Pico projector recommendation

Tower of Terror Theater

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Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Location
Las Vegas, NV
So I am looking for a pico projector to project onto a fogger output coming from a genie bottle spout to recreate an effect reminiscent of the Twilight Zone episode "The Man in the Bottle," as shown in the video clip. This effect really is kind of a accessory to my show and not meant to be the focus of attention. Indeed there are a multitude of audiovisual effects occurring simultaneously as viewers in my show are transitioning to the Fifth Dimension and the Twilight Zone. Thus i realize that the projection onto fog coming from a spot (via a Microfogger 2 device) will not be clear. I believe I could get a bit better projection surface by placing a sheet of acrylic in front of the genie bottle spout to provide better laminar flow, but the main goal is to simply get a vague image of a figure on the fog. Perhaps at most the projected image would need to be a foot tall at most. Any thoughts or advice. Thanks!
 

jtweigandt

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Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Location
Moline Il
I'm thinking the pico will disappoint.. however you might get more bang from one of the 90 buck range led projectors
Hey it was good enough to get Jenna Coleman to stop by my shop one evening in a spectral sort of way. (sorry for the repost if anyone recognizes this from another thread.. then again if you complain about seeing Jenna... well maybe you have other issues :) )

jenna.jpg
 

macsound

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Joined
Jun 15, 2018
Location
San Francisco, CA
A difficulty with small projectors is the lensing. Since they're not very bright, the manufacturers assume they will be used at close range to their projecting surface, so you'll never find one that could be cleverly hidden and also zoom in far enough to make a 1' tall image.
Maybe a source four mini with a 19 degree lens and a well printed transparency with the image in the gobo slot. It will be a static image but probably easier to fade in and out and you'll get a much clearer image than a tiny projector.
 

cbrandt

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Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Location
Michigan
Maybe a source four mini with a 19 degree lens and a well printed transparency with the image in the gobo slot. It will be a static image but probably easier to fade in and out and you'll get a much clearer image than a tiny projector.
If you're looking at a gobo/spot fixture, Apollo makes a fantastic little guy called the SpotFX. Great for a small package with a good punch. @Kelite has posted a few pictures around with them, and they've got an impressive focus on them.
 
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tladuke

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2013
Location
Orange County California
Actually, a 800 to 1000 lumen PICO projector would work for this. Optoma has the ML series of PICO projectors. They are LED based and they offer 1.2 and .8 wide angle options for the lens. It is possible to use a camera diopter adapter and a camera tele-converter to modify the focal length as well as the beam spread. I have adapted a DSLR camera telephoto adapter to a PICO projector. You will need a relay diopter between the projector lens and the telephoto adapter. It's a bit tricky. The PICO's all have a lens offset that shifts the image upward for close up projection. This means you will need to assemble an optical bench rail to support all the adapters and at the same time accommodate the offset. This is not for the faint of heart but it is doable.

BTW, you can also make these adaptations on larger business class projectors. Interestingly, these after market tele-converters are becoming scarce. People are not using DSLR's much anymore with the advent of mobile phone cameras that have astounding capabilities. You can, buy teleconverters for mobile phones that will work on PICO projectors but image quality will really suffer. Then again, if your projecting on smoke, it's probably not an issue. Any adaptation to a fixed lens on a projector by using aftermarket attachments will seriously compromise the image quality. I would only recommend this for an illusion application like the one described.
 

Tower of Terror Theater

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Location
Las Vegas, NV
Well I made the genie bottle with fog coming out the nozzle.

I tried using a Kodak ultra mini portable projector. It only has 25 lumens and at first I thought there was no way it would project a decent image, but I was surprised that brightness was not a issue in a darkened room. The problem was that you could not see any reasonable image on the fog coming out of the nozzle. I tried putting an acrylic sheet in front of the fog coming out of the nozzle to give a flat surface for the fog and still the image was not really apparent. Oh well; move on to the next project.
 

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