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Increasing projected image sizes....

Discussion in 'Multimedia, Projection, and Show Control' started by loudguyrick, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. loudguyrick

    loudguyrick Member

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    Hello all!

    I am directing a production of Beauty and the Beast, and have an animated prologue that will be projected onto a fog screen. I only have 15 feet or so between the screen and the projector. How can I maximize my projection surface???

    Thanks!

    Rick Beaule'
    Penns Manor High School
    www.pennsmanor.org/musical2009/index.htm
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I assume you want the image to be larger? Well, there are a few ways. The best option is to change the lens on your projector. On higher end projectors it is possible to pull the lens and put on a shorter throw or longer throw lens. If you have a cheaper off the shelf power point type projectors you won't be able to change the lens out. Beyond the lens, there is always the mirror bounce trick. Basicly, you project the image at a mirror and bounce it to where you need it to be. You need a fairly large mirror and plenty of patience, and even then it might not work.
     
  3. loudguyrick

    loudguyrick Member

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    Unfortunately I am stuck with the low-end projector. Now, I've seen several references to the mirror trick, but haven't tried it yet. Can you (or anyone else who's tried it) give me some details?

    BTW, the Prologue is available online at the site below for your viewing pleasure....

    Rick Beaule'
    Penns Manor High School
    www.pennsmanor.org/musical2009/index.htm
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2009
  4. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    For reflective images, Ford AV did a nice job of summarizing Da-Lite's educational program, Angles of View, Vol. 1. You can find the article here.

    By the way, when you are referring to a fog screen, are you using one of these? If not, what type of "fog screen" are you using? Are you using multiple units? The reason I ask is that you will find that a 16:9 image will work better than a 4:3 image due to the disappation of the fog towards the bottom. Also, I hope that you are considering rear projection on the fog which will make your image brighter and more legible. If so, be mindful that your projector does not blind your audience, aim your image up towards your catwalks.

    As for your link, I am having trouble as it stands, it comes up with errors.
     
  5. loudguyrick

    loudguyrick Member

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    Good question. We are building what is essentially a bifurcated plenum, with the fog machine(s) dispersing into the middle between the two air columns. Unfortunately, rear projection is not an option, as we will be opening the curtain directly at the conclusion of the prologue, but we will be projecting the image up at least.

    Regarding the link, I had one too many letters. Here is the correct link:

    Musical 2009

    Rick Beaule'
    Penns Manor High School
     
  6. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Could you tell us more, such as whether you have a specific projector you have to work with, how large and image you want, what type of image or effect you are trying to achieve, etc.?

    Mirror systems are typically used in rear projection applications. There are some front projection applications but usually using small mirrors (and thus minimal reduction in the throw distance) and enclosures to keep any other light off the mirrors.
     
  7. loudguyrick

    loudguyrick Member

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    Absolutely!

    I am stuck with using a stock office-type projector. It has decent illumination intensity for being a stock projector, and throws up an image that (if my memory serves me back to two weeks ago when I tested it) that spreads about 7 or eight feet square. I would like to increase that to a width of about 10-12 feet square if I can. Again, I have about 15 feet of throw distance to work with. My proscenuim is 36 feet wide, and I have a little under 15 feet of height to work with, so ideally I'd like the projected picture to take up roughly a third of the planar surface area of the proscenuim for maximum viewing.

    The general effect I am going for here is the projection of the animated prologue (again, see the corrected link above) onto the fog screen. The plan with the plenum is for the fog to be concentrated in between the forward and rear-placed air columns of the plenum. There should be some side bleed off that should complete the effect. At the end of the prologue the lights will go dark, the plenum will be shut off, and a quick blast of air from a large fan in the stage wing will disperse the fog screen, thus rendering the stage ready to proceed on to the village scene.

    Again, any ideas or help is greatly appreciated.

    Rick Beaule'
    Penns Manor High School
     
  8. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Give it a run before you invest too much time on this. I am a bit concerned that you are not going to have enough punch with an off the shelf projector. I have done the fog screen thing before, it took 10,000 lumens before I really saw the image. If you do have problems, try to do 2 projectors and lay them over each other. It might help, though you could get some weird issues because you are not projecting onto a fixed surface. Have fun with it, but as always with projections, test it before you invest time and money into it. I have seen a lot of cool stuff done with cheap projectors.
     
  9. loudguyrick

    loudguyrick Member

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    Good advice, and I thank you. Though I haven't yet done a test with the plenum, I have done a test with the image on a curtain, and the image held up fairly well. I may try the two projector idea as well. Any tips on how to synchronize them?

    Rick Beaule'
    Penns Manor High School
    Musical 2009
     
  10. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    If you have two projectors that are the same, you do not really need to worry about syncing them. Usually you just want to split the video signal or daisy chain the projectors. Focusing them can be a bit of a pain, I usually like to use a few different test patterns. This is usually a good one to make sure everything is lining up correctly.


    [​IMG]
     
  11. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    As Kyle said, what you are really doing is not syncing the image but stacking it. You will need a video distribution amplifier to take one image and send it to two projectors. On occasion, you will find that your projector will have a "loop through" so that the projector reads the signal and also allows the signal to pass down the through, unaltered. It is possible that you may see some delay (hardly noticeable usually).

    The difficulty you will run into with a stacked image for this production is that you do not have a solid surface and may run into an abberation due to the increased depth of the surface. Of course this depends on how narrow a field you will be able to maintain your fog. You are then adding the challenge of using a mirror to increase the size of your image. If you are not at the extreme edge of your zoom capability (which I assume you are using a zoom lens because of your earlier comments of being an off the shelf projector), you will add yet another complication to stacking your image. You have to be very careful with your image since you are projecting text since it will be very apparent if the image is distorted.

    I am in no means suggesting that you do not use the multiple projectors in a stacked image, the production I am currently working on uses three projectors for a single image and I am projecting on scrim for part of the show. Just make sure to allow yourself plenty of time to get it right.

    Again, if there is any way that you can do a rear projection set-up, you will increase your image visibility immensely which will allow for not needing as bright of a projector and probably eliminate the need for a stacked image.
     
  12. Chris Chapman

    Chris Chapman Active Member

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    The video you are projecting is great, but I'm concerned the complexity of some of the images will fall apart in a fog screen. The inherent movement of a fog screen may render the text illegible and the great break up and transitions may lose their punch too.

    Is there no way to substitute a scrim for the fog screen? I know that won't have the wow factor the fog screen will have, but with the limitations of your throw distance, projector type and the image complexity you may be fighting a steep uphill battle.

    Chris Chapman
    TD, Greenville Performing Arts Center
     
  13. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    I agree, I would be concerned that much of the detail and impact would be lost. All you can really do is try it.

    If you are using generic projectors and front projection then there is not much you can do to get a bigger image. Some projectors allow for interchangeable lenses where you could possibly go to a shorter throw lens but the lenses are typically pretty costly and this is not usually an option on your generic projector.

    Stacking projectors when the projectors may have no vertical lens shift and are projecting on a dynamic 'screen' may prove difficult. I'm not sure the improvement in brightness that might result would be worth the effort.
     
  14. loudguyrick

    loudguyrick Member

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    Glad you liked the video. And thank you all for your suggestions. I will try them out and let you all know how it turns out. If you come up with any other ideas I'm all ears!

    Rick Beaule'
    Penns Manor High School

    Musical 2009
     
  15. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    Yeah, I'd be skeptical that a 2K would cut it; my gut instinct says that, like Kyle said, you'd need a 10K (maybe maybe as little as a 5K) to do that. Larger image also means less light density, which means you need more total light, again, like a 10K.

    Good luck with your test!
     
  16. bobgaggle

    bobgaggle Well-Known Member

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    So I clicked through some of the links on your shows site, and I hope to god those production photos of the set build were posed, cause if not you need to tell me how you keep your work space so clean... haha
     
  17. loudguyrick

    loudguyrick Member

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    Haha, indeed!

    Those are not posed photos. What you are looking at is a classic public education low-budget scenario: Our performance space is also our shop space. Because there is no other area for us to work, we have to split the space with the cast for rehearsal purposes. Oftentimes the two will work simultaneously. It can be quite interesting trying to direct a rehearsal while saws are going off in the background, I can tell you.

    And while I don't know if I would classify the stage area in the photos as "neat", because we work in the same area we do have to take some steps for safety, such as making sure that the deck is kept clean and swept every day so the cast doesn't step on anything.

    Since we are so close to Dear Old Point Park (about an hour), perhaps you could arrange a tour for us someday?????

    Rick Beaule'
    Penns Manor High School
    Musical 2009
     
  18. loudguyrick

    loudguyrick Member

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    Howdy folks!

    Just wanted to let you know how things turned out.

    Our production of Beauty and the Beast finished its run last weekend. We were able to use the fog screen, and it was great! We ended up using rear projection, and got surprisingly good results. It ended up that in using the rear projection we needed to use LESS fog, and not more. We also had to time the pulses of the machine to coincide with the sections of the movie. Our biggest technical issue was that the fog machine had an internal thermometer. If it got too cool it would begin a recharge cycle. But we were able to get some really cool images. I will try to capture some of them to post on here.

    In the meantime I would like to thank all of you who posted in response to this question. You gave me a lot of good ideas that I was able to either adapt or utilize in the show.

    Take care!

    Rick Beaule'
    Penns Manor High School
     
    museav and (deleted member) like this.
  19. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    Excellent. I am very happy for your success. Thank you so much for posting your results. I look forward to seeing whatever you can share.
     
  20. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Thanks for the update, glad to hear that it turned out so well!
     

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