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I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this or not but with so many talented people around here, I'm hoping someone can help. I'm looking to use a few less actors next year and I thought it would be cool to make bodies moving around through the cemetary like in the scene from Ghostbusters 2, when the Titanic pulls into the harbor and the passengers come walking off the boat and across the lot. I'd love to be able to make it look like there are zombies walking around the cemetary but have NO IDEA how to accomplish this. Any suggestions would be most welcome. If you respond though, please remember that you are answering a very technically challenged haunter, so if you care to explain things like you would do to a 3 year old, I won't be offended! :D
 

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To be honest Pattie, I don't know of ANY haunt that's managed to do this. I have been thinking of it myself though, and have brought home the materials to experiment with it. Basically, you either have to have them moving on a track, or hanging on a line like an axeworthy, or possibly two at once counterbalanced and hanging from a rotating suspension system like the haunted lantern in a graveyard prop. The way I'm thinking of trying it, is using 2 lengths of 21' steel pipe running parallel to each other, seperated by maybe 1', and then joined at the ends using 90 degree elbows and 1' pipe nipples. Then I'm planning on making wheels for where the zombies feet would be. These wheels would grip around the pipe like the rolling ladders in a large library room. I'm hoping that a small air operated piston would lift one end of the pipe and allow the figure to roll on a gentle slope to the other end of the pipe, where it would hit a switch to let the air out, then the figure would turn on a pivot, roll back the other way, hit another switch which raises the pipe etc. ad infinitum. I'll have to draw a pic and scan it in.
 

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It seems that I misinterpreted what Pattie was looking for. She needs to create the "illusion" of the people walking around. A projection of some sort. Any one have any ideas?
 

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Could try a Pepper's ghost type illusion, but as far as the mechanics of it go, I'm still a total newbie and couldn't give good advice on how to pull it off. I just wonder if you could modify it to work?
 

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Peppers ghost would be the way to go, in my opinion..

Video-record some Zombie actors, and project them on sheets of heat-shrink plastic on a PVC or metal conduit frame..A 17" regular NTSC TV with one of those projection lenses on it might do the trick..
You need to make sure the backgrounds of the recorded zombies are black, and that they are projected to scale..Computer generated ghosts would work too..could have them fade in and out, but motion across the graveyard would be limited to the width of the final projection..You could get fancy and use a videocard that uses two monitors side-by-side to increase the width..I haven't tried any of these as I am just thinking and typing outloud...Hmmm If I ponder this some more, I'll let you know what I come up with.
 

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I tried projecting on plastic and wasn't real satisfied with the results, but then I tend to expect too much from myself. I also tried projecting on to black cheese cloth in the back of mt grave yard, this worked a little better for me. Still not real happy with it, needs more work, me too.
Out where i live, this type of thing is so damn hard becuase of the wind and rain. Gonna keep working on it because iI need ghosts in my graveyard, don't you?
 

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If you could get ahold of one of those computer projectors..like they use for meeting presentations..that would be perfect. They shine as bright as a slide projector, but you can display anything a computer can. That would reflect well on a plastic sheet, however they do cost alot. Maybe a bargain on Ebay?

I was also thinking, that if you even have a still projection, on a cheap slide projector, maybe one could rig the PROJECTOR to move!..Side to side, oscillatting back and forth (fan motor?) slowly across the gravyard...Hmmm I think I will try that myself!

As a side thought...A direct projection onto a clear piece of plastic might not work, so you would have to shine the projection onto something like a white sheet, out of view of the spectators, and angled to reflect off the plastic..I think if you tried to project directly, it would simply shine though onto the bushes or trees behind the plastic sheet...Experiments are in order here.
 

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Has anybody tried to project an image on fog before?
From the suggestions I would think that a rear projection of an image of actors with a black backgroud on to plastic sheeting the size of the actors would be a good place to start this experiment.
 

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I've seen a how-to for creating a vortex in a swirl of fog, which involves projecting a moving spiral onto it. I think it's on gotfog.com, but I could be wrong. So you *can* project things onto fog just fine. I guess it's just a question of how much detail you'd lose in doing so.
 

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Aye, the how-to you speak of is on gotfog.com. Here it is. I've always wanted to try this project, but for it to really work well you'd need a 100% windless environment.
 

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Zombie-F said:
I've always wanted to try this project, but for it to really work well you'd need a 100% windless environment.
Lets see, I live in the wind surfing capitol of the world. What do you 'spose the chances of 100% windless would be.lol :p
 

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Thanks for the info on the fog vortex. That looks like something to try even without trying to project an image. It looked like you could use a 35mm slide for your image source and mount it after cutting it round onto a clear plastic circle the full diameter that is used in the projector. Now to remember who had those projectors last x-mas an check thier yard sale this summer.
 
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