking an experience around a cylindrical object.

Rather, a tracking image was created and wrapped around a cylindrical container, so that the entire tracking image was visible from one angle.

The experience was then tracked to this, but would lose sight of the tracking image if the rotation of the tin changed and obscured the tracking image, which is why we don’t recommend this implementation.

Hope this helps.

All the best,


Hi Seb,

Thanks for your reply.

We’ll forget about wrapping the whole experience around a cup then. Too bad, it could’ve been great! I understand what the limitations are.

It probably will be something similar to what you’re suggesting; making the cup, taking a picture of it and using that picture as tracking-image (or a virtual cup and make a screenshot of it).

The tracking-image would be sort of 3D as it’s a picture of the wrapped image. Or…does a “flat” (non-wrapped) tracking image make more sense?


This is essentially the test we performed in-house.

You could give it a try and see how effectively the experience tracks.

Let us know how it goes! :slight_smile:

All the best,


Hi @Seb,

i’ve got a new question about placing our content round a cilinder. I have made a Cinema 4D model, converted it to Collada and after that to a .pod file for import in Zapworks. I want to use a transparant video (i’ve tried .mov and .mp4) as texture… but that’s not working. Do you know if .pod even supports video textures?

Jerome (collegae Ferdy)


I’m working on some coding that may help you when finished.
I will let you know.



Hi Steve, thank you in advance :slight_smile:
i’ve made a quick test with a videoplane (see mp4)
Would be nice te place this plane on a cilinder.



Hi @dvdkamp,

Video textures can be assigned to objects within Studio. The Video in the 3D view article has some extra info you may find helpful, along with a video on using video textures.

If you have any issues please let me know.

All the best,


Hello, I thought I would comment on this post as I’m working on a project now that involves an AR experience tracked to a can. I was using just a straight image tracking which as was mentioned you lose the experience once the tracker is out of view so you’re left with a limited angle of view.

The experience plays okay but as mentioned by the client there was some slight jittering/flickering of the experience I’m thinking due the fact that it is on a curved surface. I know that at the moment Zappar doesn’t have a curved tracking feature although I thought I heard in one of the webinars that was something they were looking to implement, maybe someone from the company can elaborate more on that.

In the meantime I’ve been trying to figure out a solution, I reached out to Groove Jones, the company that created the awesome label experience for “Victoria Dia De Los Muertos” shown in the showcase, unfortunately they confirmed that Zappar doesn’t have cylindrical tracking and that they wrote there own tracking code for it, so it does give me the impression that it can be done but just that you’ll have to create your own custom tracking code for it.

I’m still researching exactly how that might be accomplished, if I find out anything I will let you know.