Traced Drawings

Andrew Martz from LifePoint Church in Harrisburg, PA brings us this cool projection set.

They started this design knowing they wanted to incorporate the family stick figures you see on the average minivan. The original idea was to put them on the ground on stands, but then in the interest of conserving stage space, they decided to suspend them from the ceiling.

The figures were cut out of standard white foam-core board, found at your local craft supplier. They used a projector to trace the image onto the boards after figuring out scale. Then some black craft paint around the edges, and the figures were ready.

They glued them onto wooden frames using E6000 craft glue and used small weights to combat the curl of the boards (this partly came from painting). Eye hooks were installed in the frame ahead of time.

To hang them, they used the same eye hooks in their wooden ceiling and suspended them with wire. Its easy to bend, impossible to see, and extremely strong. The figures only weighed 5 lbs, so they were not concerned about them falling, especially using two hanging points each. The original plan had been to have wire going from the bottom of the frame to the floor to prevent any motion but they found that just having the two points from above held them very still, even with A/C and fans on.

For lighting, they backlit the wall and originally used front/bottom lighting for the figures. What ended up setting this design apart was using their environmental projection (TripleHead2Go based system) and a very complex mask in Pro Presenter to project patterns, motion backgrounds, or even clothes on the figures, but not the wall.

Total cost ended up around $100, and it added a super fun and recognizable feature to their stage that worked well for the series and was very flexible.

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