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Discussion Starter #1
For those of you who have followed along, I had a previous thread to figure out how to control multiple animated props in a sequence. J-Man stepped up and helped create a controller tuned to my sequence. That problem has been solved. In the process, the coven grew from 4 to 9 animated witches that will together create our witches coven for 2018. I have moved the thread to the prop showcase in order to finish out build and get feedback in the other areas which have not been decided yet. The previous electronics thread can be found here: http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/194881-witches-coven-scene-automation-advice.html

This is what the first attempt at setting them all up together looked like:

View attachment 547778

Those are actual electric fireplace inserts under the cauldrons. Their sound is obnoxious indoors but outside, get the sound effects on all 6 going and it has the sound of a small bonfire with cricket sound effects.

Took the controller J-Man created, gutted an old Blu-ray player and installed it. Drilled a hole in the front for the PIR sensor. Should be small enough to hide pretty easy as it’s half the size of a standar DVD player.

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Next on the list is to actually start creating a scene while I’m waiting on wires and connections to arrive in the mail. Originally, I was supposed to build a cabin in the backyard but that idea has fallen through. Cost was about $5000 for material and is more than I can spare at this time. So we built the stage at 16’x6’ which after setting everything up together would probably be better at 20-24’. I was going to go ahead and set the stage up as an indoor cabin scene using some vinyl flooring that looks like aged wood but my boy said he thought it would look better with some creepy woods behind them.

I went shopping around for creepy forest backdrops but it seems that options are pretty limited. I found this on Amazon that I think could work but the size is very small, 5’ tall x 6’6”. I guess I could seam a few together and they seem to be fairly cheap. By reading the reviews, it seems they are made of a thin satin like material, which brings me to lighting. You can’t effectively light satin material as it’s shiny. So I was thinking I could create a giant shadow box and light it inside, then stretch the backdrop over it and give the effect of an actual moonlit forest in the background. Any input you guys have will be considered.

View attachment 547794
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh yeah, and I do have a full blown special effects thunderstorm, 400watt subwoofer to generate thunder an 3-300watt halogen lights to produce lighting (currently mounted on my old tv tower). I will likely purchase another to fill the yard on both sides of the house. That should help set the mood.

I also have 3 good sized foggers, figure I’ll take 1, pipe it into all of the cauldrons and run a bunch of hose through a cooler full of ice to chill the fog so it rolls out of the cauldrons and stays low to the ground.

Short thunderstorm clip from last year:

 

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Lookin' really good! Will the Witches be protected from any potential rain? Also, you may wanna pull the PIR sensor back into the enclosure a bit, the trigger field of view may be too wide with the lens fully exposed. You'll know more after testing it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Lookin' really good! Will the Witches be protected from any potential rain? Also, you may wanna pull the PIR sensor back into the enclosure a bit, the trigger field of view may be too wide with the lens fully exposed. You'll know more after testing it out.
We are going to keep plastic attached to the back of the backdrop frame so we can just pull it over the top if rain starts.

As for the PIR I am not even sure where it’s going to be. The fog may keep it running indefinitely if I can’t keep the fog on the ground. On an average night, not a problem but last year was the second coldest Halloween on record. If the air is colder than the fog, the fog will rise.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok semi fixed the lighting. Below is one still and 3 clips, one for each segment that it runs. Segment 2 has a couple long pauses but nothing too bad. For some reason 1 of the flood lights I bought is different and not nearly as bright. The one in the middle is it. Looks like I may need to figure out something for lighting the witch in the rocker. Think I’m going to play with motorizing the rocker also, so it actually rocks. I need to do something about that one hitting the cauldron.
Next is the deck expansion and backdrop. Might be a week or so before then next update.

View attachment 547882

First segment

Second segment

Third segment
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That's one of the coolest Witch displays I've seen, sooo much better than all of them going at the same time. Nice job!
I appreciate the work you put into it. It’s not too scary for the kids (except maybe the screaming toddler, haha) but interesting enough to hold your attention.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
After reviewing the video again, I think I need to remove the voice box from the Storyteller witch and either mount it under her chair or wire up some powered pc speakers. Her costume is really thick like a bed comforter, muffles her voice.
 

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After reviewing the video again, I think I need to remove the voice box from the Storyteller witch and either mount it under her chair or wire up some powered pc speakers. Her costume is really thick like a bed comforter, muffles her voice.
I agree, that one is hard to hear. Maybe you can get away with cutting out the material directly in front of the speaker and cover the cut out area with some dark cheese cloth or creepy cloth.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I will have to make a cooling tank but this is what I have for the fogger setup so far. 1.25” pvc pipe, fittings and 3-25ft black drain line kits that came with threaded fittings. About $75 in parts, enough to do 5 cauldrons, just pop the elbows off and add T’s in where needed. Have to order another jug of fog juice in order to test but I can’t imagine it not working. Used an 1.25” rubber coupling to attach to the fogger. Fit perfectly.

View attachment 548082
 

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Just a heads up, you will need to leave about a 1 inch gap between the fogger output and the pipe so it can draw in some air to mix with the fog. If not the fog will be very weak and you will wind up with a bunch of condensed fog juice collecting in the ducts. You won't lose much fog in the gap. The force of it coming out of the fogger and air flow in the pipes as it cools will keep it moving forwards. Jut throwing that out there in case you didn't already know.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just a heads up, you will need to leave about a 1 inch gap between the fogger output and the pipe so it can draw in some air to mix with the fog. If not the fog will be very weak and you will wind up with a bunch of condensed fog juice collecting in the ducts. You won't lose much fog in the gap. The force of it coming out of the fogger and air flow in the pipes as it cools will keep it moving forwards. Jut throwing that out there in case you didn't already know.
I did not know that, thanks for the heads up, and that is the reason I post the process, so I can be corrected when I’m doing something wrong. I do want it rigid mounted if possible, but there will be will be a cooler to cool down the fog between the rubber fitting and the first T-fitting. What do you think about putting a 1 ft pipe after the rubber connection and cutting about 6, 1/4” spits down the length of the sides to draw in air? I don’t think I would lose much as the stream coming out of this fogger is about 3ft before it starts to expand.
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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An inch or two between the fogger nozzle and the pipe opening should suffice. Your setup is very different from mine, but you mentioned adding a chiller (cooling tank). This is how I did mine. Fog enters at the top, goes directly through the ice filling the cooler, settles into an open area below the mesh in the bottom, then exits chilled out of the lower pipe and runs from there into my witches hut and out of the sticks and coals under er cauldron.

View attachment 548210

View attachment 548218

View attachment 548226

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes, so I have a 50 gallon cube cooler coming. The plan is to make a coil of pipe inside the cooler, enter and exit similar to yours, however, the fog will never actually contact the ice, it’s contained in the pipe. I used a very similar setup with an air compressor when blasting with baking soda. The air from the air compressor was over 200 degrees, run through 100 ft of hose in a cooler full of ice water allowed the moisture to condense and be trapped in a water filter. Hoping it will handle this.
 

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I did an 8ft coil of aluminum duct in my larger fog chiller made from a big cooler and it couldn't keep up with my Chauvet fogger after about 30 minutes. Seemed like the ice was melting from around the duct to the point it was loosing direct contact with the metal enough to stop cooling it effectively. Ripped the duct out last year to let the fog contact the ice directly and it worked perfectly all night. I made the smaller one I posted above for a cheapo fogger I use on the other side of the yard at the entrance. Last year I got it somewhat chilled just by making a pile of ice over the end of the exit pipe without using any chiller at all. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I did an 8ft coil of aluminum duct in my larger fog chiller made from a big cooler and it couldn't keep up with my Chauvet fogger after about 30 minutes. Seemed like the ice was melting from around the duct to the point it was loosing direct contact with the metal enough to stop cooling it effectively. Ripped the duct out last year to let the fog contact the ice directly and it worked perfectly all night. I made the smaller one I posted above for a cheapo fogger I use on the other side of the yard at the entrance. Last year I got it somewhat chilled just by making a pile of ice over the end of the exit pipe without using any chiller at all. lol
Yes that will happen with ice, gotta use ice water on pipe or like you said, directly through the ice. I am going to try the ice water and pipe first. If it doesn’t work, I’ll just remove the coil.
 
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