Creating videos for projection mapping takes talent. Brilliant minds and incredibly skilled individuals put an awful lot of effort into their 3D mapping, so it is only natural to want the best projector for projection mapping.
Why, after doing so much hard work, would anyone want anything less than the very best projector to display with?
It wouldn’t make any sense.
Projection mapping at events requires a projector that will enhance the fantastic visual that has been created. If you are looking for such a projector, then read on. There are plenty on our list today that will more than meet your requirements.
List of Projector for Projection Mapping
- BenQ HT3550
- WOWOTO M5
- ViewSonic PX700HD
- BenQ MH535FHD
- InFocus IN112XA
- Christie Digital Systems PR#-118-019101-04
- ViewSonic PA503W
- Barco PHWU-81B
- BenQ HT8050
Comparison Chart For Top 9 Projector for Projection Mapping
What Is Projection Mapping?
Projection mapping refers to a video projection technique in which video is mapped onto a surface. The process requires the projector to turn any object such as stages, runways, buildings or water into interactive output.
The mapping process uses the shape and texture of the surface and combines it with the displayed visual. As a result, you have an illusion.
When the technology first kicked off, it wasn’t a big hit. It was limited to flat walls only. Over time, many industries gradually started to incorporateand show their work with it.
Let me provide a few examples of projection mapping here.
- Wear The Rose-
‘Wear the Rose’ was a multimedia campaignduring the 2015 Rugby World Cup. The arena was filled with striking projections of roses in different sizes, shapes and arrangements. Such projection mapping was designed to signify support forthe English Rugby team.
- The Sydney Opera House-
This projection mapping involved 17 projectors mounted 656 feet away. It created an animated mural on the iconic Sydney Opera House by casting colorful patterns and designs on the exterior of the building.
- Ink Mapping-
It was allegedly the first ever live event of tattoo projection mapping designed bymultimedia artistsGaspar andOskar in 2015. People acted as canvases while different images of moving tattoos and arts were casted onto their skin.
1. Do You Need A Special Projector For Projection Mapping?
Not really. Projection mapping can be done using any projector. That said, there are some factors that you have to keep in mind.
Since it requires projection on non-flat objects, make sure the projector has higher level of contrast ratio and brightness. This will ensure the vividness of the image displayed on the surface.
The resolutions should be high as well to give you a clear image. For projection mapping, I would suggest you pick a device that at least comes with a 480P resolution.
2. Can Any Projector Be Used For Projection Mapping?
Yes, you can use almost any projector for projection mapping. Like I mentioned, you just have to make sure the brightness, contrast ratio and resolution are high. This way, you can project on any 3D surface and get vivid, clear image from it.
3. How Many Lumens Do You Need For Projection Mapping?
Brightness plays a very essential role in enhancing 3D surface. For projection mapping, you should pick a projector that produces at least 2000 lumens.
The more the lumen count, the brighter the image you will get even in well-lit environments.
4. What Is The Best Projection Mapping Software?
If you want a simple and comfortable tool, then MadMapper would be one of the best. It offers premium-quality projection mapping. You can use it for live performance, stage decoration, artistic installation, or architectural mapping.
MadMapper features high-speed video player so you get top-notch streaming without any lag. It would let you cast a video onto any 3D object as much as you want using several devices if your graphics card can support.
Not just that, it features customizable user interface that offers flexibility. There is an online library you can use to exchange your stuff with others. You would also find editor for coding.
5. How do you map a projection?
Projection mapping is where you use projection technology to get a video image onto a surface such as a building or a road.
This requires a lot of pre-production work as the video images have to be designed to overlap to fit a 3D model.
Once you know what you will project onto, a lot of work has to go into calculating brightness and how shadows will affect the content being developed.
Once that is done, it then takes time to ensure the images’ alignment onto the projection surface.
Projection mapping requires a lot of skill.
6. Do you need a special projector for rear projection?
No. Every projector has the function to reverse or flip an image, so any of them can be used on a rear projection surface. What you may need, however, is a projector with a short-throw lens because of the space required for rear projection.
As the space for rear projection will likely be less than that available for front projection, either a short-throw projector with a 0.8:1 ratio or a projector with a decent zoom function is needed.
You will also want a bright projector so that ambient light does not interfere.
7. How many lumens do you need to project in daylight?
Daylight is a killer, especially to projectors that don’t have a certain level of brightness. If you’ve ever owned a budget mini projector, then you already know that very well.
Many will tell you that 3000 lumens and above should be used to project in bright rooms. That is very much the minimum requirement as far as we are concerned.
There isn’t a projector on the market that will do the job well to project in direct sunlight. So don’t even think about it. You need to have some kind of shade available, whatever the brightness of your projector.
8. Is projection mapping expensive?
Projection mapping is an extremely complex process requiring skilled designers and top-end equipment. That is never going to come cheap.
2D projection mapping will cost less than 3D projection mapping. It has been mooted that the average cost of projection mapping in 3D is $10,000 for a one minute video.
Whether that is expensive depends on what you expect after the projection mapping. This technique is a fantastic marketing tool, so if you are going to make a lot of money on the back of it, then the expense is relative.
10 Best Projector for Projection Mapping Reviews
1. BenQ HT3550
You can expect stunning picture quality with BenQ HT3550. It comes with a 10-element lens arraythat works to control the light while giving you that sharpness. With this, its 4K resolution works wonders in terms of laser projection mapping. Not only the amateurs but experts too would get to enjoy its benefits.
The projector features two useful preconfigured modes that have been calibrated at the factory. One is 98% of Rec709 that offers vivid colors and other is 95% of DCI-p3 for color correction and accuracy.
Speaking of colors, its contrast ratio is much higher than most of the rivals. With 30,000:1, the contrast levels would be deep and enhanced. You would love to project on any 3D object and get amazed by the quality of blacks.
The brightness is rated at 2000 ANSI lumens. Its lower level can be a small con since the image may get washed out in well-lit rooms. However, for the dark ambiance, it is simply one of the most brilliant projectors.
There are other features in this device that help you become more productive. Its tone mapping and color mapping functions help produce HDR content so you get hyper-realistic projection. Plus, it comes with HDMI and USB ports to let you connect multiple devices.
The MEMC technology is very efficient. Because of this feature, the projector would play your video on the object smoother and clearer than others.
Did I mention that you can upsize the image up to 200 inches with this? It can cover a fairly big object easily for projection mapping.
- Comes with 4K resolutions delivering high-quality projection.
- 30,000:1 contrast ratio results in enhanced depth in the picture.
- Tone mapping and color mapping give hyper-realistic videos.
- MEMC technology helps make the video smoother.
2. WOWOTO M5
If the brightness of the previous model has made you upset, then let me suggest this model from WOWOTO. M5 is such a projector that shows bright images even in a low-lit environment with its 4000 lumens.
However, make sure you don’t turn the room very bright otherwise the image may get faded. One of the reasons is its low contrast ratio. With 3000:1, you would certainly get blacker blacks and whiter whites but in low-lit or darker setting.
The projector plays in 480P resolutions that provides you with the most stunning visuals for projection mapping. If you find it low, no worries! It accepts 1080P and 4K and down-converts without losing the quality.
There is a DLP tech that works to make the projection more vibrant while HDR10 promises to offer more clarity.
Although it has HDMI and USB ports, you can connect the projector to WiFi and enjoy remote operation. So, I would call it one of the most convenient projectors on the list.
WOWOTO M5 is a very durable model. It comes with advanced cooling system that prevents overheating and fan noise.
As for the screen size, you can play any video up to 150 inches on small 3D objects and make your projection mapping more interesting.
- DLP and HDR10 tech helps make the image vibrant and clear.
- Advanced cooling tech prevents overheating.
- 4000 lumens brightness offers bright image in low-lit ambiance.
- Compatible with WiFi for projecting remotely.
3. ViewSonic PX700HD
With ViewSonicPX700HD, you won’t lose any detail while projecting image on the 3D object. One of the reasons is that it plays in 1080p. Such high resolution helps maintain the premium detail in projection mapping so that your audience gets impressed with its incredible performance.
The color it gives is just super rich. Thanks to SuperColor tech that delivers comprehensive color coverage just so you can get the vividness in projection.
Its image would be very bright because of 3500 Lumens. Coupling it with a high contrast ratio, i.e.12,000:1, you get a very well-detailed projection mapping.
One of the plusses is that it displays a huge image in 300 inches. Not only you but your viewers too will have fun watching the image to be projected on different surfaces.
You can increase your projection mapping skills with the dual 3D Blu-Ray output. Just wear a 3D glass and it would make the projection extraordinarily amazing.
There is a special sports mode that makes the detail and color even more enhanced be it the hardwood floor or grassy field or the jersey. The sports would look very real especially with the smooth motion.
The only issue with the projector is its onboard speakers. If you find them inaudible, I would suggest you hook up a sound system with it.
- SuperColor tech offers wider color range and ensures incredible image.
- 3500 Lumens and 12,000:1 contrast ratio give you bright and deep projection.
- Dual 3D Blu-Ray output for 3D content.
- Sports mode ensures enhanced detail and color.
4. BenQ MH535FHD
Almost everything is perfect with this model. BenQ MH535FHD provides you with super clear image at 1080p resolutions. It uses all-glass optical lens system to give you razor-sharp readability, smooth gradational mid tone transitions and ultra-clarity. You can surely use these benefits for projection mapping.
Its brightness is rated at 3600 lumens.You will getbrightly colored projection in low-lit environment. With 15,000:1, it allows the image to have a sufficient amount of contrastthatmakes sure the image has deeper blacks.
The projector uses DLP chip that offers sharpness in your projection without making it look noisy. Not just that, the same tech is responsible for delivering 3D functions and better response time.
When it comes to screen size, I think it’s quite bigenough to make the projection mapping successful. You can project the image up to 300 inches and it would beautifully cover the3D object.
Its speaker can be the weak link. But as it has audio out port along with HDMI and VGA inputs, you have the option to make use of external sound system to get better experience.
- 3500 Lumens and 12,000:1 contrast ratio deliver vivid image in low-lit environment.
- DLP chip offers sharpness, 3D capacities and better response time.
- Optical lens system providesultra-sharp readability and smooth projection.
- VGA and HDMI Inputs for multiple connections.
5. InFocus IN112XA
InFocus IN112XA has been designed especially for the ones who wish to create projection mapping in lit-up spots. It comes with 3800 lumens that give you brighter image than most of its competitors.
Apart from brighter visuals, its darker blacks are stunning on any 3D surface thanks to the highest contrast ratio, i.e. 26,000:1.
IN112XA has the potential to fill the object with bigger projection size. As it displays up to 300 inches, you can use it on a variety of non-flat surfaces.
The projector uses BrilliantColorDLP tech that produces over 1 billion colors to make the content stand out. Not just that, you would get to enjoy 3D contentsand quicker response time due to this tech.
Although it has a native SVGA resolution, it can downscale to 4K or 1080p without reducing much of the quality. As a result, you would get the same crispiness that you expect.
The big plus is that it doesn’t even make much noise. So, there won’t be any disturbance during the projection.
One issue with the projector is that the onboard speaker doesn’t turn off automatically if you add external sound system. The echo may bother you. However, the manufacturer has explained how to cut off the volume in online instructions. You just have to read that well to get rid of it.
- 26,000:1 and 3800 lumens provide brighter images and deeper blacks.
- BrilliantColor DLP tech ensures vivid content by producing 1 billion colors.
- Accepts 1080p and 4K contents without losing quality.
- Casts 3D contents from Blu-ray and computers.
6. EPSON HOME CINEMA 1060
Projection mapping requires a projector boasting high-resolution specs and the ability to make colors leap out at an audience.
The Epson Home Cinema 1060 is a projector that can do just that. Crystal clear images can be projected in 1080p up to a 300-inch size.
The contrast ratio of the projector is 15,000:1. This is a brilliant ratio for any mapping projector of this price. It will ensure that the contrast between lights and darks in your projection will look fantastic and add value to any viewer’s experience.
You may be tempted to spend more money getting a projector with a higher lumens figure. However, the 3100 lumens of brightness that this projector produces is more than enough to withstand bright light streaming through the windows.
Yes, a greater lumen will produce a better effect, but if you don’t have the available budget, you are still getting a projector that can do the job.
1. Bright projector that can be used in a variety of settings
2. Technology means the projector does not produce any rainbow effect
3. Energy-efficient projector won’t lead to a shocking electricity bill
7. BenQ MH535FHD
Ben Q has produced a projector of high quality here. When looking for a projection mapping projector, this one most definitely has to come into your consideration.
The first thing to say about the MH535FHD is that it is capable of an incredibly detailed projection image. That image comes at 1080p and has a contrast ratio of 15,000:1. Essentially, everything we said about the previous projector on the list applies here.
Differences can be seen first in the brightness. Three thousand six hundred lumens will produce a more extraordinary screen in less than ideal light conditions. So that is a plus point in the column for Ben Q.
The second plus point comes when we look at lamp life. A video mapping projector has specs that mean the lamp does a lot of work. However, depending on the mode you use, this projector can go up to 15,000 hours of usage. That’s at least a decade if you are using 4 hours per day.
1. IMAX level projection technology to ensure the very best projection mapping
2. Short throw projection means big images in small spaces
3. Zoom function allows flexibility in projector positioning
8. Christie Digital Systems HD14K-M | best projector for 3d mapping
3D mapping projectors don’t come much better than this beautiful model from Christie Digital Systems. It is a marvel to behold.
With 12,000 ANSI Lumens of brightness, this projector could be used to light an entire football stadium! Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point being made. This projector will cut through ambient light and render it a redundant problem.
This projector features all sorts of cool tech such as LiteLOC, which enhances the colors across multiple screens; Comprehensive Color Adjustment lets you adjust every RGB channel, and Embedded Christie Twist, which allows you to warp images and blend edges.
If you a projection mapping for professional purposes and know what you are doing with projection mapping software, then this is the projector that you have to invest in.
People who excel in what they do need the best equipment. This is the best of the best.
1. The most compact projector you can find in this range of projectors
2. Get rich, vibrant color displays that enhance any projection mapping
3. Efficient projector getting high brightness from 2 lamps rather than 4
9. Barco PHWU-81B
The Barco PHWU-81B is a stylish-looking projector with all the specs that a video mapping projector requires.
Boasting 0.67″ DMD technology, this WUXGA single-chip DLP projector will take your projection mapping to an entirely different level thanks to the 1920×1200 WUXGA resolution and 4S standard (RGBW) color wheel.
When projection mapping, you really want everything to look crisp and perfect. The brightness of images being projected is absolutely part of that. 7500 ANSI lumens brightness isn’t the best we’ve seen here, but it is still outstanding and comes at half the brightest projector’s price.
Will you need that much brightness from a projector? That depends on your surroundings. However, should you wish to save the lamp life, this projector handily has an eco-mode that can drop the brightness to 5,450 ANSI lumens.
In eco-mode, the projector is still brighter than some of the projectors we have seen running full capacity!
1. DLP technology makes this a low-cost projector in the long term
2. Projector can be easily upgraded with add-ons
3. Intuitive controls menu makes the projector easy to use
10. BenQ HT8050
Every projector we have looked at today has one standout feature that sets it apart from a competitor. With the BenQ HT8050, that feature is the contrast ratio. It is 5-star quality, 50,000:1, and that means the color levels and contrast are cinema hall quality.
It isn’t just the contrast ratio that makes this projector stand out. It also has the best resolution of anything we have seen because it is a 4K projector. Projector onto a wide, large projection area, you will see the difference in quality even between a 1080p projector and this one. 4K takes everything to a whole other level.
Finally, the cost of this projector is astonishing. If you do a bit of research and look for projectors with similar specs, you will quickly see that those projectors can be up to 4 times more expensive than this one. We have no idea how BenQ can charge so much less for this great projector, but we’re more than happy to pay their quoted price.
1. Incredible image contrast ratio produces mind-blowing projection mapping effects
2. 4K UHD resolution provides cinematic images that will take your breath away
3. 5:1 zoom gives you incredible flexibility on projector placement
How to Choose Right Projection Mapping Projector
There are many factors to consider when searching for the best projector for projection mapping. Here we take a look at the features projectors are offering that meets your needs.
Projection mapping is needed to show off something truly incredible. To do that, you need to have the best resolution you can with your available money.
At the high-end of the market, you have 4k projectors. We’d recommend them to everyone, but unfortunately, not everyone is working with the same budget.
If you can’t afford a 4K projector or consider one extravagance too far, you need a 1080p projector, if possible. That is a high definition projector that will ensure the intricate details that you’ve put into your work are visible for all to see.
The contrast ratio tells you of the balance between black and white, dark, and light colors. It is a feature that many people overlook, but a high contrast ratio can create an entirely different viewing experience when compared to a projector with a low contrast ratio.
We’re not saying that you have to go with a 50,000:1 contrast ratio, though that would undoubtedly set your work worlds apart from others. But if possible, you should try to get a contrast ratio of 10,000:1+. This will entirely take your work to a different sphere.
If you know you’re going to be doing all your projection mapping in dark rooms, or rooms with very little light, then you can afford to go for a projector with a lower contrast ratio. Mind you, we wouldn’t suggest anything below a 3000-lumen projector.
The problems with projector brightness start to creep in when you need to do your 3D mapping in rooms with a lot of light, or even outside.
A 3000 plus lumen projector will still provide a visible image, but you will begin to lose some of the quality.
Four thousand five hundred lumens will produce a very bright image with sunlight streaming in through windows. That is the type of projector you should be going for if the conditions you work in will vary greatly.
The type of projectors we’ve been looking at is very powerful. This can result in decreased lamp life. Check the lamp life before purchasing any projector. For projection mapping, look towards 10,000 to 15,000 hours. That way, you will get a good few years of usage.
The best projection mapping projector will blow the minds of those who are watching your creations come to life before them.
We have looked at some great projectors offering high resolution, high contrast ratio, and many other unique features at the cutting edge of modern technology.
Whichever of the projectors you go for from our list, you will see something spectacular unfold before your eyes.