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View Full Version : Dead House Designs Augmented Reality Tiles



geckofx
02-19-2012, 04:46 PM
One of our new products, blending cg effects into a real scene.

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Freddie

kpolley
02-19-2012, 06:15 PM
Freddie,

Absolutely fantastic! I love what you guys are doing with video projection technology for the haunt industry. It is completely original and really unique.

I do have a couple questions...is this the exact effect you would purchase or are there options like, for instance, if I just wanted to use the bulging tiles effect is that possible? Also, what do I actually get from you, what do I need for myself, and what is the set-up like?

Again, the stuff looks great. Can't wait to see it in person here in St. Louis. Keep up the good work!

brad
02-20-2012, 10:37 AM
Great looking stuff! Is there an option to add in a monster or creature at the end of it? I think that could set this effect over the top. I wish I could make it to TW this year to see this effect.

This is a great effect, and good luck this year.

the ogre
02-20-2012, 11:47 AM
Wow thats some amazing work. really over the top.

Frightener
02-20-2012, 01:42 PM
Another up! I think it's great work. Possibilities really could be limitless. You can have actors react with these things.

The first thing I thought of, is like take that hole in the wall effect. Make a monster jump out of the hole and down. Have a barrier there, like a table or something, maybe a half wall, that you can't see the floor. Have an actor there dressed as the monster in the video, after it jumps out and down, have the actor come up for the scare.

I've got 2 nice projectors now, I may be interested in some of your work. Do you have more stuff you can share with us?


Dewayne

Midnight13
02-20-2012, 04:17 PM
Awesome guys. Can't wait to see it in person.

Dwayne
13th Gate

geckofx
02-20-2012, 06:03 PM
kpolley,

As with everything the answer to your questions is complicated.

The simplest thing we can do with this effect is change what is displayed in the hole after the wall blows out. From an effective standpoint it is a transparent hole and any video could be inserted behind it. The only up charge for that would be a few hours for a technician to re-composite the video.

Now if you want to change the action that can be done as well but we're going to have to go back into the cg world and change the actions which simple translates to more time, and thus more money.

Frightener you have mentioned more interaction with the physical environment and that is certainly possible as well. We can supply dry contact relays that will trigger a certain times to hook equipment you already have, triggers to start the sequence, basically if you can come up with an idea to extend it we can interface with it or supply it for you.

The packaging of all the effects this year is significantly more complicated than it was last year. As of this moment you can purchase them as a software package, pre-installed on a computer, pre-installed with a projector, or as a whole integrated scene. At some point we are going to cook these things down onto blue-ray discs, but honestly that's an arduous process we probably won't be tackling until next year at the earliest. The real issue with that is that you loose the ability to align the image with the physical scene in software. The idea of these effects is that they align with the physical world. You can't see it in the video but the video of the tiles is being shot onto an actual tile wall and everything in the digital world is align with its counterpart in the real world. In order to do that you need to be able to transform the video on all 6 axis in order to get it to line up. You can't do that with a disc player.

So Frightener if you've got a couple of decent projectors you're going to use just let us know the native resolution of them and we can make certain what you get takes full advantage of them. Our current output is 1024x768 which is the resolution of the short throw projectors we use. With the exception of the larger effect which is using a 1900x1200 projector.

We have another one of these effects that we are bringing with us that is significantly larger and more complicated than this one. We should have some video of that up here in the next week or so. The real goal of these two displays is to showcase the technology and what can be done with it. Once you have established that you can put a virtual space over a real space the possibilities are endless. So tell us what you want and we will work with you to make it happen.

On a final note the technology sitting under the hood of these effects is rather complicated. We really work our butts off to try and shield you from that as much as possible. Our goal is to turn these effects into as much of an appliance as is possible. So the tools to set everything up is as user friendly as they can be, and once you are all setup, start-up and shutdown is as simple as pressing a button.

drfrightner
02-20-2012, 11:19 PM
Hard to tell exactly what you are doing here because the video isn't great... the one thing I personally will spend more time on in the future is video mapping.

Is that what you are doing here video mapping... I want to do something SUPER COOL with video mapping. That is the new big thing and something we can do in haunts but we have to first find the right application with controlled costs.

Larry

geckofx
02-21-2012, 12:11 AM
Controlled costs being the key phrase there.

Video mapping is a part of it but we choose the augmented reality branding because we can bring live elements into the mix.

What we have developed is an engine that can playback multiple video sources simultaneously and transform all of them individually on all six axis using a single system.

If you've dug into the technology at all you'll find that getting the cg work done on the structure is the simplest part of the puzzle. The interesting piece comes in getting that image to line up exactly with its real counterpart. The typical way of doing it is to recreate the structure in the computer, make all the cg razzle dazzle, and render the view ports from exactly the locations the projectors will be. This put all the weight on the pre-processing. If you shoot it at the structure and it doesn't line up you go back to the cg world and move the view port. While this is extremely effective as we can all see from the multitude of examples out there, it costs an obscene amount of money to model everything properly and do the back and forth. That kind of cash flow isn't coming anytime soon to our little niche of the entertainment industry.

Our idea was to break the larger structure into logical pieces that could be treated as 2d elements. Do all the cg work which will be quick and dirty because it doesn't involve a full scale model, and then recombine them in real time during playback. The other problem is that as your perspective shifts around a structure the relative shapes of the structure change as well. To combat this we render the videos as billboards in a 3d space thus allowing them to be individually transformed with roll, pitch, yaw, and translate along the x, y, and z axis. This allows you to adjust the perspective of the videos to that of the projector location.

The cost is really going to be broken into three primary parts. The first being the onsite labor to do the imaging and breaking of the structure into logical pieces, and then to re-align the images after processing. The second being the cost of whatever cg processing is to be done to the pieces. And the third being the cost of the equipment, computer(s) projector(s). The approach we have taken mitigates these down to the lowest denominator, but a cheap projector is still $700, and a decent one is $4000. That's still certainly better than the $40,000 barclays that are typically used for this application. Then add in a 20k hippo to handle playback, and a handful of rocket scientists who understand how to set all that crap up.

So yes Larry that is exactly what we are trying to do here. We decided to being two examples of this with us this year. The first being the simplest of the simple. A flat tile wall which we can then dirty up and destroy right before your eyes. And the second being a 16' x 16' clown house structure that can show this in a larger scope but will still fit in the convention center.

We will have the software package available as well so you can handle all the production work yourself and just use our stuff for playback.




Freddie

drfrightner
02-21-2012, 03:06 AM
There was two different companies at IAAPA selling video mapping program... I think one company had the program for $800 bucks and another for $1200 or so.

I considered buying those programs and getting video mapping down however when really thinking long and hard about video mapping in a haunted house a lot of challenges present themselves.

The first being FOG... if you use fog in your haunted house it will make video mapping on a large scale nearly impossible without a MAJOR LEAGUE projector. When I say Major league I'm talking 5 to 10k range. Secondly video mapping for say your exterior building where there is NO fog would still be VERY expensive because the projector needed would range from 10k to 100k. I already priced this out. Additionally you would have to have a long throw for the projectors to work on the exterior of a building.

Anyone can do video mapping, we could do especially since we create a lot and I mean a lot of custom CGI FX... the issue is the how to utilize in a haunted house setting. The issue really is Universal did video mapping for horror nights on exterior buildings, and I'm sure they spent several hundred thousand dollars to do it. Good for them their event is making around 50 million dollars. In a haunted house we considered doing something way over the top making the ceiling crumble. But you have to have a tall ceiling to do it for the projector and again the fog comes into play.

I also considered doing video mapping for a scene in the haunted houses... again cost projectors would cost me about 10k, and if you do a duel projector system then it jumps to triple the cost because then you need additional equipment.

I think the biggest problem is video mapping doesn't make a ton of sense in a haunted house when people walk through them so fast, they won't notice it that much, if at all, and it won't scare anyone. I think video mapping makes the most sense as part of a pre-show or exterior situation or a hayride. I think this form of FX will become very popular in the future in dark rides where you can control how fast people move and what they can or can't see...

I will get the video mapping program for sure, we will when we have enough time create a CGI FX for a video mapping scene but everything has to be right to spend those kinds of funds to make it work in a haunt.

I personally don't think its a great idea to have an effect just to have one, I think if you can't do it right then it will come off as second rate... that is why we held off for now. However we will do it something in the future when I'm willing to pour about $25 to $30k into doing something way over the top. Once we do a video mapping scene it will be without any doubt over the top!

I'll be excited to see what you guys come up with. Can't wait.

Larry

geckofx
02-21-2012, 08:51 PM
Responding inline.


There was two different companies at IAAPA selling video mapping program... I think one company had the program for $800 bucks and another for $1200 or so.
Mad mapper is one of my favorites and it sells for 200 euros.

I considered buying those programs and getting video mapping down however when really thinking long and hard about video mapping in a haunted house a lot of challenges present themselves.

The first being FOG... if you use fog in your haunted house it will make video mapping on a large scale nearly impossible without a MAJOR LEAGUE projector. When I say Major league I'm talking 5 to 10k range.
A 5500K projector puts out an obscene amount of light, and are affordable.

Secondly video mapping for say your exterior building where there is NO fog would still be VERY expensive because the projector needed would range from 10k to 100k. I already priced this out. Additionally you would have to have a long throw for the projectors to work on the exterior of a building.
The output is important but only relative to the square footage being covered. Using multiple smaller projectors covering less area can be more effective than a large projector covering a large space.

Anyone can do video mapping, we could do especially since we create a lot and I mean a lot of custom CGI FX... the issue is the how to utilize in a haunted house setting. The issue really is Universal did video mapping for horror nights on exterior buildings, and I'm sure they spent several hundred thousand dollars to do it. Good for them their event is making around 50 million dollars.
Comparing us to our big cousins is a very hard thing to do. Mainly because of the overhead incurred in that type of organization and the vendors they are going to choose to deal with. We have the advantage in this industry of having very small overhead costs, and the life cycle of the products we require is not nearly as strenuous as theirs.

In a haunted house we considered doing something way over the top making the ceiling crumble. But you have to have a tall ceiling to do it for the projector and again the fog comes into play.
An ultra short throw projector could cover a 10x10 ceiling with less than 2ft of separation between the projector and the ceiling. With that minimal distance atmospheric effects can be controlled by fans.

I also considered doing video mapping for a scene in the haunted houses... again cost projectors would cost me about 10k, and if you do a duel projector system then it jumps to triple the cost because then you need additional equipment.
Projector costs are what they are, but for 10k you can get some serious hardware that can cover a very large area. Using an ATI card with eyefinity, or NVIDIAs equivalent, you can eliminate the need for alignment hardware as long as you stay within the output resolution of the card which can get rather high for the upper end cards.

I think the biggest problem is video mapping doesn't make a ton of sense in a haunted house when people walk through them so fast, they won't notice it that much, if at all, and it won't scare anyone. I think video mapping makes the most sense as part of a pre-show or exterior situation or a hayride. I think this form of FX will become very popular in the future in dark rides where you can control how fast people move and what they can or can't see...
It really depends on the effect and the price point right. So many of us have thrown a large animatronic in a corner. So if a projection of equivilent cost with an equivalent scare factor is available why should it get treated differently?

I will get the video mapping program for sure, we will when we have enough time create a CGI FX for a video mapping scene but everything has to be right to spend those kinds of funds to make it work in a haunt.
The tile sequence was created in less than a week. I understand justifying the cost factor of a large effect, but how many of the larger events drop 5k like it's nothing to get an animatronic they like at the convention. Again should projections be treated differently? Except for the fact that yearly maintainence costs are going to be lower.

I personally don't think its a great idea to have an effect just to have one, I think if you can't do it right then it will come off as second rate... that is why we held off for now. However we will do it something in the future when I'm willing to pour about $25 to $30k into doing something way over the top. Once we do a video mapping scene it will be without any doubt over the top!
I couldn't agree more.

I'll be excited to see what you guys come up with. Can't wait.

Larry


We don't have anything against animated props, in fact we love them. Nothing will ever beat a good animatronic utilized correctly and well maintained. It just seems odd that these interactive projections are getting thrown into this category that says they are only good if done to the nth denominator.

We look forward to seeing you at the convention Larry. You should hang out an bs with us more this year.


Freddie

drfrightner
02-21-2012, 10:22 PM
Yes I look forward to seeing you guys as well. I think for me and video mapping effect, it will be a custom piece that we'll create on our own for exact needs we are looking for when we finally get around to doing it. I want it to be HUGE mega HUGE over the top like you can't miss it type of deal. We have looked into all the costs and we will do it and I agree its worth it to do something totally different.

We couldn't agree more on that one.

Check out what Universal did this past year... now this is the WOW factor!

Larry

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHImdHL00sk