Environmental projection is a very simple process with huge potential. Simply put, environmental projection is the use of projectors on the walls of your building. Rather than pointing a projector at a projection screen, you point projectors at the walls of your room. Then you project visuals onto them. This turns your whole room into a blank canvas you can digitally paint with projection.
The idea is to use images to change the atmosphere of your room. You could turn a beige box church into a cathedral with a single image. You could turn your walls into stained glass. You could make it seem like it’s snowing inside the room. You could even make your congregation feel like they’re in the middle of a jungle if you wanted. Making use of digital projectors, environmental projection allows you to transport your congregation to new worlds.
How Does Environmental Projection Work?
While the actual process of environmental projection can get rather complex, the concept is quite simple.
- Choose one central point in your room to place your digital projectors. (most commonly, three projectors)
- Use test patterns to line up the images on the projectors. Where one projector’s image ends, the other projector’s image begins. Usually this means pointing one projector in the center of the room, then two on either wing of the room.
- Connect the three projectors to one computer using a device like a TripleHead2Go—which splits one single image across three different digital projectors.
- Use a program like ProPresenter. This lets you mask out the areas of the room you don’t want an image projected onto. This might include projection screens, the ceiling, or the floor.
- Then use ultra-wide images and project them on your walls.
Those are the basics of environmental projection. There are multiple products you can use, but the concepts are the same.
Using Environmental Projection Wisely
Environmental projection is very visually impacting when done well. That’s why it’s important to be careful. If you change the room’s visuals too much or use motion graphics, you run the risk of over stimulating your audience and potentially making them sick. So make wise use of still images and subtle motion if you incorporate environmental projection into your church services.
Also, consider using it only on special occasions. Pick one or two songs each week to highlight with your environmental projection. The less you use environmental projection, the more special and impacting it will be. Anything, no matter how cool, becomes less special when it’s commonplace.