Here's a response to a customer inquiry that might also be of interest to many others...
Issue: "I am trying to front project on the scrim with a projector that conceals the set behind it with good light control. Please suggest a scrim for me and anything I should be aware of."
Response: Projection onto scrim can be a bit tricky but if you know some of the ins and outs you should be able to avoid the challenges associated with this effect.
All of our (scrim products) can be used for projection but typically theatrical projection is done on the old standby of white sharkstooth scrim. I have also seen projection done on elements of painted black scrim and scenic painted scrims. We have seen many desirable front projection effects and images produced on black scrim that has been sprayed (on the front) with rear-projection Screen Goo, as this makes a great reflective surface for the image on a black substrate. I personally do a lot of outdoor projection onto vinyl mesh like textilene or speaker mesh with great results. The scrim material chosen will depend on your application and the desired seamless area.
The effect of a scrim heavily depends on the control of stray light. It uses contrast to fool the eye into thinking that the material is opaque. Traditional theatrical scenic scrims are typically lit from a very steep angle so that the light that passes through the scrim falls just upstage or in the wings. As long as the space and objects behind it stay dark, you will not see anything through the scrim. If there is front light hitting the scrim straight on, or at a shallow angle, it will illuminate the area and objects behind the scrim. This is true for direct and reflected light from the stage.
When you apply this to projection, things will get a bit more complicated. The ideal setup will depend very heavily on a number of variables; the effect to be achieved, desired quality and purpose of the projection image itself, and the technical capabilities of the venue. All of this is assuming front projection on scrim since rear projection is not advisable and is typically done for effect only.
If your primary concern is projection image quality, you will likely want to put the projector in the house straight on to the scrim. This will produce the best quality of image but is the worst case scenario in terms of making a scrim appear opaque. This is typically how scrim projection is accomplished but it will likely require a blackout immediately upstage of the scrim. This blackout will catch all of the projector overshoot and certainly mask the scenery or stage behind it. Just before the reveal is made through the scrim, the blackout will be flown out or traveled open. If you are looking for a double image, the blackout may not be necessary at all as the background would be dimly lit the entire time.
If you are looking for less quality of image and more effect, the projector(s) can be placed at a sharp angle to the scrim and blended into one image similar to the way your stage lighting would be. This requires equipment capable of this type of image warping and will certainly reduce the overall quality of the projected content. This can be a technically complex setup and will require the appropriate projectors and image processing.
Designer Ivy Flores created this gorgeous installation with the ominous title, “A Scenic View of the End of the World.” The installation consisted of hanging strips of cotton scrim arranged within a cave-like structure so that viewers could walk into the center of the space and look outwards. Four projectors lit the fabric strips by beaming a panoramic animation outwards from the center of the space. The effect was ethereal.
Cotton scrim is commonly used in theaters, special events and other interior settings for quick economical swags and billows that are light as a feather. Ivy selected this ultra-fine gauzy fabric so that light would pass through the material with minimal effect on the layer behind it. soft and durable qualities made it perfect for an exhibit that users were encouraged to walk through, touch and move.
View more images of designer Ivy Flores’s installation in our portfolio. Watch the video of the experience by clicking the link below.
A Scenic View of the End of the World
Every four years, athletes from countries of the Americas compete in the Pan American Games. Each year, the host country tries to outdo their predecessor by creating a spectacular artistic presentation in the opening ceremony. The 2011 games taking place in Guadalajara, Mexico were no exception with an Opening Ceremony reportedly costing $20 million.
Rose Brand was instrumental in the construction of the focal point of the ceremony, a three dimensional moving projection screen. The screen's steel frame boasted a circumference of 350 feet and hung in the center of the stadium. The projection screen, made out of Rose Brand’s Rip Stop Nylon, was 104 feet tall and offered a 360° cylindrical projection surface.
PRG Technologies, the engineer on the project, engaged Rose Brand to build the projection screen in just a single week. In order to fabricate the three dimensional screen, Rose Brand sewed together 3,200 yards of Rip Stop Nylon. The screens were made up of two pairs of panels measuring 104’9” x 98’ and 104’9” x 51’. The enormous projection screens, equivalent in height to a ten story building, were adorned with 3,600 D-rings that were hand sewn onto the panels to give the projection screen mobility. View the sewing plans used by Rose Brand here: projection screen plans.pdf
The halo at the top consisted of 72 overlapping fabric panels each measuring 22 feet in length. Since it was critical that each panel's measurements were identical, we used Rose Brand's Precision Laser Cutting process to ensure accuracy. View the sewing plans for the halo here: halo plans.pdf
Rose Brand met with Kevin Nute of Screen Goo America’s at the 2011 LDI Tradeshow this year in Orlando, Florida. Kevin provides a clear understanding what Screen Goo is and why it is changing the projection industry.
Screen Goo is a water based acrylic coating that can be used on any paintable surface, regardless of size or shape, to create a high performance projection screen. Screen Goo also offers a wider viewing angle than regular projection surfaces e.g., it can allow viewers to see images on both sides of the projection surface, creating a 360° viewing cone. In addition, Screen Goo enables remarkable image depth and dimensionality, whether you use the Goo products made specifically to produce a 2-D or 3-D screen. It is appropriate for all levels of video use including home theatre, houses of worship, conference rooms, point of purchase displays, large-scale commercial venues and even outdoors.
Screen Goo can be used for both Front and Rear Projection surfaces. There are seven different Screen Goo coating options to choose from depending on the projector being used and the projection application. To find out which coating will work best for your next project try using the Screen Goo Selector Tool, which will choose a coating for you based the answers you give to a series of questions.
For more information on Screen Goo visit http://bit.ly/rosebrand-screen-goo or call a Rose Brand Representative at 800.223.1624.
Rose Brand congratulates our sixth blog contest winner, the team at Church on the Move. Their blog entry described how they built scrim panels that are vertically mobile for their Seeds Conference. Here is how THEY did it...
We kept it mostly low-tech (emphasis on mostly) with technology we already knew how to operate and sort out. The impetus for keeping things simple was pretty much culled from self-preservation as we knew the one time we didn’t really desire major technological issues was the opening of our first Seeds session. Go figure.
These 6 sharkstooth scrim panels were custom fabricated out of some larger pieces we had used a few years ago – a local company was able to make this happen for us but scrim material is available in almost any kind of custom size at Rose Brand.
The objective of this element was to project 6 different images on 6 different scrim panels that could raise/lower as needed. Due to the heavily populated stage area overhead, working out the mechanics of the manual raising and lowering process proved to be the biggest challenge. Although not completely groundbreaking, here’s a brief breakdown on how we made it work out for our needs. More...
Photo courtesy of Vinny Gasper
Rose Brand congratulates our third blog contest winner, Lauren Shaw. Lauren's blog entry described how she built a Silhouette Screen using Rose Brand's Spandex.
Here is how SHE did it..
She used Rose Brand's white spandex and stretched it to a size of approximately 10' x 15'. She inserted grommets around all four edges and constructed a rectangular frame using PVC tubing and fittings. She interlaced rope through the grommets and fastened it in several spots on the frame securing it tightly. She created a 7 minute video to project on the screen from behind, which also served the purpose of creating the silhouettes on the screen. Their performers used belly dance and hula hoop tricks to give the audience a silhouette show they would not soon forget!
Rose Brand is accepting applications for the How Did YOU Do It? Blog Contest until April 25, 2011. For a chance to have YOUR work featured on Rose Brand's Blog, simply post an explanation of your project and a representative picture or video on our Face Book Page. In your explanation, indicate which Rose Brand products you used, if any. If you end up as a contest winner, you'll also recieve a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate and a link to your blog article from the homepage of our ecommerce site at RoseBrand.com. It's a chance for exposure to tens of thousands of people in our industry.
For more information on lighting a scrim check out our following blog posts:
How To Light A Sharkstooth Scrim (Part 1)
How To Light A Sharkstooth Scrim (Part 2)
Here is the third article in our series on “How To Light A Scrim.” This article is derived from questions most frequently fielded by our salespeople at Rose Brand.
Does it matter in which direction the “tooth,” or opening in the scrim, is oriented?
Vertical tooth alignment (left) Horizontal tooth alignment (right)
The tooth is about twice as high as it is wide, and this is the common orientation when sewing the scrim. The properties of the scrim, however, are not affected if the tooth is rotated. In fact, this may be done to save a user money and more efficiently use the available widths of scrim in stock.
Another common reason for rotating a scrim is to More...