We always love it when Halloween fans go big. And when we say big, we mean whole-house big. That's what took us just north of Philadelphia, where Dan Phillips has been working on his projection mapping display.
For the uninitiated, projection mapping is the technique of projecting onto something other than a flat, white screen to create a three-dimensional effect. You’ve likely seen projection mapping at sporting events, large-venue concerts or theater productions. Using projection-mapping software, you can mix multiple video clips and precisely define the areas on which you want to project. (Click here to read a blogpost called "Projection Mapping 101.")
In Dan's case, he first learned of AtmosFX about three or four years ago. "My first year, I had Jack-O'-Lantern Jamboree set up and simply projected the Bone Chillers on the one garage door," he says. "I added a little more he next year. Once I saw the kits in the store I knew I had to do something to up my game."
As a self-described "tech guy," Dan started experimenting with projection mapping. He's tried a lot of stuff, but in general, he has stuck with Keynote (to outline the house), Photoshop (to create the hauntified version of the house) and After Effects (to stitch it all together). In the end, he was able to create a 50-minute display, which he projects onto his house from his lawn using a 3,000-lumen projector. (The "bare minimum," he says.)
How long did it take to get that first projection map going? "Just long enough to not get my wife to consider divorce," Dan jokes.
He’s kidding, of course. He did say it took him about 50 hours through trial and error to get his first projection map display where he was happy with it. In the subsequent years, with the much of the foundational work unchanged, he spends just a couple hours dropping in new AtmosFX Digital Decorations and other effects.
In the video above, for example, he added scenes from the newly released Sinister Shadows. However, in the entire 50-minute display, he has numerous additional effects and digital decorations, some scary and some kid-friendly. In fact, he even included his first-ever display, Jack-O’-Lantern Jamboree, in the projection map. The grinning pumpkins take up the entire two-car garage.
How do the folks around his Lansdale, Penn., home like his presentation? He doesn't live on the busiest of streets, but even so, each year he sees an increase in people who come by to take a look. The trick-'r’-treaters have increased, too.
And then there are those who live just across the way. "The neighbor across the street will sit in her chair out front and watch it," Dan adds proudly.
If you haven’t yet sent us your photos or YouTube links for this season’s Halloween display, make sure to do so – we want to share your work with other Halloween fans. Send your YouTube links or photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to see how you haunt!