There’s lots of ways to use digital decorations – and sometimes subtle applications of them really go a long, and spectacular, way.
That is certainly the case for the stunning silhouettes made by Dan Magee. He’s been crafting a series of intricately detailed plywood designs at his Wake Forest, North Carolina, home for the past several years. And his creations keep growing!
Dan first started his Halloween creations when he moved to the area back in 2015 and was living with his brother. It was that year Dan’s brother discovered AtmosFX Digital Decorations and, while he says his brother already had a pretty-good setup, the two worked together to build designs around the new digital decorations. That year they had a surge of trick-or-treaters at their house – Dan said he and his brother lost count at 236. “His house was the hit of the neighborhood and I was hooked,” Dan says.
“Needless to say he wasn’t thrilled when we moved to our new house and started our own Halloween displays the following year,” Dan says. Then he adds, with a dose of sibling teasing, “I still get dragged back to his place every year to set up.”
Dan went his own route at his new house, creating silhouettes built from 3/8-inch BCX plywood. He organized them around his favorite AtmosFX Digital Decorations – starting with Jack-O’Lantern Jamboree Digital Decoration. “I’ve gotten hooked on creating the ‘stage’ to show off the projections,” he says.
Over the years, his display has grown with Witching Hour, for which he built a “witch’s cottage.” When Halloween Moon Digital Decoration came out, he found that it fit perfectly into his plans, which you can see so well displayed on his front porch.
How does Dan create his silhouettes? He uses various clip-art images and Adobe Illustrator to create his designs, and then uses a projector (the same one he’ll use to project his digital decorations) to shine them on the plywood. Then, he traces the design with a pencil, making adjustments as needed. Using a jigsaw with a scrolling blade, he trims it out – with sanding and flat black paint to follow. All in all, he says it takes him about 6 to 8 hours for each 4-foot by 8-foot panel he creates.
Not only does it look great, but there’s an added benefit. “Flat decor was a space saver,” Dan says, “I didn’t want to dedicate half the garage and the attic to Halloween storage.”
Dan is currently in the process of creating additional designs for the upcoming Halloween season – he keeps noodling over how to fit Boo Crew Digital Decoration into his designs. He’s well aware this year will be unlike any other, but he’s not letting that slow him down. He knows a big-time Halloween display will delight neighbors, no matter what the precautions may be. “If the Grinch can’t keep Christmas from coming,” he says with a laugh, “Covid’s not stopping Halloween!”
We love your outlook, Dan! And your creativity, too!
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