We are asked to give projector recommendations for specific projects almost daily at Holotronica, so we know it’s important information to share.
We are dealers for Epson and Panasonic but also use Canon, Barco and Christie.
The best effect relies upon a high contrast ratio, so ensure the contrast ratio is high as well as the brightness.
Here are 5 factors to help you establish the correct projector for your hologram effect:

1. What environment are you projecting in?
Will there be a lot of ambient light? Or do you have full control over the lighting in the space? Will your hologram projection be competing with opposing controlled lighting sources, such as additional stage lighting?
As soon as other light sources come into play, you will have to increase the ANSI Lumens* of your projector.
There should be no light in front of the screen [other than the light from the projector].  Lighting needs to be set up behind the Hologauze screen to create focal depth. If done properly, your projected image will be clear and your screen will be transparent.
See our Lighting FAQ video to learn about this in more detail.

2. How big is the piece of Hologauze® you are on projecting on?
The bigger the screen / Image, the brighter the projector! Hologauze® requires a brighter projector than a standard screen. To get a general approximation, you can use a simple calculation: Consider at least 400 ANSI lumens (of projector intensity) to every square-meter of screen surface.
8×6 screen = 48 sq-m
48sq-m x 400 ANSI lumen = 19,200
Therefore an 8mx6m screen requires a projector around 20K ANSI lumen. A suitable projector would be the Panasonic RZ21K
*ANSI (American National Standards Institute) Lumens refers to the brightness of your projector. In brief, the higher the number, the brighter the projector. Home projectors can often be as little as 200 ANSI Lumen – Holotronica usually use 10’000 ANSI Lumen as an absolute minimum – our standard is 20’000 ANSI Lumen. Watch out for projectors that don’t mention ANSI – as they may be lower in brightness.

hologauze project set up hologram

3. Budget
You can never go too bright! Always go as bright as you can afford. The easiest way to decide on how many ANSI lumens to go for, is to simply purchase as bright as money can buy!
The brighter and crisper the image, the better your holographic effect will appear. It is important not to compromise the effect as a result of using the wrong projector. You may need to consider a smaller effect, a different venue or increasing your projection budget. Hologauze® screen generally requires double (an extra 20-30%) the projector brightness of a standard screen.

4. Distance
It is a misconception that the distance of the projector from the screen effects the brightness levels. However, now that you have your [ANSI Lumen] brightness level estimated, distance must be considered to select the correct lens on your projector.
Many professional projectors have lens options to hire or buy. Some lenses have zoom functions that will cover a range of distances. Some lenses (particularly wide lenses) are fixed.

Projector lenses all have different ‘throw ratios’ – the width of the image/screen relative to the throw distance.
Again, there is a simple sum you can use to gauge the correct lens:
projector throw distance = Lens ratio
width of projected image

Alternatively, should you be considering a projector and want to know that the lens will be suited at the correct distance:
lens ratio x width of projected image = projector throw distance

Here is an example of those sums at work:
You have a screen that is 8m wide and you know that your projector will be placed around 15 meters away; you need to calculate the correct lens, so:
15 [projector distance]/8 [width of screen]= 1.875 – Accordingly, search for a 1.87 lens ratio.

Using the Panasonic RZ21K as an example again, this would mean using lens ET-D75LE20, a 1.7-2.4:1 zoom lens.

5. Plot in advance
No one has as much experience of creating content suitable for Hologauze®, or working on installation jobs across the world as Holotronica.
We offer a pre-visualisation service: we can plot your space, trying out various projectors and throws within a virtual 3D mock-up, which means a seamless set-up for on your event day.

Want to discuss your project requirements?
Contact Holotronica for all your holographic needs.