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The art projector, which has been a handy tool for artists and designers for just about forever, took a major leap in technology last year when the innovative Digital Art Projector LED200 was introduced by Artograph.
This giant leap in technology allowed the artist to use images directly from any digital source without the need to print and fool around with the size of the image prior to mounting it into the standard projector. Digital images can now be projected onto any surface instantly, plus the image can be easily and quickly adjusted for color, size or orientation.
Artograph also embedded 6 artist grids to aid in composition and layout. This was a great advancement in projectors, but now, Artograph has raised the bar another notch with the soon to be launched LED300. It has all the features of the LED200 with 50% more illumination and twice the resolution. It also has 3 times the number of grids and more image
controls. Times are a changing.
Opaque art Projectors:
The current simple, reliable, and cost-effective technology of a mirror, a light source, and a lens has provided the artist with a projector that makes composing, scaling, and transferring an image onto any surface easy and convenient.
Merely place your original image on or in the copy opening/holder of the projector, darken the projection room, and direct the image onto your work surface, focus, and trace. When using a typical art projector, your original copy should be opaque—a photo, drawing, or any printed copy—and caution should be exercised against using original or heirloom photographs to protect them from potentially harmful exposure to extreme heat and brightness; always use a copy of the original. Opaque projectors improve productivity, save time, money, and sanity, and are available in all types, shapes, costs, and makes.
With so many projectors on the market, the decision can be a difficult one, so here are some considerations to help you make the right choice.
The copy opening or copy board is the area on an opaque projector that holds the original photo or artwork. This could be on a glass plate, inside the projector door, or simply under the projector (bottom loading). The copy area varies in size depending on the model. If your original image is larger than the copy area, simply shift it around and trace it in sections to get your final drawing, or scale it down to size with a copier or computer (this also serves to lessen the distortion of tracing that occurs with having to tile an oversized reference). Additionally, some opaque projectors are
capable of working with 3-D objects.
The clarity of your projections depends on the quality of the lens. Better lenses will have glass
elements with color-corrective coating. Many high-end projectors have more than one element, which means a clearer and brighter projected image
The brightness of your image depends on your light source. Photo and halogen bulbs offer a very bright and white light, but they’re more expensive, fragile, and can be quite hot. It’s also harder to find replacements for these bulbs. Fluorescent lamps are an excellent choice for smaller projectors as they are relatively cool, offer a nice white light, and
have a very long lamp life. Regular household bulbs are the least costly, but they offer a lower spectrum of wave length, thereby creating a yellow-tinged light. If you’re just tracing patterns, color won’t matter much, but for detailed or colored photos, photo or halogen bulbs provide better results.
You adjust the size of a projected image by modifying the distance between the projector and the projection surface or in some cases, changing a lens. Most projectors are designed to enlarge an image, though a few offer a reversible lens that provides reduction.
Horizontal and Vertical Projectors
Horizontal projection (from a table to a vertical surface) gives you more flexibility with enlargement, but vertical projection provides a more convenient work area. Some projectors are suitable for a table stand so they can work either way. Most projectors can be used for horizontal projection, and the purchase of a floor stand can aid artists in their work. On some models, the stand is included in the purchase price, but on others, there’s an additional cost to purchase one.
Digital Art Projectors
Digital projectors have been around in many forms for several years as a device used in meetings, presentations, and even projection television. Enterprising artists, designers, and muralists certainly took advantage of this technology to replace the common overhead transparency projector. However, these projectors were expensive, the halogen
bulbs were fragile and expensive to replace, and the input capabilities were limited. A few years ago, LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology began showing up in projectors. Then last year, Artograph made every artist throw out their old opaque projector with the introduction of the game-changing Digital Art Projector LED200. Partnering with LG Technologies, the LED200 offered features that were light years beyond any other art projector on the market. Sure there were other digital projectors available, but Artograph focused (pardon the expression) on the needs of the artist and designer.
They started with the state-of-the-art technology that LG was known for and then built in features specifically for the artist and designer and it became one of the most successful products they ever introduced. Now they are preparing to introduce the next version to meet the needs of those serious artists who want even more. The soon to be released LED300 offers 50% more illumination with the same 30,000 hour-life LED lamps and the resolution has been doubled (sharper pictures). There are several other new features, but let’s just say that this new digital direction is great news for the artist, designer and anyone who has experienced the value of using a projector.
Just like buying an airbrush or a compressor, purchasing a projector is an investment in your career. It’s always a good idea to get the best possible product you can afford. Although some high-end models cost upwards of $1,000, our Buyer’s Guide features projectors for just about any budget, and with the advent of digital technology, the choices are even better and ever expanding. Use the charts to compare the full range of options—price, lenses, copy capacity, accessories, replacement parts, warranties, etc.—to help you make the best selection.
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