Video projection is direct. You point the projector and get an image in front. Or that was the case until PLASA 2017, where Polestar Productions introduced the Mirror Head System to the UK market.
Developed in Vienna by Dynamic Projections Institute, a Mirror Head takes video out of its straitjacket and lets it move dynamically, anywhere within an 180° by 90/162° arc. On the floor, on the ceiling, on the walls, or mapped around the room, it brings images to life, opening the way to all kinds of interactivity.
Mirror Heads are compatible with most modern projectors, from 3000 to 31,000 Lumens, capable of serving a small conference to a full arena show respectively. And the system has a shape-shifting role to play for any type of performance.
It puts a wholly new reflection on the historically fractious relationship between lighting and projection too.
“Everything you can do with moving lights you can now do with video whether with a single projector or multiple projectors steering the whole thing,” Tony Gill, CEO at Polestar Productions, says. “We can concentrate pixel brightness precisely where it needs to be so it can be fully integrated with the event lighting.”
Control comes via DMX/Art-Net or the software package supplied with the system’s MDC-X Media Servers. Among the features, show automation, time scheduling, media manipulation, geometric corrections, seamless transformations, image alignment with soft-edge and show pre-sets.
Seeing, here, is everything. Belgian art collective Skull Mapping was an early adopter of the technology and its Gallery Invasion movie is a telling example of the Mirror Head at work.
“It opens up so many creative possibilities,” Gill says. “And it’s not about replacing project mapping. The Mirror Head is a new tool that enables us to do things that just weren’t possible before. We can put it in any orientation to deliver the image anywhere in an event space.”