With all this talk about Transforming Christmas on the blog we thought it would be fun to share each friday a very practical and possible idea that you may be able to implement this Christmas season. Every time we have a Transforming Tip we will do our best to break down the process and what you need in order to make it happen.

Today’s Transforming Tip idea is projection outside.

Here are a few pictures of outdoor projection to about to give you some inspiration:

What if you “re-textured” the outside your building?

Maybe put a message outside to welcome people or use as the start of introducing them into a theme/series.

I like this idea of projection through windows! It could be indoor or outdoor projection.

This church projected outside for some testing, but you could make it snow, or like you’re walking into the stars/galaxies, etc!

This is worshipvj and visualworshiper having fun at a conference.


As you can tell the possibilities are endless with projection outside. If you’re curious what projection outside entails here are a few pointers.

1. Technical Requirements.
Outdoor projecting and projecting inside are virtually the same thing when it comes to what is required for making it happen. The key elements are A) projector, B) computer or display engine, C) the necessary cables & adapters and D) the content or an image to project.

You can usually get away with lower lumen projectors (not as bright). In most of these pictures above a 3,000 lumen projector or less is used. The top picture was probably a 10,000-15,000 lumen projector because of it’s size. Traditionally you have a darker environment if you are outdoors so you would be able to get away with lower lumens.

2. Weather proofing.
If you are going to be outside that means you need to protect your equipment from the natural elements (i.e. wind, rain, storms, snow, etc). Some things you want to consider:

  • Do you have a rain plan?
  • Is your projector, hard drive and/or computer temperature regulated? It’s fine for a few hours to avoid heating your projector, but it is not good forever to do that.
  • Is all your equipment tied down or strapped so wind cannot affect it’s position on your building or the safety of equipment and people around you?
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No matter what you’re doing out side, be it lighting or projection, you will want to make sure that you think about weather alternatives. IF you are going to case your projector in an enclosed box… DO NOT use plexi glass. This is made out of a PVC like substance and will heat, bubble and can potentially catch on fire. Please be careful and consult a professional if you are looking to do a permanent install for ourdoor projection.

3. Security & Safety.
This is quite possibly the most important factor. When you are doing an event outside there are more variables for injury. Typically you are not mounting your projection equipment or cables in any permenant manner, which means there is a bigger risk of tripping. Tape or mark all of your cables with white, neon or glow in the dark tape to ensure that you are safe.

As well as safety, there is an element of security you will want to consider. Is your gear secure outdoor for a long period of time? You may want to consider a computer lock or bike lock for some of your more expensive gear.

4. Setting up your show.
When I last projected outside of a building, we found that it was a challenge to test and setup the equipment because it had to be dark enough to see and late enough so not too many people would see. We would always be testing our video at midnight and 1am to avoid letting the “secret” out. Consider how much time you need to prepare your projection setup. Things to consider for setting up:

  • Leverage the use of a Mask or “Template” that you can create content inside and not on the actual projection surface.
  • Align, focus and position your projector using something to define the edges of your building.
  • Have help. Don’t try and do it alone.
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5. Content
When it comes to content, keep it simple. Don’t over do the outdoor projection or it will be become a big distraction and potentially cheesy. The detailed elements with tiny pixels will get lost in the massive size and the lack of good contrast. I found the best content is high contrast with bright colors. Snow, stars, angled lines and particle flashes always work the best.


If you’re looking for help in this area, don’t hesitate to email our team!


That’s all we have for Transform Christmas this week… BUT DON’T MISS NEXT WEEK! We’ll be back on Monday with even more amazing stuff including more Three Credit Thursdays, more great tips and tricks and even some videos on how to transform your Christmas. If you’re just now finding out about TripleWide Media for the first time, read about our Transform Christmas series and get a free motion here.

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Luke McElroy

Author Luke McElroy

Luke McElroy is the founder of Orange Thread Media, the parent company to TripleWide Media, SALT Conferences and Orange Thread LIVE. He is the author of The Wide Guide: Blueprint for the Multiscreen Movement. Hailed as one of the “top innovators for worship” by Worship Leader Magazine in 2013, Luke’s leadership has helped create powerful worship environments for thousands of Church communities throughout the entire world. He currently lives in Nashville, TN and regularly writes about creativity, leadership and faith at LukeMcElroy.com 

More posts by Luke McElroy

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