Today I’m going to answer a question we get asked all the time:
What is involved in the setup of Environmental Projection?
This is such a sticky question to ask because environmental projection is different in every room. Every application is unique. Every environmental projection may have a different setup and can’t be summed up with a “buy this and this and you’ll be set.” It’s just simply not that scientific.
Imagine I was needing to buy a new car and wanted to know your advice. If I asked you which car I should purchase, you would have to ask me a slew of questions before being able to give me a good recommendation. That’s exactly how Environmental Projection is.
Here is what I call “the four ingredients of Environmental Projection.” Though the use of each of these ingredients will change, this should give you the basics of where to begin.
The very first thing we need is something that will allow us to generate or manipulate an image. There are a handful of options when it comes to software. There are three main categories of softwares that you may want to consider.
Single Window: This is your most basic presentation software and has the ability for you to put something up on your secondary output but you don’t really have any control of anything outside of a “slide” or order of your presentation. This category would include PowerPoint, Keynote and a few other third-party applications. This is by far the most inexpensive option, however you will find that the softwares in these categories are limited in their features and control over your images.
Dual Window: These programs allow you to have a control window (on your main display) and a separate full screen output that you can send to your projector, television or other display device. Some examples of Dual window presentation softwares that are good for environmental projection are Media Shout, Easy Worship, ProPresenter, VidVox Grid and a few others. These will allow you features to manipulate your images in certain ways and allow you to control the order in which they are displayed. The power of having a control window will allow you to create a more seamless and powerful presentation long term.
Multi-Layer Mixing Application: This is the third and most advanced category. It is also the category that has the greatest number of software options. Examples include VDMX, Arkaos GrandVJ, ProVideoPlayer and many more. The primary thing that sets these programs apart from the other two categories I mention is their ability to dissolve multiple layers of video graphics on top of each other. This way you could blend two different images on top of each other giving you the maximum amount of control over any other area.
Now that we have a computer and piece of software to display our images, we need something to get that image onto the wall or video screen. This is where your projector comes into play. Though there isn’t a “standard” projector that I recommend using (going back to the analogy of your car, you wouldn’t be able to tell me there’s a specific engine that works for towing a boat and being fuel efficient).
When it comes to projectors you want to keep this principle in mind: the goal is to be paint on the walls. We have to overcome ambient light that is created from windows, a bright stage, lighting effects/elements and projection or house lighting. The brightness of your projector will also be somewhat depended on the color of your walls.
Since this is such a common question I will mention this. In a perfect room with only 30-40′ wide wall on a perfectly matte white wall and zero ambient light (no stage lighting, house lighting or windows) you would want to get a 3,000-5,000 lumen projector. Any additional amount of light that you cannot control (or don’t want to control) will cause you to need a brighter projector.
With the two previous ingredients, we have the ability to project something onto the wall. Now the big question is: “How do I do multi-screen?” In the past, this process would require very expensive technology to map out all the various pixels and process the multiple screens from one computer source. Now, with the advent of multi-screen processors, this process is very cheap and easy to use. This piece of the puzzle includes a product like the Matrox TripleHead2Go, SideView SideCar or the Datapath X4.
There are a lot of options here as you can tell. I would recommend doing a lot of research before hand to make sure you can save the right amount of money, yet achieve what you want to technologically. Or give us a shout and we’ll be happy to put you in touch with some people who can walk you through this process. Environmental Projection simply cannot be done without a multi-screen processor at work.
Let me bring in the car analogy one more time. Lets say I finally purchase a car. One of the things I will want to consider is what it takes in order to operate that car: gasoline. The gasoline of your environmental projection setup is your content. Of course articles.triplewidemedia.com is your largest source of content for environmental projection, but you need to start growing your library of triple wide (or doublewide) resolution content so you can maximize the quality of your environment.
Here are some of my favorite categories of content:
The best place to get your environmental projection media is at TripleWideMedia.com. With the largest library of media available, TripleWide Media can become your one stop shop for still images, motion backgrounds or even countdowns specifically designed for the multi-screen movement. We’ve tried to make it easy at TripleWide Media to keep tabs on all your favorites by adding media to your wish list. Even if you’re not doing environmental projection now, we give you a triple-wide, double-wide and a regular single-wide piece of media free with every purchase! To learn more about 1 Purchase 3 Sizes, click here.
That’s it. the four main ingredients. Each and every “install” of this sort of technology will use different amounts of each ingredients. Make sure to talk with an educated and proven installation company before walking through this process. It’s art. Not science.
There is however a fifth ingredient to setting up environmental projection and one to not overlook! Click here to learn more.
TripleWide Media is fueling the multi-screen movement. We are a resource of stock content and visual resources for multi-screen and environmental projection. Included in each motion, footage, countdown and still image are three resolutions. Buy any of these products and get access to download the Triple Wide, Double Wide and Single Wide resolutions at no additional charge.
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Learn More about “1 Purchase. 3 Sizes” by clicking here.