Sometimes when you have a great idea for a Halloween display, the only thing to do is to make it yourself. That's what Jonathan Lenhardt of San Antonio, Texas, has been up to – for more than a couple of years. But when you're looking to re-imagine the fog machine so that it better displays digital decorations and other special effects, there's no stopping until you've created something truly amazing.
We first learned of Jonathan's efforts nearly a year ago, when he sent us some videos of beta tests for his first fog screen prototype. He projected the AtmosFX Virtual Christmas Tree onto his fog wall, and we featured it here (along with two other unusual displays).
Since then, Johnathan has been working on making it better. Below is another beta test using the Demonic Poltergeist from the Phantasms Digital Decoration for Jonathan's 2.0 version of his fog screen.
Projecting onto fog has been a clever trick for digital decorators who tend to go all-in with their Halloween displays. Assuming you have a fog machine, the process is fairly simple: Crank it up and then project your digital decoration onto the fog, as if it were AtmosFX projection materials (or similar). The results can be striking – if fleeting. There are typically two problems associated with projecting onto fog walls: First, it can often be difficult to keep your digital decoration in focus, because fog is in constant motion. Secondly, fog is inherently unpredictable – and any gust of wind, hallway draft, or so on can make a fog projection non-existent in no time.
Jonathan's creation is trying to address these issues by creating a laminar flow system that forces the fog through a series of vents that will create a thin curtain foggy goodness. It is six feet long, and weighs only 40 pounds – significantly lighter than most commercial fog screens on the market. "I pretty much spent most of this summer drilling 6,000 holes with a drill press to make my new vent system," he tells us.
He's still in the process of testing different fans – how many and the proper speed to spin them – in the hopes of getting a consistent, and beautifully thin, fog curtain. From there, he'll be able to project nearly anything onto the fog screen including, of course, AtmosFX Digital Decorations. (You can see some of Jonathan’s other test projections at his own YouTube Channel here, or on his Facebook page, here.) As you can see, Jonathan is on his way to creating a captivating and mysterious way to truly projecting onto thin air. Or thin fog, at least.
"My main goal is to have a fog screen that I can carry and place almost anywhere, plug it in, pour in the water, hit the on switch, set up my projector and enjoy," Jonathan tells us. As he continues to perfect his creation, he even has hopes of mass-producing his creation and marketing it around the United States. He thinks it commercial Halloween haunts will be interested, as well as DJs and other musical acts. The possibilities are endless.
Great stuff, Jonathan! We love how you are taking your Halloween decorating to the next level. And we can't wait to see how you to continue to improve it!
There's one month to go before Halloween! How are YOU preparing for the big day? We want to see your creations, your displays, your imagination in its full glory! Others want to see it too! Send your photos and videos using our AtmosFAN of the Week Submission Form and you might be the next person featured right here!