What are the Optimal Reflective Surfaces for RPG Battlemap Projectors
What is the best Tabletop Battlemap Screen for a Projector?
We installed a ceiling mount for the projector at both Nina and Dannys place, as well as Jessis and Jans. Unfortunately, our two tables are not particularly suitable as a projection surface by themselves. So far, we’ve made do with a regular white tablecloth - Nina has one made of fabric and Jessi has one made of plastic - but Peter Fisher’s comment under our video Projector vs TV Case or Gaming Table for digital RPG Battlemaps gave us the idea to look at other options!
We’ve had our sights set on a white heavy duty rubber mat for a while now, and we got it for this test. We took Peter’s tip and got some canvas frames, like the ones artists use for their paintings.
Of course, our tablecloths - cotton and high-gloss plastic - are not forgotten, nor is the blank wooden tabletop!
No products are sponsored. You can find links to all products at the end of this article.
Since we don’t have any instruments to test the luminous flux scientifically correct, we had to come up with something. We will take 4 photos of the battlemap of each setup with fixed values on the camera, so that the pictures are comparable. As a testmal we will use the Forgotten Graves 3D Szenario from the Infinite Realms tabletop battle map projection software. To do this, we will load 2 different battlemaps into Infinite Realms - one quite bright and one quite dark - and photograph each of them in a brightly lit and sparsely lit room. In addition, we will take notes on brightness, contrast, colors, reflections and general image quality, recording our subjective impressions. For the evaluation we then compare the brightness on the photos and incorporate our personal impressions! At the end we will grade each solution by image quality, distracting reflections and clean ability.
For reference - Blank wooden tabletop
Granny’s Cotton tablecloth
Since we couldn’t agree on a clear favorite, here are the opinions of our team.
Nina: “Due to the easy handling and the relatively low purchase prices, I find the rubber mat the best. The image quality is good and you can live with the reflection. It combines the advantages of the cotton tablecloth and the plastic tablecloth. For me, the canvas is not practical, because here only the projection color convinced. But since this is very expensive and the canvas on the table disturbs. If you would paint the tabletop directly with the paint, however, that would still be worth considering.”
Jessi: „After careful consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t have a one hundred percent favorite, but anything is better than the bare tabletop. Both the plastic and cotton tablecloths and the rubber mat are good value for money though there are small differences in saturation and contrast. I find the projection color best in the dark, but the price combined with the canvas is still very high.“
Danny: „My favorite is the rubber mat. For me, it is a perfect compromise. It is not the best solution in any category, but at the same time it does not have any notable weaknesses. The image quality is good, and reflections are kept within limits. It doesn’t get in the way and is easy to clean, plus it wasn’t particularly expensive.“
Jan: „Compared to the purchase costs of a projector, the rubber mat is inexpensive. If that’s still too much for you, a plastic tablecloth or grandma’s tablecloth will do just as well. I can’t decide on a clear favorite out of these three, because they all have their own advantages and disadvantages.“
- by Nina