House Mapping Tutorial

This is the secret to getting the video to accurately fit your house! It is not as difficult as you might think. It just requires a computer, your projector and some simple drawing software.

  1. Set up your projector in the location where you plan to do all of your projecting on the house. Connect your computer and project your desktop onto your house. It’s best to cover as much of your house as you can. Your computer screen should be set to it’s normal resolution. Nothing should be stretched or squished on your screen. (sometimes connecting the projector will automatically change your screen resolution to match the projector. If that is the case, change it back to what it normally is.)
  2. Mark the location Once you get the projector positioned, make sure you mark the location somehow so that you can set it up in the exact same place every time. Some painters tape might work. On grass you might pound some small stakes into the turf. I project from a sidewalk so I use a little spray paint on the concrete.
  3. Open your drawing software to full screen. Windows comes with a drawing program called Paint that will work just fine. For a MAC there is a free program called PaintBrush that is available for download here. I used an old version of Paint Shop Pro for mine. If necessary, create a new image file that covers your whole screen or as much of your screen as possible
  4. Now look at your house and start drawing, tracing the lines of your house. You will want to use the line tool. It allows you to click on a point then click on another point and the computer will draw a perfectly straight line for you. Otherwise your map will look like a kindergartner drew it! In Paint you can find the line tool in the “shapes” section of the tool bar at the top. Other drawing programs have similar tools. You don’t need to get too crazy. Just trace the parts that you think will be useful in identifying segments where you want video. You really don’t need to spend time tracing your doorknob or the garden hose, etc.Sometimes small portions of your house might be covered with the tool bar where you can’t draw. We can usually fill in those portions later for you, so don’t stress about it.Below is a picture of my house compared with my drawn outline.
    4house map2
  5. Save the image of the outline and then email it to us as an attachment along with a photo of your house so we can see what it looks like. It would also be helpful to know the screen resolution at which your computer was set when you drew the map. To find the screen resolution of your Windows computer, right click on a blank area of your desktop and select “display settings” from the drop down menu that appears. On older versions of Windows it should show you the resolution in the resulting window. Examples of typical resolutions are: 1366 x 768, 1280 x 720, 1920 x 1080, etc. On Windows 10 you will need to scroll down and click on the “advanced display settings” link at the bottom of the window. The resulting page will then show you the resolution.