Laser Show Systems - Laser Show Production
Building an Outdoor screen
In outdoor venues where laser graphics are to be used, a
suitable screen often presents a problem. One solution to this is to
use an inflatable structure as a screen but these tend to be expensive and
can become unmanageable in a brisk wind. This article presents some
solutions to outdoor screens using readily available materials.
Small and Medium Sized Shows
For medium and small scale outdoor shows, fabric or plastic
(fastfold type) screens may be practical depending on the size of the screen
you need.. You can also use several white bed sheets sewn together and
suspended by ropes between scaffolds as a screen. To cut down wind
resistance, make several small "V" shaped cuts in the screen for
the air to pass through.
The photo above shows an example of a large mesh screen which has been suspended across the front of a stage from scaffolding towers on either side. Not shown are the wires from the top of the scaffolds to the ground to brace the structures. Note the vertical seams in the screen. This is almost unavoidable as this type of mesh fabric is not available in a very wide format. The seams do not generally present a problem or distract from the audience's enjoyment of the show.
In large outdoor venues, you may have to use the side of a
building or other less-than-ideal surface as the laser projection screen. If
it is not possible to have a light coloured projection surface, you may have
to use a more powerful laser to overcome the light loss from a non-light
coloured screen. If you have a long throw, you can keep the line widths in the image
small by using a large frame laser or a beam expansion telescope to up-coliminate
The diagram above shows an outdoor screen built with three sections of scaffolding towers. The bottoms of the towers are weighed down with concrete construction blocks set onto wood planks. This design can be scaled up or down as needed, provided that additional bricks or concrete blocks are used to weigh down the scaffolding towers (to prevent the wind from blowing the structure over). If you are expecting windy conditions, you can use 4' X 4' thin plywood panels and leave 1/4" gaps between them. This will allow some air to travel through the screen relieving the air pressure.
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