6 key mistakes in projection mapping made even by professionals
Hello to all video mapping and projection video show enthusiasts. In this article, I, new media artist Alexander Kuiava, will describe typical mistakes that everyone faces when trying to create their video mapping show.
There are a total of 6 key mistakes that even professionals often make in their works and video mapping performances.
During architectural video mapping shows, organizers or event producers may not always be able to negotiate with the city council or the city’s lighting department to turn off street lights around the projection building. As a result, the light poles nearby, illuminating the street, also shine on the building where the video projector is directed. This creates parasitic light that seemingly reduces the brightness and saturation of the video mapping projection. This also affects the overall perception, as the possible 3D effect is lost. Visually, it seems like the building has a regular video projection like a sticker, not video mapping with a 3D effect.
Don’t forget that 3D video mapping is a play of light and shadow.
You need to have all shades of black and gray since light is best visible in absolute darkness. Therefore, even if you have a super cool idea for your show or festival, or high-quality video mapping content such as Projection Mapping Loops, it will all be in vain if there is parasitic street light.
Incomplete Projection Area.
The second most common and not obvious mistake is an incomplete area for video projection. This happens because the company ordering video mapping lacks the funds to rent more projectors to cover the entire building’s projection area. This is a total mistake because projecting only on one floor or one part of the building loses the effect of coherence and immersion in your video performance. Therefore, in the Video Mapping community, we believe it’s better to choose a smaller architectural area and cover it entirely with video mapping projection rather than only a part. When the projector’s light fills all the buildings, the architecture truly becomes an art object. So either increase your budget to rent an additional projector or choose a smaller architectural area.
The next mistake in the field of architecture is the selection of a poorly designed building. I have previously written in some of my articles that the ideal architecture for video mapping is something between Baroque and architectural modernism. In essence, video mapping requires two types of surfaces. The first includes various architectural decorative elements such as columns, pilasters, cornices, window frames, and arches. The second type consists of large rectangular or square surfaces without elements, essentially acting as screens. Look for architecture that incorporates both of these types of surfaces for your video mapping shows. As a visual artist, this will be an excellent canvas for creating diverse content for different forms. Our video mapping toolkits, designed for almost any architectural style, can assist you in this. Therefore, remember that the architectural facade is your canvas as an artist, and any video projection needs a form and surface to cover.
Weak projectors. Poor rental company.
Old or weak video projectors are a technical mistake made by many video mapping companies. Many rental companies in their offers may claim to have projectors with a power of 5K lumens, 10K lumens, 20K lumens, and so on. However, in reality, if the rental company has had the projectors for more than 5 years, the lamps and chips may have deteriorated. A projector that is advertised with a power of 10K lumens may actually emit only 5-6K lumens. Adding to this the parasitic street light, an anticipated video mapping show can turn into a simple video projection on the building with an output power of 3-5K lumens.
Very often, major players in the market at large festivals or events set up 2 or 3 projectors side by side. In other words, 2 or 3 projectors shine on the same area. As a result, if you have 3x20K lumens, it amounts to 60K lumens on one plane of the building. However, even when using very expensive and powerful projectors, it is still recommended to turn off parasitic street light.Also, pay attention to the contrast ratio of the projectors. Contrast ratio is one of the most important criteria when choosing a video projector. Contrast ratio refers to the ratio of brightness between the white and black areas of the frame. The higher the contrast ratio in the projector, the better the 3D depth effect will be created.
Unplanned external factors and surprises:
One such disruption is power outages. Imagine that you’ve ordered expensive projectors, created a very cool video content, invited sponsors and partners, and connected to the power supply from a certain building. And during the video show, the power in that building goes out, or there’s an accident, or the fuses simply blow. And that’s the end of the story. Such things need to be anticipated and thought out in advance. For example, backup diesel generators can be helpful. However, we still recommend coordinating with the street lighting department for power supply to directly connect to the city’s network, which may be more reliable. After all, the city and municipal administration should be interested in hosting such an event in their city.
Since any video show is accompanied by music, any external sound or music can become a disturbance for your event. Therefore, please check if there are other planned events, protests, or political actions scheduled during your show that may create auditory noise. For countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, it’s also important not to forget that these countries have prayer times, Azan, during which the loud call to prayer echoes from the mosque’s speakers. So, don’t forget about such external impact factors.
And the last mistake is not cool 3D animation and low-quality visuals. It happens that the projectors are powerful, the architecture is beautiful, but the content is lacking. Clients try to cut costs on motion designers. Don’t do that. Never skimp on visual media artists or on the services of a video mapping company that creates visuals for you.
This is a key factor. Fortunately, in our Video Mapping Store, you can find numerous video mapping toolkit collections, as well as visual effects for your video art project. With our content, you can create a beautiful video mapping show yourself. And if you are a designer or a video mapping company creating video projection shows, our content will be a wonderful addition and mix to your main video art.
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