Selecting Media For Environmental Projection

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Lets imagine that you have saved up a large sum of money for a brand BMW. However after purchasing the car you realize you didn’t account for the fact that you will need money left over for the gasoline. Bummer! It’s the same way with environmental projection. Don’t just buy all the equipment and neglect to consider what sort of “fuel” you are going to use in it. Good, quality, and creative content will need to be budgeted for.

TripleWide Media’s tag line is “Fueling the Multi-Screen Movement.” Our hope is to provide you with numerous resources, including content to use for environmental projection. We’ve taken the time to partner with the best producers in multi-screen content and we love exposing their art to the many users of triple wide video walls, environmental projection.

Set-up a FREE account today and become a part of this community. If you’re brand new to this site let me share the coolest part of all about our content. Every single purchase (motion, still, countdown) gives you access to 3 resolutions (single wide, double wide AND triple wide.) We designed the site this way so those who use EP occasionally or in only a few select rooms can use the content they purchase in other rooms that have a need for single screen content. Much of our media looks great on a wall or on a screen with lyrics and so we want you to have options without purchasing multiple products.

We really care about resourcing our community with content. Enough of the sales pitch; in short don’t forget the importance of keeping content fresh and creative as you begin your journey with environmental projection. Remember to check out our blog for ideas from our community and to see our content in use. Maybe you have some pictures to share with the community? Please send them our way.

 

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Selecting A Projector For Environmental Projection

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Once you have a computer and software you’ll need something to actually get the image or motion background onto the wall or video screen. Obviously, this is where a projector comes into play. Though there isn’t a “standard” projector I recommend using there might be a projector that fits your needs better than any of the others.

When it comes to projectors remember that the goal is to put paint on the walls. It’s hard to create an immersive environment with environmental projection without a clear and bright image. We have to overcome ambient light that is created from windows, a bright stage, lighting effects/elements and projection or house lighting. If your room is full of natural light and windows you are going to need a much bright projector than a room without natural light. Yes, brighter projectors are more expensive and in some cases draping over the windows could be more cost effective.

I am often asked which projector to purchase. Here’s my response: in a perfect space with a 30-40′ wide wall on a matte white wall and no ambient light (stage lighting, house lighting or windows) you would want to get a 3,000-5,000 lumen projector. Any additional light that you can’t control will cause you to need a brighter projector.

Projector prices vary greatly and so I hope you don’t feel like you must drop $20,000 to get in the game. Just make sure you are getting a good, quality brand and enough brightness to achieve you look you are going for.

Keep in mind that environmental projection is an art and may take some guess work and testing. Reaching out to an experienced consultant or installer can save time, money, and heartache.

What Software To Use For Environmental Projection

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First things first.  We need something that can manipulate and process an image if we are going to pull of environmental projection. There are certainly many options when it comes to software, but there are 3 main categories of software that are worth taking a look at.

1. Single Window: This is the most basic breed of presentation software and has the ability to put something up on your secondary output, but you don’t have much control over anything outside of a “slide” or the order of your presentation. This category includes PowerPoint, Keynote and a few other lesser-known applications. This is definitely the least expensive option, however you will find that software in these categories is limited in features and control over your images.

2. Dual Window: Dual window programs allow you to have a control window as well as a separate full screen output that one can send to your TV, projector or other display devices. Some examples of Dual window presentation software is good for environmental projection is Media Shout, Easy Worship, ProPresenter, VidVox Grid as well as a couple others. These includes features to manipulate your images and allow you to control the order in which they are displayed. The power that comes with having a control window will allow you to create a more seamless and powerful presentation.

3. Multi-Layer Mixing Application: This is the third and most advanced, expensive category. It is also the category that has the greatest number of options. Examples would include VDMX, Arkaos GrandVJ, ProVideoPlayer and s number of others. The primary thing that sets these programs apart from the other two categories I have mentioned is their ability to dissolve multiple layers of video graphics on top of each other. This grants you a lot of control that you are not allowed in other programs.

The Purpose of Environmental Projection

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Environmental Projection harnesses the power of imagery to drive home an emotion or idea. It simply brings vision and can truly bring a room to life. Your audience no longer feels as though they are looking at something, but instead they find themselves looking into something. Make sense? Lets say for example we wanted to bring the people at an event into a jungle like atmostphere. Most people would achieve this by getting a couple of real trees (or plastic) and get a pre-printed backdrop to cover the background. The problem with this approach is that the audience has to look at a bunch of people in a so-called “rainforest” but they don’t get an immersive experience.

 

With environmental projection, through still images and motion backgrounds, we can invite the audience into a jungle so to speak. It takes the focus of the stage and brings everyone into the same atmosphere! What’s the best part? Environmental projection is dynamic and can be changed with a quick click of a button. Imagine one moment we’re in the South American rain forest and the next we’re in a beautiful 10th century cathedral. There’s no way this would be possible with physical trees and a backdrop is there?

 

When setting up environmental projection, remember that every room is different and I need to remind you that there is no “one-size-fits-all” setup. Because there are no two rooms alike the best thing you can do is seek help and make sure to contact an experienced consultant or installer.

 

In future articles we’ll talk about how to evaluate your space and also how to get measurements for projection. While it is an artform, creating an incredible environment is achievable. We hope that you’ll follow along as we discuss environmental projection.