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Ah yes, we have been doing a lot of outdoor projection over recent years, getting bigger and brighter.

Our suggestions for VJs interested in doing outdoor projection (aka street projection, guerrilla projection):

  • High contrast content - especially if you only have lower-lumens projectors. We make "inverted silhouette" content as it shows up very well, even with quite a bit of ambient light.
  • Simple, bold content - big, bright designs will show up best. Subtle work (eg photography and detailed illustration) can be lost on a wall, unless it's a VERY plain, single-coloured wall.
  • Black background - break up the edge of your frame with an irregular black background to get away from the usual 4:3 or 16:9 rectangular shape. This makes it seem less like "crappy screen" and more like "content interacting with wall surface". Black does not project, so black areas will be the colour of the wall.
  • DLP projectors are more suitable than LCD - more bang for your buck, higher contrast, brighter colours and you won't really notice the "rainbow effect" like you do on a screen.
  • Ambient light - try to get nearby lights turned off or mask them (safely) with cardboard. Peripheral light is your biggest obstacle.
  • Play safe - don't play fast-moving or otherwise distracting content near traffic.
  • Clean power - mains-power is best if you can get it. That's always our first choice. If you need to use a generator, make sure it's a "Sine Wave" generator, or else use a Sine Wave inverter and normal generator, deep-cycle battery or car battery (with the car running). Hot/spiked power and/or low/browned-out power can destroy a projector instantly.
  • Test test test. The only way you can really tell how projection will look on a particular wall is to try it. Especially on surfaces like windows, it's difficult to predict what will show up. So give it a go!

We often get asked "How many lumens will I need?" and really the answer is as big as you can afford within your budget - but test whatever you can get. We have often been able to use a 4k projector despite ambient light as we've made content especially for outdoor projection.

Projector Central has calculators which can help you work out what projector will work in what space. eg BenQ MX812ST Short-throw 3500 lumens

Nearly all of the projects below were done with small 4,000 lumens projectors. We now own 12,000 lumens projectors so we can go bigger and use more colour - but don't be put off taking to the streets with whatever you've got. You can always find a dark corner to project into :)


  • For live-drawing, we like SketchBook Pro on the iPad, it's cheap and easy to use.
  • If you are using a Windows or Linux tablet, artists we work with like MyPaint - which is free. It's especially good for pressure-sensitive tablets.
  • For pre-made content, we run video in Resolume Avenue and use Mapio to map/mask/warp/keystone (Resolume Arena does a similar job).

We also often get asked if it's legal and if you need permission. Our understanding for Australian sites is that as long as you are not projecting advertising (which would need local council permission), or blocking a right of way or footpath (which again could need local council permission) or causing a nuisance (eg projecing into peoples windows at night, projecting inappropriate images etc - which could get the police involved) or a safety risk (eg distracting traffic) and that you are legally allowed where you are projecting from (ie public space or private property with permission), then it's not illegal.

Which isn't necessarily the same as saying it's 100% legal, and we're not lawyers... but we've always found that if you're courteous and think about the situation, usually people are happy for you to project onto their walls.


If you're interested in booking us, see our Services page for rates and booking info.

If you want to just project logos, advertisements etc then we are not the people to hire.

We suggest Impact Communications if you're in Perth, or TDC (Technical Direction Company) or The Electric Canvas if you're in the Eastern States. Or pretty much any AV or marketing company will do it these days. We would rather distance ourselves from turning outdoor projection into "wall spam".

If you want to incorporate creative or community-based content in an event or campaign though, we might be a good fit. Check out our previous work below. Some of our corporate clients include:

  • Art Gallery of Western Australia
  • WA Museum
  • West Australian Ballet
  • WA Symphony Orchestra
  • Live @ Woodside
  • City of Perth
  • City of Fremantle
  • City of Stirling
  • City of Subiaco
  • City of Joondalup

We own large projectors, generators, deep cycle batteries and other equipment needed for reasonably large scale outdoor projection.

We have Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance, and are GST registered.

In December 2011 we ran Projections on High in Fremantle involving 20 sites and over 100,000 lumens of total projection, with a great deal of community consultation and involvement. This was the first projection festival in Western Australia and received great feedback from local residents and traders.

In December 2012 we ran Leadlight Nights in Subiaco.

If you want 'projection mapping' we recommend TDC (Technical Direction Company) - we can work with them for projects that are too big for our own projectors and tech - we can still make the content though :)

We also recommend Cindi Drennan from Illuminart. They are based in SA but will travel. They are very experienced and do large-scale projection without losing the "art" factor.

Projection-mapping.org is a very useful resource too.

copyright all material 2003 - present kat black & jasper cook