Environmental Projection: Getting It Done Without Projectors

Besides lighting your team well with front and back light so that they are seen and have depth, the cohesive look of a set or environment behind them now puts them in a space that has depth.

Environmental Projection: Getting It Done Without Projectors
The view of how a three-projector system can transform a worship space by using environmental projection.

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Environmental Projection: Getting It Done Without Projectors

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Environmental Projection. At first, it may sound like something to do with keeping rooms cooled or heated. Luckily, it’s much easier than that!

How many churches have the skills and budget to do environmental projection well?

If you’re not familiar with it, then take a look here first: Visual Worshiper

My favorite one in their gallery is the camping scene! That really transforms you there. But as Brent Mann says in his article that was posted to the Worship Tech Director website on October 4, “Environmental Projection: The Basics Behind What A Church Needs,” you can plan on around $10,000 for a video projector-based setup. I would hope some can pull it off for less than that, while others will likely end up spending even more to achieve their intended goals.

But how many churches have the skills and budget to do this?

Are there alternatives? I believe so.

Here are several options I would like you to consider.

First, is coordinating your experiential loops with your lighting.

Experiential loops are the moving backgrounds behind the words you are already projecting. Here’s some examples of those loops.


Most churches are already using a good presentation program, like RenewedVision’s ProPresenter. If you are, then you already have the tool you need to play these loops.

Here’s my approach:

For each song, select a loop that has color, content and motion that fits the song. Then pick the two prominent colors from that loop and make your stage/set lighting match those colors. Now you are creating a seamless blend of look across the stage. I know for some, this is already the case, but for others, this could be a new tool for your team to use.

Second, is adding a set to the stage that blends well both in look and color. Either the set is painted to match, or you have to light it with color changing LEDs to match. Either way you now get a broader more cohesive look.

Let me jump back for a moment as to why we care about the stuff behind our worship leaders. Besides lighting your team well with front and back light so that they are seen and have depth, the cohesive look of a set or environment behind them now puts them in a space that has depth as well. 3D people in a 3D space is what’s most natural to us and allows us to better focus in on the message.

More About Chris Tall
Chris Tall currently serves as the Lighting Designer and Assistant Tech Director for Essex Alliance Church in Essex Junction, Vt. His start in lighting came early in his freshman year of high school after he talked his way into a Maynard Ferguson concert. Since then, he has always been active in lighting and technical show production. While the work has taken him from lighting local theater to designing special effects for Universal Studios, MGM Vegas and Disney, Chris enjoys being part of a team that works to bring a production's dream to life. When Chris isn't working, he can be found making dinner for his family or flying RC planes.
Get in Touch: Flylightvt@gmail.com    More by Chris Tall

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, March-April 2018
The March-April 2018 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers articles about how to prepare, prevent and respond to church violence, a look into what church management software can do for your church community, and a piece on how a once popular nightclub venue was transitioned to become Shoreline Church's new home.

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Technology · Projection · Visual Arts · Environmental Projection · Alternatives · Budget · Churches · Environmental Projection · Experiential · Fellowship Bible Church · All Topics

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