Masking for Environmental Projection
One of the most integral parts of creating an amazing Environmental Projection Setup is Masking. Masking is a very simple concept. You’re placing an overlay on your media that projects black instead of whatever media or content you’re projecting.
Functions of Masking
Masking has two primary functions. First, masking is how you make environmental projection feel like paint on the wall. Masking makes it feel natural and not out of place. When you first start creating your masking setup, you’ll want to see where you can take advantage of natural intersections, such as where you walls meet the ceiling or where you walls make a corner. Perhaps you have a balcony that extends down the side of your room and that makes a natural place for your EP to end.
Secondly, masking allows you to avoid projecting onto those objects or areas you need to avoid. For example, if you’re projectors are in front of your speakers, performers, or set design elements and you don’t want to project onto those objects, you can place a mask over them. Also, masking allows you to avoid projecting onto any screens you may have running IMAG or lyrics that you don’t want the environmental projection to run across.
Many of the software options we use on a regular basis, such as ProPresenter or Pro Video Player have masking options built into them. These are great tools to use when running your presentation through these programs. Within both ProPresenter and Pro Video Player you need to click on the masking button to create, modify, and activate the mask.
There are certain limitations within each program, however you can take your mask layers and modify them in a graphics editing program to dial them in perfectly. This is the key to making an excellent mask.
If you’re not using ProPresenter or Pro Video Player, then you’ll want to find an alternative masking option that you can use. One great option is called MaskeR-Aid, by the team at Crowd Control Games. This tool will essentially add a masking layer to whatever presentation system you’re running. You can toggle it on and off with the flip of a switch and it allows for multiple masks.
Masking is not the most difficult task to accomplish when running environmental projection, but it is one of the most critical for your environmental projection to look great. Take the time to make your mask fit your space. This isn’t a template you can download or a one size fits all option. But, if you can put the effort in, then you’ll get the results you want.