If we’ve learned anything over the years, it is that we will always be surprised by the innovative new ways our fans use digital decorations. That’s true for our projection materials, too. And while there’s no single correct way to use any one of our projection materials, there are some key differences between them. To help you make the most of your next digital decoration display, we’ve assembled a detailed list of what type of projection material might be best for you.
First, a definition. AtmosFX Projection Materials are the screen on which you project your digital decoration. Think of a screen in a movie theater. It has been designed in a way that best captures and displays the images sent from the movie projector. Without a screen, a distorted version of the movie would shine on the wall at the back of the theater. At a drive-in, the movie projection wouldn’t show up at all. Either way, it’d be unimpressive.
AtmosFX Projection Materials work the same way – they capture the light from your projector to create a crisp and dynamic animated effect. If you were to project an image onto the glass of your window, the projection would shine right through. But unlike a movie screen, AtmosFX Projection Materials are designed so that enough light passes through the material so that you can see the image on the other side. That’s true for AtmosFX’s Window Projection Material, Window Projection Material XL, Hollusion Projection Material as well as the new Decorating Disc or Decorating Disc XL. So what’s the difference? And what’s the best for you?
Window Projection Material
This is the most commonly used material and, as the name implies, it is almost exclusively used in windows. Why? It is inexpensive, easy to use, and reusable.
Think of a lightweight window drape. The 4-foot by 6-foot material is made of woven fabric and is off-white in color. Most importantly, it is semi-translucent. That means when you stretch it over your window, you will not be able to see outside. (And your neighbors will not be able to see inside!) However, when you project your digital decoration onto this material from inside the house, enough light will pass through so that a clear and crisp image can be seen from the window outside of the house. This is how digital decorators are able to make it look as though, for example, that Santa Claus is snacking on a cookie inside their house, or ghosts are hovering inside.
Great ways to use it: Window Projection Material is large enough that it can cover most windows, horizontal or vertical, anywhere in your home. It also has grommets on the edges, so that you can easily connect several together for even larger windows. And if the window you want to cover is smaller, the fabric is nimble enough that you can fold it over and tie the excess out of the way.
Window Projection Material XL
There is only one significant difference between this material and the one listed above: It is larger. At 5.5-foot by 9-foot, Window Projection Material XL is the same lightweight woven fabric that is off-white in color. It also has grommets so that you can join more than one together.
Great ways to use it: Lots of digital decorators like to use the larger Window Projection Material XL to cover their entire open garage, usually by joining more than one together. This allows decorators to place the projector in the safety of the garage, while still projecting their digital decorations on a grand scale with their garage door–size screen.
Window Projection Material XL is also great when you have several windows on a wall that are in a cluster, and one large piece of projection can cover them all.
Hollusion Projection Material
Window Projection Materials (both regular and XL) are similar in what they do – they make window projections look great. Hollusion Projection Material is a whole ’nother animal. And it is the material that digital decorators have been most enthusiastically innovative in how they deploy it.
Hollusion Projection Material works like the other projection materials – is designed to capture the image from the projector and display it crisply and clearly. The difference is that this type of material is closer to being “see-through” – think pantyhose. As a comparison, when you place Window Projection Material in your window, you cannot see through to the other side. If you put Hollusion Projection Material in a window – and many decorators do! – you would still be able to see through the window.
How does this work? Hollusion Projection Material is 5.5-feet by 9-feet, and made of grayish-brown material. (It also has grommets so that you can join more than one together.) The material is robust enough to capture and display your projected digital decoration, but when the lights are dark around it, the material practically disappears. That creates an “hollusion effect” – when some digital decorations are projected onto it, it looks as though your images are floating on thin air.
Great ways to use it: Hollusion Projection Material is most often used in open space, like doorways and archways, or hung from trees, ceilings or similar structures. The trick is to hang the material in a location where people don’t expect to see anything. Then, when the lights are low and the material fades into darkness, you can project your digital decorations onto it, and it will appear that the images are materializing from nothing. Most AtmosFX Digital Decorations have scenes optimized for “Hollusion Mode,” but ones that have ghosts like Ghostly Apparitions (1, 2 and 3) and Phantasms work especially well.
It is also worth noting that you can also use Hollusion Projection Material in windows. The effect will be slightly different, in that people outside your house will still be able to see into your home. That means digital decorations in Wall or TV Mode (that is, decorations with backgrounds), won’t display well. But ones without backgrounds will create a clever effect – people will not only be able to see into your home, but they also are likely to think there’s someone – or something– in there with you!
New in 2021 is the AtmosFX Decorating Disc. This is something of a hybrid – it is both a prop and projection material. Essentially, it is a large circle that has projection material tightly fitted around it. While made of a slightly different fabric than Window Projection Material (it is more stretchy), it works the same way: The semi-translucent off-white fabric brilliantly captures the image from the projector. You cannot see through the fabric, in the same way you cannot see through Window Projection Material.
There are two sizes of the Decorating Disc. The standard size is 32-inches in diameter, and the XL version is 43-inches in diameter. And when you are not using it, both discs fold down to about a third of its size.
Great ways to use it: There are many AtmosFX Digital Decorations that have been optimized for projecting on circles, creating what some have called “Moon Mode” or “Snow Globe Mode.” For example, if you were to place a decorating disc on your roof and shine Halloween Moon Digital Decoration Collection onto it, you could make it appear that a witch is flying through the night silhouetted by a full moon. Or, with Santa’s Sleigh Ride Digital Decoration Collection, ol’ St. Nick himself!
Snow Globe Mode also features digital decorations optimized for circles. We’ve seen people set up their Decorating Disc in their front yard and project Enchanted Snowman Digital Decoration Collection onto it – making it indeed appear like a giant snow globe. Or, you can simply hang it in your window, creating a simple yet stunning effect.