Digital Decorating 101: Doorway Projections

What better way to welcome, frighten, delight, or celebrate your guests than with an AtmosFX Decoration at your door? Within minutes, you can turn your doorway into a portal that opens onto a world of holiday fun. (Updated September 2022)

Greet your trick or treaters with a silly and singing witch from Witching Hour Decoration Collection.

Doorway Projection Basics

AtmosFX Decorations come in a lot of varieties, not just for holidays but for any space and every taste. Decorators will find they have endless options no matter where and how they want to display their decorations. That said, some decorations do work better in certain settings – but given the creativity of the typical AtmosFX Fan, even these are less like rules and more like suggestions.

So how do doorway projections work? Doorway projections are just like window projections, except that the bottom of the decoration goes all the way to the ground. For example, the window projections in Night Before Christmas Decoration Collection feature Santa from the knees up, but in a doorway projection you can see all the way to his feet.

Doorway decorating works best with a projector which can display vertical decorations, like the AtmosKIT Plus. Many other projectors cannot operate when positioned at a 90° angle, so be sure to check with your manufacturer if you’re using another brand. Horizontal orientation can also work too, but your projector will need to be much farther away and the image quality will be reduced.

Which Decorations to Choose for Doorway Decorating

Any decoration with wall or Hollusion modes in vertical orientation can work if you’re looking to fill a doorway. That’s because wall and Hollusion modes both feature full, uninterrupted figures, instead of characters seen from waist level.

It is also worth noting that there are two AtmosFX Decoration Collections (Night Stalkers and Trick ’r Treat) that feature a virtual door as part of the decoration. These two decorations create the illusion of a door opening and closing. Below is a good example of a doorway projection sent to us by AtmosFAN Justin Cannon – the virtual door in the decoration is effective and compelling.

Sam from Trick 'r Treat has a variety of scenes and startle scares set up for Doorway Mode.

Here’s a list of collections that feature vertical wall or Hollusion modes perfect for doorway decorating:

Doorway Decorations for Halloween

Doorway Decorations for Other Holidays and Celebrations

You can also use decorations which don’t feature characters, like our holiday greeting decorations My Valentine, Happy Thanksgiving and Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

As always, remember to view the previews of the individual scenes on every collection page. The preview panel includes a video of the decoration in its exact dimensions along with detailed specifications, so you’ll be able to pick and choose with confidence.

Positioning your Projector

For doorway decoration, rear projection is the best way to go. This means your projector is on the opposite side of the doorway to the viewers, usually inside of your house if you are decorating an exterior door. To pull this off, you’ll need plenty of room to find your perfect projector placement. This can be tricky, since entrances can be high traffic and sometimes narrow.

For most projector set-ups, you’ll want to point directly at a surface from a perpendicular angle. However, doorway decorating often works best when not pointed directly at the projection surface. The reason is your guests may notice the projector beam shining right behind your decoration.

If your projector has a horizontal keystone, projecting in vertical orientation means you can now use your keystone to position your projector from an angle. This can greatly reduce any visible light beam or seeing directly into the projector’s lens.

Doorway Decorating Ideas

Here are some fun ideas to get you started on a doorway decorating project.

  • Hang a sheet of Hollusion Projection Material over an open doorway to conjure surprise visitors out of thin air! Lightly stretch the material so that there is no slack or creases. A smooth surface will provide the best hologram-like illusion.
  • Project directly onto a closed door with Spectral Surfaces individual decoration from Paranormal Passage. It will look like spirits are really about to break through!

Decorate your inside doorways with Hollusion Projection Material and  the family-friendly monsters from Halloween Monster Bash.

So, How Are you Decorating Your Doorway?

AtmosFX loves our fans and it gives us an extra-special feeling every time we see pictures and videos of shared by decorators using AtmosFX Decorations and gear. If you’ve created an awesome doorway display, send us a copy or link! It is easy to do so, using our handy AtmosFAN Hall of Fame submission form!

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