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Prop How-To's Post your own tutorials here or links to your favorite project tutorials. Please only post direct links to how-to pages, not links to main pages of a web site. Please use the Links forum for that.



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  #71  
Old 08-23-2011
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hpropman hpropman is offline
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well done Halstaff nice job!
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  #72  
Old 08-24-2011
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very nice indeed!
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  #73  
Old 09-13-2011
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I had planned to do this prop this year but I got sick and couldn't. Plus trying to find a cheap way to do the crystal ball was insane. I couldn't find one. Well, cheap anyway. So sorry I didn't follow thru, but I thank you for your help.
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  #74  
Old 09-27-2011
fontgeek fontgeek is offline
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I found 12 and 14 inch diameter globes at a couple of different lamp supply stores in my area, they have a 6 inch opening and collar at the top/bottom which gives you an easy way to fasten them to a stand.
Disney's projection is pre-distorted to compensate for the shape of the head it's projected onto. The distortion allowed Madam Leota to be seen clearly from left, front, and right. A custom lens was ground to achieve this, once it was filmed it, the seance, could be copied and used in the future and in other parks. They have since gone to digital copy of this original film. It took them a good chunk of time to do it originally though, this was the mid 1960's and the software and computer hardware didn't exist yet. The back side view was obstructed by the tall chair and the perched raven.
For removing the scratches and gouges try rubbing compound and then polishing compound or even toothpaste.
The military aircraft industry has long used a fine mist of gold (the real thing) to cut out the glare for the pilots. You can use an airbrush and a metallic paint to get a fine mist of gold or silver paint to block out enough of the glare without obstructing the view of the head.
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  #75  
Old 09-27-2011
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I'd be really interested in seeing (speaking with?) your source on that info, Fontgeek.
I was quite certain from my experiments with these effects that the original, front projection Madame Leota in Disneyland did not have a distorted image. Only when using rear, internal projection does the image have to be distorted to fit the head form (incidentally, that's another good reason not to do internal projection in a home haunt).
...but I'd love to be proven wrong.

Interesting idea on the gold glare blocker. I'd be curious to see how that works with this effect. I have a feeling it's easier to just disguise the glare as Disney did. But let us know if you try it.
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  #76  
Old 11-01-2011
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Is this projecting from the front by most? It originally sounded like with an opaque head the projection was going to come from the rear but since that's not what was used a front projection is now the way it's being done?
I built the hacked Spirit Ball head version a few years back but after last night it's become obvious that mine is dying,(the motor gears are grinding a bit and getting loud) and going the projected route is the better option.
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  #77  
Old 11-01-2011
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My source was Marc Davis and the designers/Imagineers in a discussion at the Anniversary Party held at Disneyland many years ago. They said that when they first tried the effect that they didn't distort the image, but in not pre-distorting it they found that the face looked compressed/squeezed because they were projecting a flat image onto a rounded/compound curved surface. The glass globe also provides some distortion, and it was a lot of trial and error runs to get all of the elements involved in balance. I think that for most home haunts, the distortion is such a minor aspect that people don't care. For the Haunted Mansion, the fact that people were seeing it (the crystal ball) from so many sides that they were determined to try to eliminate as much of the distortion on the finished appearance as they could.
I think that getting the face isolated in the field of deep black and taking the sheen off of the globe without scratching it would be two of the tougher aspects involved. The frizzy hair helps give some "buffer" room or space between the illuminated face and the stark black background, and it helps reinforce the visual aspect of three dimensions.

By the way, if the head is actually opaque you couldn't project the face from behind/inside and have it show on the outside, if it did show then the head wasn't opaque.

Last edited by fontgeek; 11-01-2011 at 03:55 PM.
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  #78  
Old 02-14-2012
BrotherMysterio BrotherMysterio is offline
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Any ideas on making a new vid, say if we wanted to do the same effect, but with a different character and script?
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  #79  
Old 02-14-2012
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BrotherMysterio, I did a custom build with ShellHawk last year. Links to some recorded clips of the live broadcast here:http://chickenhaunt.blogspot.com/201...ota-build.html
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  #80  
Old 02-15-2012
fontgeek fontgeek is offline
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Shy of filming something new and trying different filters in After Effects, etc. to get the distortion right I don't see an easy answer. Things like FinalCut, AfterEffects, and so on, give us a lot more leeway than they had for the original filming and production. The digital camera and software cut the cost for production so much that the "old men" would have wet their pants if they could have had it to use. I think that once you have the formula down that you could probably rent out your service for custom versions. At this point you could even use something like the Magic Mirror software to produce something, but I think you would have a much bigger market for less synthetic looking characters like Madam Leota. Finding the right face(s) and voice(s) could be a challenge, but once you have them, you could film lots of different versions, scripts, themes, etc. You could do male and female versions, have characters in makeup as demons, or whatever to match the theme of your haunt.
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