Instructables

PROJECTION BOMBING

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A tutorial by The Graffiti Research Lab, the Eyebeam OpenLab and Paul Notzold.

Outdoor digital projection in urban environments is a great method for getting your content up big before the eyes and in the minds of your fellow city inhabitants. This tutorial comes out of trial and error and it works. But please be careful. Helpful comments on safety and alternative methods are encouraged. The majority of this tutorial is aimed toward using a 2500 lumen projector (or smaller), if you have access to something more powerful you might want to skip straight to step 6.

Thanks to Zach Lieberman for among many other things penning the phrase “Projection Bombing". And huge props to Krzysztof Wodiczko for bring this technology into the streets.

To see examples of this system in use check out the following examples:
Textual Healing photos show a 2500 lumen projector in use, while all others show a 4000 lumen projector:
 
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Step 1: PARTS LIST

Picture of PARTS LIST

Part: DC to AC Power Inverter
Size: 600W - 1200W
Average Cost: $80 - $150
Note: Power inverters come in a range of sizes. The more powerful your projector the more watts you will need from your inverter. We have had good luck with a 600 watt inverter used with a 2500 lumen projector. Any inverter larger than 1200W will need to be hardwired onto the battery (rather than clips / jumper cables). Power inverters can be purchased online or at auto parts stores such as PepBoys.

Part: Digital Projector
Note: 2000 ANSI lumens is a recommended min. value for projecting anything bright enough to be viewed outdoors in the city.

Part: VGA Cable (male to male)
Average Cost: $10

Part: Car
Note: Whatever car you have available should work, but vehicles with larger engines will keep the battery recharging at a faster rate and allow you to project for longer. UHAUL cargo vans work well because they are cheap if you don't drive around much (they bill by the mile), the engines are big, and they are easier to get away with parking in creative locations.
Suggested: UHAUL Cargo Van
Cost: $19.95 + $.99/mile
URL: http://www.uhaul.com/guide/index.aspx?equipment=truck-cargovan

Part: Laptop
Note: Any laptop that you can plug into your digital projector will work.

Optional Part: 200 Watt DC to AC Power Inverter (with cigarette lighter attachment).
Note: Powering your laptop from a secondary inverter off the cigarette outlet in your car can be a good way to project for longer than your laptop battery will allow. Don't try plugging the digital projector into this smaller inverter or you will blow a fuse in your dashboard. Similarly, don't try to plug your laptop and digital projector into a single 600W inverter, overloading can damage the inverter.

Note from RESISTOR: This knowledge comes from first hand experience and involves the element fire.

Part: DC Battery (Optional)
Note: This tutorial will focus on describing a process for getting a projection system up with a limited set of common tools. More elaborate projection systems can be created using an additional car battery or a 50-100 Watt or more deep cycle marine battery. An additional battery or batteries can be chained in parallel with your car battery. You can make your set-up as elaborate as you need it to be. This tutorial will just focus on the basic equipment and process you need to project from you car battery.

Where can I pick up a power converter like that? -Ron Johnson | http://craigroadstorage.com

This is so cool.

caitymag4 months ago
A display is only as good as its content. In my opinion, the most effective projections accentuate the inherent beauty of the architectural canvas by playing into the existing geometry. That is what is so amazing about 3D Projection Mapping: Creating the illusions that take the audience on a ride, transforming their immediate environment. Our company, DCBolt Productions, specializes in 3D Projection Mapping & Interactive Media. We do both indoor and outdoor projection mapping as well as custom LED installs and programming. As a test run for a project and because we are nerds, we did a mobile gorilla projection through the City of Chicago. Check out more of our work at www.dcboltproductions.com and feel free to reach out :)
Chrick1 year ago
It just look insane!! Good Job Guys!
DustySeven72 years ago
This is actually projection mapping. Also called architectural projection, 3D mapping. Check youtube under any of the names. much more intense. Setup does take much longer due to the complexity. The software is also more expensive, with the cheapest I know of at around 200.
The time and cost is higher, but the effect that can be achived and the "AH" factor you will get it awesome
watsup man2 years ago
too bad it now looks like there's a bomb in your car :P
If You Wanted To Be Truly Hardcore, You Could Get Some Four Guage Cable From An Electrical Supply House (You Don't Need That Expensive Ass Amp Power Cable, Its A Little More Flexable, Butt the Stiff Stuff Just Takes A Little Planing And Bending), A Fuse Block And Run The Hot Cable All The Way To Where You Need It Underneath Trim And Carpet. I Would Suggest The Trunk Then You Could Mount The Inverter To The Under Side Of The Rear Deck (By The Speakers).And Run A Short Ground Cable To The Closest Big Bolt. Then Depending On The Type Of Trunk You Have You Could Work Out A Telescoping Mount To Extend It Out Of Your Trunk And Up In The Air To Avoid "Down In Front" Syndrome. My Buddies And I Use To Do This For Movie Night At The Abandoned Drive In Theater (Then Run Sound From The Laptop To The Car Stereo). For A Little More Clandestine Operation You Can Set The Projector On A Tripod In The Back Seat Aiming It Out The Side Window. Message Me For Any Logistical Questions, I'm Bad Ass At Car Mods.
Hey Mr Capitalize Every Word, Look! Im Sooooo Cool Cuz I Do It Too! HaHa What A Visual Punch To The Face.

Pretty Nice Comment.
 That literally hurts my eyes to read. 
Pssst- you're not supposed to capitalize every word, just the ones at the beginning of sentences (they start after one of those dot things- they are called periods).
It's A Visual Punch To The Face, And It Sets My Posts Apart From Everyone Else. Have You Seen Anyone Else Do It???
Yeah, It's a visual punch that blinds someone. Its annoying, you might get farther if you didn't do it. Most of the time, its noobs that do stuff like that :) 
I've seen lots of people do it. Stupid people. It sets your posts apart because it means people don't want to read them. If that was your aim, then why post in the first place?
 Dangling Pronoun Police Dept.

Your citation will arrive in the mail shortly...
 yeah tons its obnoxious. almost as bad as when girls wRiTe LiKe ThIs
It's terrible grammar.You're fired.
I have seen others do it on other forums, and those persons are generally dismissed as immature, or of limited intelligence. Do you really want to add this "punch", not to mention making your posts difficult to read?
Uh yeah, I have seen people do it before, stupid people who don't understand English and how to write / type properly.
zugy mrgy054 years ago
I don't understand English properly. I am French and may be stupid too..
ndinitz zugy3 years ago
 Well, you may not understand English properly, but you did manage to capitalize both "English" and "French" so I think you are alright and can stay.
Caping every word is hard to read, and makes me want to tear out my eyes, please don't do it, it's painful to read.
In my opinion this is visual pollution. If I'm going to France for the first time and visiting the L'Arc De Triomphe, the last thing I need to see is some juvenile tool "projection bombing" one of the beautiful landmarks of that country. What is it with teens and early twenties today that they have to shove their message(s) in your face? Do you honestly think we need advertising on the side of something so beautiful which took talented people many years to build? If you want to "projection bomb" do it on the side of some abandoned building. Do it someplace that is ugly already, not on something that has incredible intrisinic beauty that is marred and defaced by your adolecent garbage.

Plus, messing with the electricity in a city lamppost could easily electrocute someone who touches it later after one of you dorks rewires it wrong, or does a shoddy job and one of the wires grounds against the housing. There is a reason why doing that is against the law. I know I sound like a curmudgeonly old man when I say this, but what is it with the youth of today that they are so incredibly desperate to be noticed? Even if that recognition is negative? Weren't you held as children? Didn't daddy tell you that you were pretty? Didn't mommy listen to your silly stories and tell you, you were "special"? Project this junk in your apartment and laugh for hours as you take another hit from the bong and leave the public monuments alone. Mmmmmmk?

Hey, you curmudgeonly old man! There's something called 'being nice'. I hope you've heard of it. We guys at Instructables have a policy on it. Thank you and please, think about the niceness you can achieve using internal mental energy balance and stuff.

Really, the image shown is quite pretty. I think that, at night, it even enhances the beauty of the architecture, if the right artwork is used. And the references to smoking and parental neglect were quite unnecessary and show up your invalid arguments. Besides, it's not like it happens all the time. I believe that defacing a building with permanently and/or with offensive images is wrong, but I mean really? Smoking pot and growing up without parental support are quite another matter. Although I do agree that abandoned buildings are good, but can be used as supplements, not exclusively. Go to France and see L'Arc de Triomphe, and then try saying this again. And come on, how about a rephrase. (polllution, dorks, shove, garbage???)
And no, you're not a curmudgeonly old man. It's just a sore subject.
lolololololololol you so dad-core lolololololololol
personaly, i think its great your so against it. that how all great art is. people hate it until the artist is ethier dead or in jail, or until the dirty hypocrits try it for themselves. i also like the fact your promoting drugs...hehehe.
"Weren't you held as children? Didn't daddy tell you that you were pretty? Didn't mommy listen to your silly stories and tell you, you were "special"? Project this junk in your apartment and laugh for hours as you take another hit from the bong and leave the public monuments alone. Mmmmmmk?" I love how you seem to think that people who weren't loved and/or do drugs do this stuff. I can say that I come from a close and loving family, and if I had the talent to do stuff like this, I would. What's wrong with it? It's better than using spray paint, stickers or glued-on graphics. Even those are beautiful. I think pretty much everybody has gone past some street art and at one point thought, "Wow! That's amazing!"
*Sigh* People these days.
Thats uh... the Washington Square Arch? Projection bombing is part of the culture there, people
Its like saying when you go to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, the last thing you want to see is someone shooting stuff
Except its not L'Arc De Triomphe :-)
I disagree. Since this is only a temporary projection of an image, how can it be "visual pollution"? Really, do you have to psychoanalyze this project?

I think this is a cool project and as long as people are "responsible" with what they are projecting and where (ie, don't blind drivers of cars or pilots of airplanes) I can see nothing at all wrong with it. In my opinion it's a way to create some stunningly beautiful night-time attractions.
I'm sorry that you have to hear this(just not sorry enough that I won't tell you) but you are my least favorite type of person. This is art. What, just because you don't like what they're doing it's wrong? Since when is art about doing what's right? I believe that art is about making a statement and making it known. Not 'Shoving it in peoples faces'. And what 'rewiring' are you talking abou?. 1) open panel 2)find connecter 3)place plug in connecter. No rewiring needs to be done here!
I, personaly, think this "projection bombing" is buetifull (sorry I can't spell) it shows the usefullness of light its creative and its nonpermanant
Depending on what it is it could be fairly cool.
Alright, so I plan to get a 4000 lumen projector, a 12v 100amp deep cycle battery and a 2000w ac power inverter. Do I need a secondary battery? I really don't want to use a car but would a generator work? Or am I ok with those three items.

Also, would a 100mw green laser damage my camera? I guess I should ask about cameras.... what's a good (and cheap) camera for this?
Thanks
A 100AH battery will last 36 minutes:

100AH / (2000W / 12V) = ~0.6 Hours

0.6*60 = 36 min

Adding a secondary battery in parallel will increase capacity.
Using a generator would work, but it will be noisy.

A 100mw laser will damage an unprotected camera. I have seen 100mw lasers burn thin plastic.
nwheeler2 years ago
I just anted to know if there was a resource to pin down the legality of projection bombing. I assume if you are projecting from a public space or a private space that you have permission to be on then you are ok, but what about the things that you are projecting onto? do you need permission, or a permit? i have not found any reference to any law about this and would like to have something to rest on if the law comes knocking while i am projecting, can some one give me some direction? Any legal reference for the US or Australia would be helpful.
Cdowdy1802 years ago
If I am not mistaken the purpose of art is to stir emotions and invoke feeling and this most certainly does. Great job mates!
don't you need a webcam? and some laser pointers?
the sydney vivid festival projected video onto the opera house
I love it, great way to express yourself without all the mess and cleanup of spray-paint.
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