Tulle as a Tool
The first time I was exposed to the idea of using tulle fabric in projection was when I was researching inspiration for a project during my time at the University of Denver. I was to build a visual performance using Resolume and to present in a creative method. I came across a video of a set by Flying Lotus in November, 2014 at the Wiltern in Los Angeles. He had taken Resolume base visuals and a unique constructed set called Hypercube///Layer3 by Strangeloop and Timeboy.
The set was engineered for two projectors to encase the performer within the visuals and it utilized transparent material along with rear projection. The tulle fabric projections seemingly floating in nothingness instantly blew me away and I had to know how. I have since been inspired to use tulle wherever I can when it comes to projection based projects.
There are several things I have learned observing the material react with projection and they are:
• Use a black or transparent background behind your video assets to make them appear to float in space. (a vignette can help too)
• Use the effect to create depth rather than contain a lot of information. Simple details can make secondary visuals behind your transparent layer pop.
•Tulle in layers can duplicate projection several times over, however the projections fade after a few layers.
•Other fabrics or materials with a fine grating to it can be used to achieve the same effect (metal will give off an undesirable glare depending on the project).
•Bunching tulle can be useful for projecting video assets that are liquids or running water.
Along with some of the points mentioned earlier, there is a noticeable difference between front and rear projection on transparent fabric. The rear offers a direct light from the projector that can create an undesirable bright reflection, the front offers a more comfortable visual yet the projections can be passed to the background behind it and ruin the effect. It is important when using more than one projection source to consider this or when you have a background that will catch the light well.
I hope this post has been insightful for those who read, and let us know if you have any other cool ideas for projection that we haven’t mentioned in the comments. We love to talk about experiential design and art!