I'm budgeting for a three screen installation that I'm producing. The plan is that the three screens will display synchronised footage, sometimes different images, sometimes the same image spread across all three. All this will be on a 10 minute loop in a site-specific space.
I'm a producer and have no experience in the technical side of this. Do we control this from a laptop hooked up to one projector for all three screens or three projectors, one for each screen. If so is there particular software that we can run on the laptop to synchronise the footage?
There are a wide variety of solutions here; you can search this forum for some good discussions on your options.
Basically, if you want dedicated hardware, you could use synchronized DVD players, Compact Flash players, hard-disk based DDRs like Turbo or DoReMi, or media servers like Hippotizer or Pandora's Box. If you want to use PCs, you'd need high-spec machines and software like Dataton Watchout or AVStumpfl Wings. If you want to use Macs, you'd want software like Pro Video Player or Playback Pro. I would strongly discourage you from trying to base a three-screen installation off a single laptop.
Your specific implementation will depend on your specific needs. What's the creative? What else will you have going on in the installation? What other pieces need to work together? Do you plan three separate screens, or one large blended screen? Do you need the ability to expand the system through the life of the installation?
You should make sure to include a line item for assistance coordinating the media and the physical projection in your budget to make sure that your creative needs will be met.
Walter Soyka, Principal Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production
Pardon me, but I strongly recommend that you concentrate on producing the event, and leave the technicalities to a specialist familiar with multi-screen production and projection. I recommend Walter Soyka. You can then sleep soundly at night.