It’s not the lumens that count; it’s how you use them. But it’s easy to forget that when your projections just got blown out by lights, which someone used because they can move and your projection can’t. And it’s easy to get frustrated with the limitations of projection when you’re again looking at a static 4:3 rectangle on another flat wall.

Unfortunately, the art of using mirrors and other techniques to make projection more dynamic aren’t nearly as well known as they could be. Alternative projection techniques have also tended not to be productized. One significant exception is VMS or VideoMovingSystem. It’s the rare case of a hardware product made specifically for creative, live, performative projection. VMS is similar to the iCue moving mirror and some other tools, but it takes the kind of tools previously customized for lighting and specially adapts them to projection. You can actually buy a VMS unit with a projector already attached, or buy a unit that will fit a standard projector, making these more effective and easier to mount and use than lighting-specific instruments. It’s not a cheap solution for an independent VJ, but it is cheaper than competing custom lighting solutions. And if you read this site, you should already know that digital, computer-powered projection can do all kinds of things boring motorized lights can’t.

artificialeyes’ Michael Parenti and Todd Thille have taken a unique role in both championing the VMS tool and developing custom applications for it, as well as rocking Istanbul with the results. Michael said repeatedly that it saved the whole act of VJing for him. We got to talk to Michael and Todd about VMS and why it’s important — and, better yet, we got to play with these units, remote-controlled by artificialeyes’ 3L software and Michael’s iPhone. Even if you don’t plan on picking up VMS yourself (or I should say, convincing a club to buy them for you), you can tell from the interview how much of a difference changing a projection technique can make — not lumens, and not content, the two things we often get hung up on.

Jaymis: I have plenty more video from the ae guys waiting to be edited, both long-form looks into Thrill, and quick tips as well. That said, video is a bit of a new step for CDMo. This past year we’ve been talking about being a visualist mostly through the written word, so it would be great to get some feedback. Do you find video reviews and articles useful? Like the editing style? Think Peter should do voiceovers for software training videos? Hit the comments.