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Thread: Pet Peeve: Jerky and fake looking animatronics

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  1. Default Pet Peeve: Jerky and fake looking animatronics 
    #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Raritan New Jersey
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    18
    I have noticed that even in Haunted houses that claim to be the scariest in the nation, That the animatronics ALL seem to move in a totally fake way and this drastically lessens one's ability to suspend disbelief during the haunt...I come from a background in Motion Picture Special Effects and have created many realistic animatronics, and I realize that the fluid motions that we are able to get for film animatronics would be cost prohibitive for most Haunts. My question to anyone here who uses these jerky animatronics made for haunts is...Why would you use something that looks or moves in a fake, robot-like way?????
     

  2. Default  
    #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    370
    First the cost is the huge factor.
    Second In the movies you shoot it once and your good to go.
    haunted houses have to reset and trigger it thousand of times , so
    some things we can not do, like blowing something up and then it resets.

    For the few seconds with the right lighting, it works.

    However, Im sure animatronics in haunted houses will be more realistic in the near future.

    Stew
     

  3. Default  
    #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Prattville Alabama
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    133
    Has anybody ever played around with pneumatics combined with bungee cords to try and reduce the "hurky jerky" motion you get with cheap animatronics?

    Use the bungee cord like tendons... Just a thought.
     

  4. Default  
    #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kansas
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    406
    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Crane View Post
    I have noticed that even in Haunted houses that claim to be the scariest in the nation, That the animatronics ALL seem to move in a totally fake way and this drastically lessens one's ability to suspend disbelief during the haunt...I come from a background in Motion Picture Special Effects and have created many realistic animatronics, and I realize that the fluid motions that we are able to get for film animatronics would be cost prohibitive for most Haunts. My question to anyone here who uses these jerky animatronics made for haunts is...Why would you use something that looks or moves in a fake, robot-like way?????

    You sir, are going to haunts for a different reason than the core money market.

    I'm afraid you see things differently than most.

    <edit>

    I think you should build some of these smooth animations for us. Seriously- build a dozen or so prototypes and rent booth space at the next show and see who buys.
    Last edited by zombietoxin; 10-21-2013 at 07:19 PM.
    How can a man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the temple of his gods.

    What you put into your mind- you put into your life.


    www.zombietoxin.com
     

  5. Default  
    #5
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    Aug 2006
    Location
    Nashville
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    322
    Like said above you need to suspend what you know and go with cost effectiveness that works with the mass of the general public. Its like watching TV when the guy goes flatline and they say get the paddles .. every medical person in the world knows thats not what happens but how many years have you seen that? You just suspend fact and enjoy fantasy! It works for the masses and to some degree expected.
     

  6. Default  
    #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Bluff City, TN
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    97
    Maybe they're cyborgs or robots ? lol

    Really though even Universal and Disney has some animatronics that move in less than realistic fashions. The human body is a hard thing to duplicate. We can't even make animals yet that can get up and walk around perfectly and act completely realistic. Maybe one day. Until then use real actors..
     

  7. Default  
    #7
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    Oct 2013
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    Raritan New Jersey
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombietoxin View Post
    You sir, are going to haunts for a different reason than the core money market.

    I'm afraid you see things differently than most.

    <edit>

    I think you should build some of these smooth animations for us. Seriously- build a dozen or so prototypes and rent booth space at the next show and see who buys.
    Well, the reason that I got out of the film business in the first place, is that Producers really didn't care about how realistic things looked, and I felt that I couldn't work those long hours on things and create detail that just goes unnoticed. I did that for over 25 years in NYC and I'd be lying if I didn't say that I enjoyed every second of it.
    There is a way to give what is called "Compliance" to animatronic figures, and they have been doing it at Disney since the 80's...The term is also known as "Deflection" or "Resonance"...Stan Winston, when talking about creating the T-Rex for Jurassic Park called it the "Waga-Waga Factor"...It is basically a program that is added to the animatronic driver, which cancels out the bounce by absorbing the motion of say, an arm that quickly springs out....I may go to some of the tradeshows in the coming years, but not with $100,000.00 sophisticated animatronics in tow, because they simply would not sell.
     

  8. Default bungees? 
    #8
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    Jun 2011
    Location
    Auburndale, FL
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    126
    You can reduce some of the recoil of the cylinders by using mufflers and two way cylinders instead of the spring cylinders. Controlling the air flow is important. One of the reasons why I buy so much from Dark Raven and Nevermore is because their props are fluid and lifelike. I would rather go without if I have to have the unrealistic spazzing props.
     

  9. Default  
    #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Eastlake, Ohio
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    833
    Although price is a huge factor, another is scare factor. A slower, more natural movement, does not get the startle effect, that a lot of the animatronics your referring to are designed to achieve. Some animatronics, such as the skulls from Skulltronix, are fluid and more life like, but they are designed to be a watched show, and not a startle effect. I build 10' characters, some are slower, and more life like, because they are story tellers, and some move fast and jerky to at least get the attention of the patron as a distraction, if not an actual startle scare.
    Brian Warner
    Owner of Evilusions www.EVILUSIONS.com
    Technical Director of Forsaken Haunted House www.Forsakenhaunt.com
    Mechanical Designer (animatronics) at Gore Galore www.Gore-Galore.com
     

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