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How to Position Your Projector | AtmosFX

How to Position Your Projector

Getting creative with your projector placement will really provide a lot of flexibility when putting together your displays. When you’re first setting up, it can be helpful to point your projector directly at a surface from a perpendicular angle. However, there are lots of instances when moving your projector into a different position can improve your results.

Hiding your Projector

Digital decorating works best as an illusion. If your audience can see the projector, the magic of the effect may be diminished. That’s why many decorators use props to block their projectors from view. Using props works best for front-projection but, if you’re creating a rear-projection display — like a Window Mode decoration viewed from the outside — you still have to consider whether your projector can be seen by your audience.

A common issue caused by projector placement is a “hot spot”. That means that while viewing your display, your audience is looking directly into the lens of your projector, creating a very bright spot in your image. To eliminate hot spots, try positioning your projector lower to the ground and angling the projector upwards towards the window.

You can also raise the height of the projector, either by using a ceiling mount or by placing the projector on a high shelf, then angling the beam downwards.

Keystone Correction

Now that you have adjusted the angle of your projector, you may notice some out-of-focus distortion in the top and bottom of your image. Luckily, most projectors allow you to modify the angle of the projected image using a feature called "keystone correction."

There are two types of keystone correction, manual and digital.

Manual Keystone Correction

Some projectors, including our Digital Decorating Kits, have a manual keystone control dial attached to an internal lens. Projectors with a manual keystone dial can only adjust on one axis, usually horizontal. That means that if you need to raise up or lower down your projector to project at an angle, you can use the keystone to keep your image in focus.

If you are using a projector in the vertical orientation, then the keystone will now let you move the projector from an angle left to right while maintaining an in-focus image.

Digital Keystone Correction

Digital keystone correction is a feature only found on very expensive projectors. This type of keystoning can be adjusted on both the horizontal and vertical axis, allowing users to create a customized projection shape. Because the projector is using computational power to create this new custom shape, it requires advanced hardware to accomplish.

The Hollusion Projection Material “Double Image”

Hollusion Projection Material is a mesh fabric designed to let some light pass through from both directions while still catching the projected image. This is the trick that allows our Hollusion Mode decorations to appear to be floating in thin air. The projector reflects light off of the mesh, but the viewer can still see through to the other side.

Because of this, it’s important to consider where your projector is aimed and how it is angled. If there are any surfaces on the opposite side of your material from the projector, you may get a double image effect: the first on the Hollusion Projection Material and the double appearing on the background.

If you are getting a double-image, try repositioning your projector at a lower angle, facing upwards towards your material. This will direct the double-image up into the air and out of view of your audience.

Also, if you’re decorating a window with Hollusion Projection Material, make sure it's not pointing directly into a neighbor's window, as they will experience unwanted light shining into their home — or even unexpected frights!

Positioning your projector is one of the keys to making great displays with digital decorations. If you’ve come up with a clever way to hide your projector (such as inside a prop) or found ways to create cool effects with positioning, we’d love to see them! Send your DIY videos and pictures to community@atmosfx.com.

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