5 Items you need for Environmental Projection
The first item on the list is inevitably the most obvious, but you will need projection. How many projectors, how much brightness, and how you cable them is up to your team to determine. There are a ton of options depending on your needs, budget, throw distance, whether you want SD or HD, etc. You need to figure out what your goal is and what you want before you make a major purchase like projection.
Software is the next big piece of gear you’ll need for environmental projection (aside obviously a robust enough computer for EP.) We have used a plethora of different software options from ProPresenter and MediaShout to ProVideoPlayer and Resolume. Each software listed comes with a different feature set and user interface. Download the watermarked demo versions of each and find the one that works best for you. Don’t just look at the cost, but feature set, work flow, etc.
The secret sauce to any environmental projection setup is masking. Masking is what creates the seamless feel of EP being “paint on the walls.” There are a few ways to accomplish masking. Some software options (such as ProPresenter) have a built-in masking function. If you are using a different software that doesn’t include masking, you can go with a software called Mask-R-Aid from our friends at Crowd Control Games or use a pixel mapping software like MadMapper. Whichever way you go, spending time to ensure that you have a great mask really makes EP pop in your room. Without a good mask, your EP setup will look sloppy, inconsistent, and more of a distraction than anything else.
The crux of TripleWide Media is to provide the best content for multiscreen and environmental projection. Home to over 12,000 unique pieces of ultra-wide media, you can find anything and everything you need to create an amazing environment in your space. Whether you are looking for subtle motions, simple textures, stunning vistas, or the expanse of the cosmos, you have come to the right place.
Finally, you need a vision for what role environmental projection will play in your community. Remember that the message must be stickier than the media. You can find the coolest motions, the most beautiful imagery, and the perfect transitional elements….but if those elements don’t support your story, then it’s all for not.
Spend some time together educating your team and casting vision for the role of EP in your environment. When will it be used? Special events? Special moments? All time? There is no right answer. There’s no one perfect way to run EP. However, you can and need to cast the vision for your EP setup. Don’t overlook this step.
Bonus – Multiscreen Processor
Remember, this is multiscreen, not multi-projection. That being said, you may or may not require multiple projectors for your EP setup. However, if you do (which is more than likely the case) you’ll need a multiscreen processor to display your graphics properly on your walls. There are a few options, but the two we have used the most are the TripleHead2Go and the DataPathX4. (Please note, we no longer sell the TripleHead2Go. Here’s a great option for purchase from Amazon.)
The TripleHead2Go isn’t a bad way to get started. It’s low cost, simple to use, and can get you started quickly. However, it does have some limitations. Being a “dummy” box, it can only do what it’s told from your computer. There is no internal processing or memory.
Whereas the DataPathX4 is a smart box that enables you to store the data within the device. We have essentially begun to use this as it gives a lot more control, flexibility, and consistency over the TH2G.