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Thread: are video projectors replacing laser projectors for graphics?

  1. #11
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    I was going to reply with a simple 'no' yesterday but couldn't be bothered.

    To me, your question is a little confused to begin with.

    Video mapping and laser graphic projection are entirely different things, and I'm not sure they've ever really existed in each others domain, so the question 'will they replace them' is a little misunderstood, in as much as they were never really doing the job in the first place.

    If you want to project images, use a video projector.

    If you want to project bright thin lines, use a laser projector.


    Don't get me wrong, I love my lasers and also get some money from this hobby by renting them and selling shows, but this question has been worrying me for some time
    If you're trying to project complex video graphics with a laser projector, you're using the wrong tool for the job (imho)*
    So are you really worrying that you wanted to get into video mapping but bought the wrong projection hardware?






    * yes, yes, I'm well aware they 'can' do raster, etc, but it ain't great, and certainly not a patch on a decent video projector.
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  2. #12
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    I do work for a museum that has a permanent projection system setup to do projection on the roof of the building, this is a fairly simplistic setup with no 3D mapping (apart from blending and dealing with the curvature of the roof)

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    Just to give some detail of the setup:

    Projection distance from projector tower to roof is about 88 metres (291 feet), projection area is 76 metre wide x about 15 metres high (250 feet x 50 feet)

    Projectors:
    4 x Christie Roadster 22K projectors - they have 1400 x 1050 resolution with 1600-2000:1 contrast, requires a mere 20 amps per projector and the lamp life is only 750 hr, and the lamp cost is around AU$6000 per lamp (and they only have one lamp so no redundancy)
    They cost roughly AU$40,000 each!
    and a huge an as stated above require 4 persons to carry them (and a chain block to get them into position)

    Content control:
    2 Servers running quad high end video cards (one server for redundancy)
    Software used is Watchout from Dataton (on both server above)
    1 x TVone vision blender

    Now to support these four projectors they need a structure to house the projectors to get them up high enough
    Air conditioning (and a large air conditioner at that) to maintain temperature in the room (need to run up 30 minutes prior to show and 30 minutes after show)

    and last but not least show content, each show cost anywhere around 20-40K to create the shows

    and I'm not including a lot of other costs like the labour to assemble it all together

    and then you have the ongoing maintenance costs (the biggest one being lamps at 25K per 750 hrs (or less if they don't burn out equally)

    so to ask are video projectors replacing laser projectors?
    I don't think so when you look at the cost associated to each method, I could buy a very nice laser projector for $160,000 and I'd get 10,000 - 20,000 hrs out of it
    but then they both have different capabilities


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  3. #13
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    The difference of what is a real laser projection is VERY obvious to the eye (Check the second image) The noise seen on the lines is part of the charm of lasers. A crowd can clearly see some sparkle in the lines being drawn (which changes depending on viewing angle).
    You are comparing apples to oranges here as stated before.

    You can do 3D mapping with lasers but its a completely different style.


    There is 3D software for lasers as well.
    I do work for a company which does on building 3D mapping with video projectors as well but they constantly keep coming back for the laser graphics as corporate events love it.. It stands out.. very clearly.
    I recently got accepted for an academic study in animation (in fact here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willem_de_Kooning_Academy) and they are loving the laser animations over there. So much they are featuring me in an article soon.
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    Last edited by masterpj; 08-18-2014 at 06:45.

  4. #14
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    Dear Trollidude -

    Quote Originally Posted by solidude View Post
    ..I understand that for beams pixels can never compete with vectors, but when it comes to graphics, these video projectors used in "3d projection mapping" shows are already quite bright and can display far more than galvo-based laser projectors can.
    Uh, ya.. Don't think you 'get out much'... There are applications for laser-graphics that video pj's will never touch, because the inherent nature of laser light behaviours, ie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9Lp2I4RVBc / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBxRFek-qNs ..and those are the least of-such examples..

    ..and other horribly-disparate-surface situations, ie: mountains, tree-banks, catwalk-structures under the roof of an arena, etc, etc.. And also, as has-been well-mentioned, distance.. ie:

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.n...5_166664_n.jpg

    ...over a 720' "throw"... (..and the only reason this pix looks 'fuzzy', is this was a 'zoom-shot'.. The actual-projections were *very* crisp looking, even viewed quite-skewed from 36 stories below, at street-level.. ) Lemme see 'video' do that.. and, do that with a pj we carried in our hands / ran off 1x 110V, have a nice day.. Video would have been oatmeal..

    ..Anyhoo, point being, as Norty and Loopee nicely summarized, they're different tools for different purposes.. Video-projectors are not going to 'replace' laser projectors, so.. this whole thread is rather kinda stinkytrolly...

    Quote Originally Posted by solidude View Post
    ...this question has been worrying me for some time and I don't see a discussion about it here.
    Why would / should there be?? The only thing I can see being relevant is the 'marriage' of the two, which can be quite cool / engaging.. (And I know there are more 'grand examples' out there, but..) Here's one well-done / nice-example, that comes to mind..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TAhGIlMbWw / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxFzoZ4_Hoo

    ..not to mention Lumia, diffractive-fx, diffusion-fx (..lemme see you shoot video thru a piece of frosted-acrylic, and have anything useful / meaningful come out the other side.. ie: http://www.laserium.com/gallery/images/100116.jpg ) ...ad-infinitum..

    ..Anyhoo, sorry, but I think.. 'Your Argument is Invalid'....

    Have a nice Ray, cya..
    j
    Last edited by dsli_jon; 08-24-2014 at 16:40.
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by solidude View Post
    Okay, so I'm very new to this industry, so apologies if to some of the veterans here I seem to lack some very basic knowledge.
    I don't know how bright and sharp video projectors used to be back in the day, but I fail to see now what advantage a professional laser projector has over a professional video projector for displaying bright graphics. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=3d+mapping
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ralwfcuE_Tg

    I understand that for beams pixels can never compete with vectors, but when it comes to graphics, these video projectors used in "3d projection mapping" shows are already quite bright and can display far more than galvo-based laser projectors can.

    Don't get me wrong, I love my lasers and also get some money from this hobby by renting them and selling shows, but this question has been worrying me for some time and I don't see a discussion about it here.
    I've recently come to the conclusion that laser based video projectors offer a huge range of infinite effects that galvo based projectors couldn't dream off. Including eye safe crowd scanning, and beam shows. No need to learn complicated laser projector software just to produce some single line mathematical limited images. Its a lot easier to manipulated video frames than ild frames. A simple slide show, or music generated screen saver can produce far better effects than a top tier laser projector. You can create shows right on DVDs, and share them if you wish. No special files formats, locked or outdated formats anymore. No more DAC. Most video editors are self explanatory. They already have programs out there that take out the guess work. Like G-Force for music timed fractals, image distortions, and abstracts. And MusicBeam for eye safe beam shows.

    I've had this projection concept in mind for a long time, as have many others. As mentioned contrast is the key. But with the rate video projectors are moving forward that wont be an issue soon. Right now you can create out of the box eye safe beam shows, and with a click of the mouse start music timed fractal shows with absolutely no training, no paper work, or special equipment. Give it a little more time, and galvo projectors will be the thing of the past IMO. They will still have a use in large venues, but from weddings, to raves/clubs, to backyard shows, I think the video projector will take over. Its a lot less complicated, it will give better visuals than a galvo projector could, and its totally eye safe. You wont have to deal with safety paperwork, and training either.

    MusicBeam....




    G-Force....







    I think once video projection takes off we'll be seeing a plethora of new software, and plug-ins.
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  6. #16
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    Thx for the great exemples Jon, well worth thousands words Really complementary tools!

    Btw I have a plan to make such a show this winter, I'll consider both those tools by myself and maybe I'll come up with my own vid' to show this here, even if I'll start at a 'quite' lower scale than this

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsli_jon View Post
    There are applications for laser-graphics that video pj's will never touch, because the inherent nature of laser light behaviours
    I think its safe to say you can debate this either way.

    Video-projectors are not going to 'replace' laser projectors, so.. this whole thread is rather kinda stinkytrolly...
    You hope not, LOL. If it did it would put the whole industry out of work. I doubt that would happen because galvo projectors still have their place. I think you might see a hefty change at hobbyist level tho. Especially when people who already have video projectors figure out they can do more than just presentations, and movies.
    “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.” ― Bernard M. Baruch

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
    ― Benjamin Franklin; stairwell plaque in the Statue of Liberty

    "And so shines a good deed in a weary world." - Willy Wonka

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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechJunkie View Post
    I've recently come to the conclusion that laser based video projectors offer a huge range of infinite effects that galvo based projectors couldn't dream off. Including eye safe crowd scanning, and beam shows. No need to learn complicated laser projector software just to produce some single line mathematical limited images. Its a lot easier to manipulated video frames than ild frames. A simple slide show, or music generated screen saver can produce far better effects than a top tier laser projector. You can create shows right on DVDs, and share them if you wish. No special files formats, locked or outdated formats anymore. No more DAC. Most video editors are self explanatory. They already have programs out there that take out the guess work. Like G-Force for music timed fractals, image distortions, and abstracts. And MusicBeam for eye safe beam shows.
    Pangolin has emulaser for fake video projector laser projection and you can most certainly see the difference.
    It doesn't compare contrast wise and the beams degrade really quickly in intensity.

    To make matters worse lcd projectors pass through some light.. so when projecting black there willl be still lighting from the projector.
    DLP projectors have a problem where if white effects move fast you get a rather unpleasant rainbow effect.
    (I have both DLP and LCD projectors here and also used a very high lumen projector a few times.. if you use an wide angle lens the intensity with a high lumen thousand dollar projector that's on a pneumatic adjustable platform degrades really quickly).

    Lines have to be very thick to work well and well spaced or the beams get washed out.

    Video projection is actually very commonely used *thats why there are vjockeys* and to be honest the problem is these video projectors are mostly very distracting (especially with fog or haze).. they interfere with the stage lights and enviromental lights in a negative way unless back projection is used which most stage aren't long enough in depth for.
    This is why led screens are more commonly used then video projectors.
    Regarding G-Force I used to have that when I still had windows XP or so.. it's nice but the control is little.
    You are better off using modul8 for mac here.

    Video projectors aren't going to replace laser projectors and vice-versa.
    In fact the amount of work regarding laser use *for graphics* is clearly growing as the awareness of what capabilities laser projectors have continues to grow!
    I share my work actively online or showcase it.. it's good for all of us.. as long as you can deliver the abilities modern lasershow equipment can offer, then you can benefit from it too.

    The promotion of the laser graphics does itself... in fact I haven't had to approach anyone yet! They came to me instead.
    Would I have used a video projector to do what I do now nobody would have given 2 cents.

    Personally I suggest you to come experience a proper laser graphics show but The Netherlands is far away.
    I'm in talks with hunter though (who is an USA based certified laser safety officer) to tag along for a month in the united states.
    Why not come experience one of my shows to make up your judgement?
    If you do not live in the USA the only other locations I can offer you to see a show of me is in Spain, Poland or Germany
    Last edited by masterpj; 08-18-2014 at 13:53. Reason: grammar

  9. #19
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    " 15 characters"
    Last edited by Laser Wizardry; 11-13-2015 at 11:55.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by masterpj View Post
    Personally I suggest you to come experience a proper laser graphics show but The Netherlands is far away.
    I'm in talks with hunter though (who is an USA based certified laser safety officer) to tag along for a month in the united states.
    Why not come experience one of my shows to make up your judgement?
    If you do not live in the USA the only other locations I can offer you to see a show of me is in Spain, Poland or Germany
    I'm in the US. New England.

    I'd love to see your shows. I have seen Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, and literally a huge list of other bands that presented top shelf shows. Been to rave parties, laserariums, clubs, and outdoor shows. Watched 100+ Youtube videos. Even went to a LEM. I can honestly say, minus Lumia and beam shows, they were nothing close to what I expected. I've also seen quite a few shows crash.

    Dont get me wrong, I loooooooove laser light. But I dont like 3rd grade art work galvos create. The abstracts are cool, but they are mathematical, and there is no real analog movement to them. In my case a video projector is exactly what I need. I dont have to worry about blinding people, there is no paperwork, no aircraft to worry about, and I can create true analog images that a galvo projector is not capable of, plus eye safe beam shows. Plus I can add real images or video clips to the show. When I'm done creating I can throw it on a DVD. With a video editor I can add everything to a timeline, and add even more effects. Most video editors are free, or cheap.

    I also what to create planetarium effects, and I know for a fact a galvo would never handle all the stars. It cant do planets either. All it produces is colored lined balls. A video projector can project an actual picture of the moon, comets, ect.

    I'm not going to even get started with flicker issues.

    I hear everyone's points, and they are valid. But so are mine. I would not discount video projectors. There is plenty of room for them at the hobbyist, and low end commercial level. People like cheap, easy, and safe. You cant say that about galvo based projectors.
    “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.” ― Bernard M. Baruch

    "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
    ― Benjamin Franklin; stairwell plaque in the Statue of Liberty

    "And so shines a good deed in a weary world." - Willy Wonka

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