View Full Version : Projection Design for your Facade/Attraction
05-26-2010, 03:08 PM
We here at Dark Tech Effects are always striving to push the limit on
technology and the way it is used for the dark amusement industry.
Recently we have been contacted to design a projection for the facade of
an attraction. This technology however is not limited to only facade
projection. Such effects can also be seen inside such great attractions as
Disney's The Tower of Terror. You can also use this effect to explain your
back story to customers waiting to enter your attraction. The possibilities
We would love to reach out to all haunted attraction owners and see if
there is any other interested parties. Currently we have motion graphic
staff working on animation and effects for projection. One member has
created a video that I can share with those that are less familiar with
These projections can also be combined with lighting and sound to create a
true show stopping experience!
Please feel free to contact us with any questions...
Dark Tech Effects
05-26-2010, 05:42 PM
Kinda cool, but the animated creature looks just that, animated. It appears too cartoony.
The lighting effects and residual electricity effect is pretty good but electricity and lightning never moves in any circular path. So as soon as the electric arc did the whip like effect it became a cartoon. Straight bolts of electricity, the residual arcing, blown out windows with good sound effect could be convincing.
Now if the customer is looking for a more cute effect or cartoon in nature then forget I even said anything, but if it is a realistic scene, different story.
05-26-2010, 06:39 PM
This was just an example of what is possible... look at tower of terror's projection effects and tell me they are cartoony :-)
This video is just the beginning... just wanted to gauge peoples interest or dis-interest.
For something very different look at 3d mapping for New Years Eve.
05-26-2010, 10:04 PM
Yep..now that was pretty cool! But to be fair it does not compare with your first example. The creature on the roof was two dimensional and looked like a light being shone on the building.
The posted second example was photo realistic complete with shadows, shading ect. Sort of like comparing my home made animation to a Disney audio-animatronic!!!!
There could be some realy cool applications.
Question? How is the viewing angle?
The second example actually coincided with the architectural features of the building which added to the effect. If the audience is to the sides does it effect the synchronization?
Then the big question can we even afford such an effect???
05-26-2010, 11:55 PM
Like TV, viewing from straight on is prefable but being off to the side will work, however with extreme angles you start loosing the effect...
I see applications being developed for inside the attractions as well, perhaps during pre-shows, or just accomplishing something a light no longer can...
As with anything you get what you pay for. Full 3D motion graphics are a lot more time consuming to plan for and animate, than 2d motion. So of course it will be more expensive. You may think the first example is too cartoony which is your right, however I think it is pretty neat, and would definitely be an eye catcher... Again the first example will not be used for any attraction just a pure demonstration of projector mapping :-)
I am still developing some effects for indoor use, and I think these will perhaps be better suited for our industry.
05-27-2010, 08:57 AM
Bill, You've definitely got my attention with the second video! I doubt our budget would afford us something like that this year, but next year...??? We'll see how this year goes. but I have to say, I LOVE IT!
05-27-2010, 10:40 AM
My gears in my brain are turning....
This is sweet!!!
05-27-2010, 10:54 AM
No worries, feel free to get in contact with us at anytime! Best of luck to you this season!
05-27-2010, 11:21 AM
I have been watching this tech for a while, my drawback is the graphics, almost have to be done by a pro to be worth a darn. But looks great to me so far. Keep at it, Im excited to see what you come up with.
05-27-2010, 12:23 PM
I love the electricity arcing on the first demo we have a big sub station beside the building it would be awsome with those electric sounds and arcing electricity coming off of it zapping the building.I bet these effects get expensive will they be cost effective for smaller and medium sized haunts?
05-27-2010, 12:29 PM
Usually the most expensive part of this effect is the projector needed to accomplish the illusion. We would be happy to work up a custom quote for you if you would just like simple projections like electric arcs, etc. I would like to make this available to all attractions with different budgets.
05-27-2010, 01:06 PM
Is this accomplished with just one projector or a multiple set up?
Also approximately how far back and high must the projector be??
This could be the deciding factor for most haunters. Might not even be able to consider it no matter how cool if the projector ends up being in the middle of the street 20 feet in the air!!!
You mentioned indoor aplications so maybe there is a formula or something, like a ceratin height projection for a ceratin distance. Again critical is the space and spacing required.
Also how about some fianancial starting point. I realize each install will be pretty much a custom job, but there has to be a starting point, say project and the basic program like the electric arcs.
Maybe there are different sizes of projectors. I am sure projecting on an interior wall 12 feet square might not be as expensive as projecting across a 40 foot facade! No point in spending a lot of time sorting through expensive champaign if you only have a beer budget!! But if you have maybe an "imported beer" level there may be a bigger line up!
Other considerations for Haunters is that outside application is a "freebie". No one pays to see it so publicity is the only pay back. An indoor application gives you something they have to pay to see. But don't underestimate the power of the outside "freebie" Casinos here spend millions providing such freebies just to get your attention. How many TV stations would show up in your market if you have something similar to the second example????
Also this might be really worth it for haunts that are in buildings where they can't build a facade or do anything to the exterior of the building. Consider the cost of building, installing, removing and storing a facade, or just setting up a projector? Also you could change the show easily or buy one show first year, new show second year, ect and alternate shows throughout the night.
So the concept is really cool, a few ball park figures would really help Haunters go from pipe dreams to serious consideration!
Thanks Bill always great to see new ideas!! Best of luck!!!
05-27-2010, 01:17 PM
What kind of a projector would you need for something on a building!! I'm guessing a couple are used to hit different sides.
wheel is still turning....
Send me some info on this if you could!!
05-27-2010, 01:23 PM
Fantastic! If it can work cost wise , I think there would be a few basic programs haunters can order or custom which I would choose to fit my buildings shape along with windows and doors. It would have to line up like the ghost bust.....the possibilities are endless.
Got me thinking as well!
05-27-2010, 01:33 PM
So I looked into just the projectors and you could spend anywhere from 30k to 200k depending on the size you are projecting (Iím talking building size). The software is all over the place. But it does seem to be compatible with both PC and Mac which is a plus.
I may get some software just to mess with it and a smaller projector for an exploding door or a wall of fireÖ
this is great!! my twisted dreams may come tru.
05-27-2010, 01:33 PM
Believe it or not, this is accomplished with one projector / one setup. The only reason you would use more then one projector is to increase the brightness (but they would be overlapping projections) or to span a large wide area. I hope that makes sense. Right now I am working with my motion graphics artists to see what we can come up with price wise.
Your absolutely right that each clients needs and equipment will be different. For instance, if a client had an indoor space that they wanted to create a show in, a projector could be selected with a matching lens to fit that room perfectly. No need to overkill it with a Barco projector. We will be working on a more detailed scale model soon. We will stay away from cartoony effects and try for more realistic effects. I think it will ultimately find its place in doors, in pre-shows or queue areas.
Outside building projections would need a higher lumen projector (expense) and are always pointed head on (on plane) with the building, which will not always be feasible for each attraction.
The second example demonstrated is clearly in the tens of thousands to produce. The 3D animation, Barco projectors, sound system, and the media servers that deliver the content. Obviously out of budget for most haunts, so we hope to come up with effects and prices that can be customized for any size budget.
Thanks R&J for your insight!
05-27-2010, 01:59 PM
Are they actually projecting onto a building or is it a canvas of some type? What color is it projecting onto might matter as well. Looks like the screen or building disapears with the background darkness..................
05-27-2010, 02:08 PM
They are projecting directly onto a building... no screen or canvas. The lighter the building the more the images will pop, but I have seen this done in person on a dark interior set and it was just as effective... If you look close enough when there is no projection you can see the building.
05-27-2010, 07:18 PM
I agree with Peter, maybe you could focus on some cool effects that could be used inside the haunt. That would hopefully keep the projector cost lower and if you could create and sell an effect several times it also help bring down the cost!
I figured the News Years effect was in the thousands!!! It was pretty long and involved. But a simpler, shorter effect like you said Bill, focusing on the realistic,could be quite impressive!!! But this is definately a project for someone who knows what they are doing! If I'd tried it myself, it would probably have to work UP to looking cartoony!!!
So a good question to haunters would be what type of effects could be best utilized with this technology. Things that would be either cost prohibitive or impossible to do practical??? Effects that would have the broadest appeal. Let's give Bill something to work with!! What would be cool and usuable???
05-28-2010, 08:38 AM
I would like to see walls of rushing water or sparks coming at the people. Taking something that would normally be dangerous, if you used fire but since its just a projector it would be ok. People walking on a bridge looking down and it looks sooooo far down. Or see water under them with huge fish or monster swooshing by. The possibilities are endless.
05-28-2010, 08:58 AM
All good ideas... I will try to work on something for interior projection and see where it goes, thanks!
06-05-2010, 07:58 AM
This is Awesome, but i have a feeling that all the hours that go into pulling something off would make this idea untouchable to all but a few haunters price wise. I would think that it would have to be custom to each object you shine it on. Either way I love the concept and my mind is already thinking of what i could use this application in. Great work!
Live Your Nightmare
06-12-2010, 03:44 PM
I think you need to look at the ghost bust, that uses this same idea and come up with something that can be placed into a scene in the haunt. that way it dosen't have to be customized for each individual haunt. it could even be a large set piece like a building that is projected to be on fire. or something like that.
also Netherworld projects on their building.
The Mad Hatter
06-15-2010, 08:32 PM
I love this! This has a whole lot of potential! I do however agree with the posts people replied. To do something custom can get really expensive and the projectors can cost a lot. To get over this problem I believe you should have pre-made 3d effect videos for a facade, and include a detailed plan on building a facade that will correspond with the video. the facade should probably not be over 20 feet long, by 16 feet high to save on the cost of the projector, and materials for the facade. Even if this is not used as a main facade it can look cool in the background of anywhere. You can get cool looking dilapidated small buildings and cabins without all the time spent to paint things really detailed. You can even make projected rooms, with detailed plans to make false furniture to have texture projected on, could have a wall break away and a creature come out or something, a vortex sucking everything in, just hook a fan up or something to add to the effect too. Maybe cracks in the walls with bugs crawling out. I just think there is alot of potential for this and if this stuff comes out i am a potential buyer if the price is right!
Someone was saying something about the projector having to be head on? ......Couldn't you have your video tweaked so you can project it at any angel..... its done with 3d animation you can set the degrees in the editing software. Or am I nuts?
06-15-2010, 10:46 PM
Neat idea about making a stock animation but we still feel creating stock animations just wont fit our customers needs. If I make a hospital theme one, people with a Victorian theme can't use it, if I make a Victorian theme, a 3D Clown theme can't use it, and we keep going around...
At this point I like the idea of making one that would fit certain facade dimensions, but I feel like most clients would not build an exterior or interior facade just for this effect. Right now I am working on some interior scale models and effects. As soon as I have something that I feel is more polished I will share it! Thanks to everyone for all the great ideas.
Dark Tech Effects
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