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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering if anyone out there has ever used or considered life-sized cardboard cutouts? I got the idea in my head the other night that I could place them in windows, and when I started looking around Amazon, I found zombie ones and witch ones and scary clown ones and classic monster ones and on and on. Would it even work? Thoughts?

Here's a couple of random examples:

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Just wondering if anyone out there has ever used or considered life-sized cardboard cutouts? I got the idea in my head the other night that I could place them in windows, and when I started looking around Amazon, I found zombie ones and witch ones and scary clown ones and classic monster ones and on and on. Would it even work? Thoughts?
It would work for windows, just make sure your lighting is done properly to help enhance any dimensional look the cutout might have. Don't have it plastered right up against the window, or the illusion that it's real will be lost. You might also layer various things in front of it to help create the illusion that it is 3-D. Something like hanging creepy cloth, spiderwebs, lace curtains... whatever you have that appeals to you.

I've also seen them used as a photo op kind of thing outside under cover for folks. Create a suitable backdrop and make it bright enough that folks don't have to use a flash. Nothing screams "this is a cardboard cutout" like using a flash to take a picture of it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks you guys! I imagine the lighting will be crucial, and the idea of extra creepy cloth, webbing, etc is right along the lines of what I have in mind.

There's actually several life-size cut-outs of celebs like Brad Pitt in tuxedos. I'm including one I saved of the "Mr. Bean" character in more "regular" clothes. What I'm considering is using my growing collection of masks over the heads. So instead of Brad's mug, I could have my fly mask instead (for instance). I do wonder if the effect would play out as I'm hoping, though.

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Thanks you guys! I imagine the lighting will be crucial, and the idea of extra creepy cloth, webbing, etc is right along the lines of what I have in mind.

There's actually several life-size cut-outs of celebs like Brad Pitt in tuxedos. I'm including one I saved of the "Mr. Bean" character in more "regular" clothes. What I'm considering is using my growing collection of masks over the heads. So instead of Brad's mug, I could have my fly mask instead (for instance). I do wonder if the effect would play out as I'm hoping, though.
Well, now, you're heading into an area where I think other options might be better. Take a look at making a PVC pipe body for your mask. They'll probably be cheaper than a cardboard cut out, and way more flexible. If you're going to the trouble to add a mask it pays to bulk out the rest of the body as well. A mask on a 2-D cardboard cut out will probably look just like that. A mask on a PVC body with proper clothes will look very real without a great deal of work. https://www.google.com/search?newwindow=1&hs=YkB&sxsrf=ACYBGNTtKcZ00Gudpua99NTUSRPk6JD_fw:1576016259034&q=pvc+body+frame&tbm=isch&source=univ&client=opera&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiqoJ6KjqzmAhWSqZ4KHacWBCwQsAR6BAgOEAE&biw=1840&bih=938 will show you a whole slew of ways you can form that body into exactly what you want. And animating it to wave, turn its head , or whatever will take it to a new level no cardboard cut out ever can achieve.

Another option that others have found success with is a fabric dummy. These sort of limp bodies can be put into all sorts of different positions and dressed up whichever way you want. They're for sale all over the place. https://www.amazon.com/Dummy-Full-Size-With-Hands/dp/B007XD3T1O is where I found the picture, but I bet if you shop around you can find them cheaper.

727193


We have quite a few props that use masks as their faces and giving them a body that's equally dimensional is really the way to go. Even from a window, the difference is well worth the effort.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the excellent advice and so sorry for flaking on my own thread. Got caught up in some other things and meant to reply much sooner. The stand-ups are pretty pricey (and the shipping for them is prohibitive), but I might take a chance on either that bride and ghoul (see pic above) or maybe a Nosferatu one I've seen available. I got a year to figure out how to light and display it, and to see if it will even work at all. One small thing that the stand-ups have in their favor (over many props) is ease of storage.

I think you're absolutely right about 3-D fleshing out things for a much more 'real' feel. Looks like those PVC figures are the way to go. Some of the yard pix I've seen of small zombie hordes make me green with envy. I've got the yard space. Would LOVE to do something like that every Halloween. As far as animating? Baby steps here. I'll be fine just creating static figures. I see stuff like the elevator prop the fellow crafted for Halloween 2019 on here and I'm just dumbstruck. 😮
 

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Thank you for the excellent advice and so sorry for flaking on my own thread. Got caught up in some other things and meant to reply much sooner.
I think we're all sympathetic to the idea that life sometimes gets busy enough that we don't visit this site faithfully. I also think that's the way it should be. You come here when you have time for a bit of fun or to get away from the things that aren't for just a bit. But it NEVER should be one of those chores or obligations you stack up on your desk that have to be done.

As far as animating? Baby steps here. I'll be fine just creating static figures. I see stuff like the elevator prop the fellow crafted for Halloween 2019 on here and I'm just dumbstruck. 😮
There are so many folks online here who amaze us as what they do. But simple animations aren't all that big a jump from static figures. It can be as simple as putting a head on an old oscillating fan with it's blades removed. The head rotates back and forth, looking this way and that. No one is aware that all you did was put a mask and some stuffing over the motor of a fan to make your amazing prop. While Oak Lane Cemetery actually used a motor to move his witch's head, you can see where with a simple rotating fan could give you much the same result. Stop the video and just look at the prop static, then start the video up again and decide which really looks better. :)


Look around online at what other folks have done, and you might begin to realize it doesn't take a lot of experience to make something pretty impressive. Pre-wired reindeer motors that use standard outlets aren't that expensive and can give you all manner of options. We started out with a tombstone popper, which was really pretty easy. We graduated from there to a cauldron creep. (Way more difficult than YouTubers make it look getting the balancing act right, but really worth it.) We don't have a lot of experience creating the critters, but there are so many folks out on the Internet wanting to help, it really isn't as intimidating as it seems when looking at the finished animations.
 
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