Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Projection Surfaces: Wood and Tulle

For projections like "Daisy, the Ghost Bride" and "The Haunted Tombstone", we recommend using a cut surface like styrofoam or a white painted plywood board.  The figure can be somewhat more rounded and dimensional, but the more dimensional and detailed the figure, the more likely the projected image will be warped and distorted.  If you decide to have a more sculpted figure, we recommend avoiding adding protruding features, like a nose, as the projection is not specifically locked to it.  With "Daisy, the Ghost Bride", a very effective trick to add dimensionality is to simply drape the figure with tulle (pronounced "tool').  It is a sheer netting-like fabric available in any fabric store and is commonly used for bridal veils. 

A Styrofoam figure, draped in tulle.
A closeup of a more sculpted head. 
We have also experimented with tulle as a projection surface with interesting results.  When stretched, or even left blowing slightly, we have had excellent results using it as a screen.  Tulle comes in many colors these days, and we have used white, grey and black in our tests.  Grey is probably the easiest color to work with as the projection shows up while the surface without a projection blends into the background.  Projecting on white shows up best, but the fabric is also most visible.  Black tulle blends into the background best, but the projected image is not as bright. 

Tulle would probably be most effective in an outdoor situation.  The image could be front or rear projected, but, as the image shines through the tulle, it should be projected from a low angle, pointing up, so the image that passes through will just go into the sky and not show up elsewhere.

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