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House Projection Mapping Guide

Intro

How do you do projection mapping on a house?

Whether it’s your aim to create digital decorations for Halloween or you want to design Christmas video mapping and other holiday projections, this page will introduce you to the main topics of 3d projection mapping a house or building.

It will help you decide what kind of projector you might need, what software to use as well as more tips and advice.

An example of house mapping by Luma Box

Will my house work?

Considerations for holiday projection mapping on your house include house size, color, texture, obstructions, windows, ambient light, location, and neighbors.

For large houses, a longer front yard may be needed or multiple projectors can be used.

Light-colored houses are preferable, while dark materials may require brighter projectors or coverings.

Shadows from obstructions should be considered when positioning the projector.

Windows may need coverings to catch the projection.

Ambient light can affect the brightness, and measures like shield installations and turning off neighboring lights can reduce light pollution.

Location and neighbor impact should be assessed, with respect to noise, traffic, and crowd control.

Read an extended guide on whether your house will work for holiday projection mapping by clicking ‘Read More’. 

A light-colored house is very suitable for house projection mapping

Projectors

Projectors with a short throw lens are highly recommended since they require less distance to project a large image.

Brightness is an important factor, with a suggested range of 3,000-3,500 lumens as a minimum, depending on factors such as projection distance, house color, and ambient light.

Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) is advised, and the decision to opt for a 4K projector depends on the availability and need for high-resolution content.

Lamp-based projectors, while more affordable, have reduced brightness over time, whereas laser projectors offer longer lifespans and better color and contrast, albeit at a higher cost.

Read an extended guide on choosing a projector for house projection mapping by clicking ‘Read More’. 

Brightness and lens type are important factors when choosing a projector

Other Hardware & Materials

To projection map your house, you will need additional equipment and materials.

A media player is recommended for seamless playback of your show. This is a small bit of hardware that connects to your projector and replaces the need for a laptop. 

A laptop or desktop computer is necessary for editing and creating the show. Ensure that it meets the minimum requirements of the software you intend to use in your workflow.

HDMI cables or equivalent are needed for media input, along with outdoor-rated extension cables, cable covers, and connection protector boxes.

Window coverings made of opaque materials like paper, cardboard, frosted shower curtains, or perforated vinyl are necessary to catch the projection and prevent the light from going straight through the glass.

Read an extended guide on other house mapping hardware and materials by clicking ‘Read More’. 

A media player is a useful bit of hardware for house mapping

Software

To make your mapping guide, use LumaMap Lite. It’s free and easy to use. It will quickly enable you to produce a mapping guide from your ‘projector’s eye view’. You can then use this to design your own show or send it to a designer.

If you want to make stunning digital facades custom to your house quickly and easily with AI, try LumaMap.

For designing and animation a projection show yourself, popular software options are Davinci Resolve and HitFilm Express (both free) and Adobe After Effects (paid).

Audio

To incorporate music into your projection mapping show, you can use speakers or an FM transmitter, or both.

Speakers can be connected via a 3.5mm AUX headphone jack or wirelessly through Bluetooth. Bluetooth speakers offer convenience but may have a slight audio lag. Battery-powered speakers are portable, but require regular charging.

Alternatively, an FM transmitter broadcasts the audio over an FM radio frequency, allowing audience members to tune in, which is particularly advantageous during colder weather or when it’s preferable to stay in cars.

Ensure compliance with any regulations regarding radio frequency usage and provide signage with the designated frequency.

Using both a speaker and FM transmitter may require an audio splitter from the projector or media player.

Read the extended guide on using audio in your holiday projection shows by clicking ‘Read More’.

A Bluetooth speaker

Video content

Video content is essential for creating a holiday projection mapping show. You have the option to design your own content or obtain it from online sources, either for free or by purchasing it.

YouTube is a valuable resource for finding green screen footage or content with black backgrounds. Free stock footage sites like Pixabay and Videvo provide copyright-free videos and images. See a full list of the best free resources here.

Paid options include the Luma Box shop, AtmosFX and or subscription services like Envato Elements which grants access to high-quality videos, motion graphics, images, and sounds.

Pre-made shows are available for purchase, where you submit the outline map of your house, select a show, and have it adapted to fit your house by a designer. These shows typically range from $99 to $200. Connect by clicking below. 

It’s important to respect copyright laws when using copyrighted material in your shows, as public display requires appropriate licensing.

Read the extended guide on video content for holiday house projection mapping by clicking ‘Read More’.

"Slow Fracture" available in the Luma Box shop

Projector Enclosure

When setting up a long-term projection show, you’ll need an enclosure for your projector.

There are expensive professionally manufactured options available, but DIY solutions are also possible.

For weatherproofing, plastic boxes or containers, as well as sealed wood enclosures, can be used.

Transparent materials like plexiglass may interfere with the light beam, so recommended options include “home theatre” or “projector porthole” glass.

Adequate ventilation is crucial to prevent overheating, and temperature monitors can be incorporated for intelligent temperature regulation.

Enclosures can be disguised or painted black for better aesthetics.

Mounting options range from stationary placement on the ground to poles, stands, or tripods.

Security measures such as locks, ground anchors, alarms, motion-sensitive cameras, and lights can be implemented to deter theft.

Read the extended guide on projector enclosures by clicking ‘Read More’.

Budget

Based on experience and research, the minimum cost for house projection mapping is $640. Choosing the most expensive options at every stage could result in spending over $5,000.

Read the full breakdown of house mapping costs by clicking ‘Read More’.

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