Rear projection after hours in the gallery

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Martin
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Rear projection after hours in the gallery

Postby Martin » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:15 am

Here's an idea I've been thinking about:

After hours, pull a white sheet down over the gallery windows, and project images onto it from a slide projector in the gallery.

This could present a very large, vivid, glowing and high-resolution image (much higher than with a digital projector) to passers-by on the street by night. It could be set up on a timer to rotate images in a sequence.

The shape of the window is a near-perfect match for a 35mm slide in landscape format. We would need to get a wide angle lens for the slide projector to cover the whole window, and might need to modify the projector somewhat to get something bright enough with sufficient bulb life, but I have some ideas for that.

This setup could run in parallel with daytime exhibitions in the gallery. It could be used for exhibiting photography directly, or to project images of other art works, e.g. to blow up and draw attention to items from the running exhibitions that people can then return to view in the daytime.
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graeme
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Postby graeme » Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:58 am

This is a great idea.
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Postby Gandhi » Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:19 pm

agreed
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Martin
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Postby Martin » Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:55 pm

Right, for reference:

Window is 340 x 195cm

Projection distance max. ~450cm
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Martin
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Postby Martin » Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:26 pm

So, I bought a nice 45mm lens for the projector and tested it out tonight, it fills the window perfectly from the back of the room. The next thing we need is thin white sheets to make a screen out of. It would be best to put joins in the same place as the window frame so we would need 3 x 120x200cm sheets. I'll see what I can get from Edinburgh Fabrics next time I get the chance.
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Postby Gandhi » Sun Jan 27, 2008 6:27 pm

cool, can't wait to see it in action
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Martin
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Postby Martin » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:11 am

We also need to give some thought to how the screens can be put up and taken down easily. It is probably easiest to set them up like pull-down/roll-up blinds, for which we'd need some parts from Homebase or B&Q or something.

Finally we'll need a stand for the projector which can be wheeled in and out of the gallery easily at the start/end of the night. Do we have a projector stand already somewhere? I have a vague memory of one maybe.

Is anyone keen on this project that wants to volunteer to help me finish it? I'm tangled up in a lot of stuff at the moment and it'll happen sooner with a second pair of hands.
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Postby swithun » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:55 am

I know roughly how to make roman blinds. You sew rings on the back of the material, attach strings to the bottom, run them through the rings to the top and then along and down one side, where you pull.

We would need a bit of beading the length of the window for the bottom.

Can the projector be mounted on the roof of the volunteer cupboard, so it doesn't need to be moved every day? Or do the angles not work?
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Martin
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Postby Martin » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:55 am

It's a perspective correction lens that allows a certain amount of up/down adjustment of the image but not enough to project directly from the top/bottom of the room. I think it'd need to be about a metre below the top of the windows if hung from the ceiling.
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Postby graeme » Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:02 pm

Could it be set up like a projection room with a hole(possibly glazed) on the wall opposite the window? I think this would put the projector in the volunteer cupboard corridor or in the volunteer toilet. It would save having to move the projector about. We could ask that no art work was hung in front of the hole!
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Postby martinmckenna » Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:53 pm

Hi guys . i think that this really should be discussed at the visual arts working group meeting which is 7pm thursday . i personaly feelings is that any thing that gets in the way of running of gallery is a no no for me .eg a hole in wall that would inform how the space is used for art. .

also sometimes there will be installions in there so a free standing projector would posbblity get in the way . If there is going to be a blind then it should look tidy , maintining the white space as it is currently . My other concern is if the gallery will be put back to normal everyday..
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Postby Martin » Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:57 pm

Okay, further progress: I have bought 450x250cm of white sheeting from Edinburgh Fabrics, it is currently in a bag just through the hatch above the disabled loo. We can test with a full image tonight.

A hole is a good idea, much better than having to wheel the thing in and out. I'd avoid glazing it but rather just have a white cap that could be stuck over it during the day.
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Postby ravanwin » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:21 pm

i agree with M.M. in terms of consulting the WG and ensuring the presentation of the gallery remains at it's current high.

r
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Postby graeme » Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:27 pm

I agree that this is something for the VA WG to make a decision on, I can see how the hole could cause problems. Another idea would be for the projector to sit above the back wall of the Gallery and for the image to be projected using a moveable periscope arrangement which could be put in place when required and moved out of the Gallery space when not required.
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Postby Martin » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:01 pm

I should put in that there's no need for this to go in as a permanent fixture. It would still be cool to do as a project in the gallery in its own right. In which case as soon as the basic setup is tested (best done now whilst the gallery is empty), it could be stored away until it's wanted for a show.

However, if it's possible to set up permanently without disturbing the normal usage of the gallery then that would be cooler.

If we used a hole it would be about 10cm diameter and could have a cover made from the cut out section, to maintain the wall surface.
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Postby Shannon » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:06 pm

From the kitchen: I don't want to have to be moving anything in or out each day. Grrr!
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Postby swithun » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:12 pm

Yes - you'd need to go the hole whog or not at all. We can try to work out something at the meeting.
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Postby Martin » Mon Jan 28, 2008 4:26 pm

Shannon: what about no moving things around, but just raise a blind and close a flap?
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Postby Shannon » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:07 pm

Yes, that's fine, so long as everything gets sorted with the VA working group.
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Martin
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Postby Martin » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:30 pm

Tested with a full screen tonight. This is how it looked, with a random image of a mural from the carousel that was in the projector.

Very contrasty images like this seem to work okay, but the image isn't really bright enough for general photography as stands.
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Postby nix » Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:20 am

still damn cool.

useing the spaces to the max.
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Postby Gandhi » Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:36 am

thats awesome, ace and cool!! 8)
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Martin
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Postby Martin » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:58 am

So, this is probably the best we can do economically as a system that could run parallel to a daytime exhibit.

As a dedicated exhibition, there are some improvements that could be made:

Firstly, blackout curtains could be hung inside the room to stop light reflected around inside the room from coming through the screen. The brightness would remain the same but as you can see from the image, the real problem is not so much the bright areas as that the blacks are just not black enough. (Actually, it might be possible to do this for a foldaway system too - just have black blinds that come down over the walls as well as a white one for the window)

For more brightness, we could use all three projectors, each one lighting up one window pane and displaying a portrait format image. With each running on a separate, out of sync timer, this could make for an interesting effect and would also remove the issue of the window frame interrupting the composition of images.
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Postby ravanwin » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:15 pm

looks pretty good - i do say.
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Postby Gandhi » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:18 pm

An excellent way to advertise big events happening in the Forest as well!
...I can just see a massive sign for Blender 3 on there
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Postby graeme » Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:50 pm

Nice work Martin, it looks great.
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Postby martinmckenna » Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:12 pm

yes it looks good .
the only problem is how to store and keep the projector . am not a big fan of a hole in wall .even with a cap . However well its done i would think it would be noticeable. It would also limit its use to only when somethings is not hung in front of it . which is not often .

one idea is to hang it from the ceilling on pulleys . so it can be lowered and raised as necessary .or removed as need be . i have no idea how this would work . but i shall give it some thought .

|this could also be used for showing artists films at night using a video projector if they wished . we could have a drive in cinema with radio transmissions for the soundtrack ,that can be picked up on someones radio ,
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Postby Martin » Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:50 pm

Having looked at it a bit more I think pulleys are probably the way to go for a retractable system.
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Postby Martin » Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:48 pm

So, after all this Chris suddenly tells me that we have two big screens worth of proper rear projection material worth hundreds of quid, lying around in the corner of the hall! One of them almost fits the window as-is and makes the contrast much, much better. Here's the same image up for comparison.
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Postby Gandhi » Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:37 am

wow that does make a difference. good job. I think this is such a cool idea.
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Postby bill » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:25 am

this is brilliant and delighting, thankyou for making a cool thing!
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Postby bill » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:26 am

are there any ways a putting a digital image onto a slide projector?
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Postby swithun » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:12 am

Martin/Chris - could the screen in the second photo be turned into a roman blind? The more rings and string you use, the better it bunches when you roll it up. But then it becomes harder to put it to other uses. You would need 4 strings (each end, and 2 in the middle to match the vertical window frames) at a minimum.
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Postby Martin » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:15 am

Yes, there's companies that will put digital files onto slide film for you for quite cheap. The better ones achieve something like 8000dpi, which means you'll get the entire resolution of even a high-megapixel DSLR image onto the slide, vs a reduction to 1024x768 when you project with a typical digital projector. So slide projectors can be good for digital nerds too!
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Postby Martin » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:22 am

A roman blind is no good I'm afraid. The supports that go through it would add horizontal lines across the image, and the rear projection material is plasticy stuff that rips easily if you make holes in it. It should be kept as an unblemished sheet. The best way to set this up as a blind is to use a simple roller at the top.
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Postby nix » Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:16 pm

you are such a dude for doing this!

I have started taking some slides!
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Martin
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Postby Martin » Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:39 pm

A word of advice to anyone thinking of shooting stuff to be used like this: try to use as much exposure as you can get away with.

It's always been common advice when using slide film to lean towards underexposure when in doubt, because if you overexpose then the highlights blow out completely. I tend to set my meter to about half a stop under because of this.

However, looking at some of my photos on this setup they are just not bright enough. You need to make sure the highlight areas of the developed slides come out pretty much completely transparent to get a good bright image on this screen!
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Postby ravanwin » Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:00 pm

some projectors (film) have been brought up to the dorkbot crew. if you get them working let us know... cool?

cool!

r
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Re: Rear projection after hours in the gallery

Postby ChaoticReality » Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:45 pm

This is an amazing idea, can we revive it?
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Re: Rear projection after hours in the gallery

Postby Martin » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:10 pm

We have all the stuff. We've still got slide projectors, I have the 45mm lens stashed away. We also bought all the rope and pulleys needed to set this up for being hoisted up to the roof of the gallery when not in use. These should be in a B&Q bag in the gallery attic. I can give pointers to anyone who wants to work on this, I just can't commit any significant time myself.
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Re: Rear projection after hours in the gallery

Postby stephengoodall » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:19 am

I always liked tjis idea, could be good, esp. when nothing in gallery.
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Re: Rear projection after hours in the gallery

Postby amelia » Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:32 pm

Everything about this is impressive 8) :)
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Re: Rear projection after hours in the gallery

Postby Stephen » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:43 pm

This would be great over the blender weekend, lets hope this happens for then
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Re: Rear projection after hours in the gallery

Postby Martin » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:59 pm

Don't hope it happens, someone volunteer to do it.
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Re: Rear projection after hours in the gallery

Postby simone » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:26 pm

it does look great but it does depend on what show is on in the gallery at the time and if the artist is happy for this to happen. there is a show that is booked already for that weekend in the gallery and mirja is the contact person for the artist involved so a decision would need to go through her. the artist may be fine for this to happen but it may interefere with their idea for the use of the space and we should respect that.
it would be great though. if it could not happen in the gallery could it work in the red room?
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