Halloween Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've always thought that the Haunted Mansion's ballroom scene has got to be one of the most gorgeous scenes in any ride/attraction/haunt/etc. I also realized a few weeks ago that I have a pretty good location for a pepper's ghost effect. My garage is a standard two-car size but it has two individual doors that can be opened independently. By opening only one I can pretty easily make the other half the secret room for pepper's ghost. So I started work last weekend on getting it the multi-piece effect going. This is the first part that I've gotten working in some capacity:


The skull is temporary just to show the rotation. I've also loaded a 10lb plate on there to simulate the load of the characters. The idea is that I'll reinforce the spinning platform a bit more and put two Costco skeletons on there, dressed and dancing. They'll be in the secret room of the pepper's ghost effect slowly fading in and out (see my other recent thread about automatic fading lights.)

The gears were produced from the absolute cheapest plywood I could find on my 500mm xcarve:





The assemblies ride on two 9" lazy susans (each with a capacity of 750lbs). Once I got a few hitches smoothed out I was actually shocked at how smoothly and easily the entire thing rotates.



The platform will make the characters "dance" in a radius of about 4'. The planned show area of the pepper's ghost effect is about 5' x 5'. Next steps will be reinforcing the spinning platform and getting the skeletons perched onto it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all. Hopefully it turns out as well as I hope.

Wow, nice job on the mechanics!
Thanks. It started out as a little lego model, before moving it into Fusion 360 to actually properly check all the movement and design the CAM operations.


So my first attempt at mounting the skeletons didn't work out very well. My first thought was "just back their legs with some aluminum and make them stand." Yeah... no... that didn't work...








So, back to the drawing board. I cruised over to Home Depot, took a look at just about every type of pipe that they had in the place, and settled on some conduit. The problem with that though is that the conduit is not a standard size OD, so I can't just drill a hole for it on the drill press. So it was back to Fusion 360 and the xcarve for some custom mounts:





Finally I got the skeletons temporarily balanced on there:





Much better! This weekend I hope to have some time to get it mounted onto the platform. My biggest concern right now is that they'll be top heavy and tip over the platform. I have areas designed for counter-weights though, so we'll see how it works out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
OMG, this is supposed to be a kid friendly forum! These look like pictures from the skeleton Kama Sutra!

I want your computerized cutting tool.
If that's the first place your mind goes with skeletons then I can't be held responsible for that. ;)

The tool is sold by Inventables. They're not terribly expensive, considering what they are, but they do require a lot of care. They require a lot of tuning and tweaking to get them working nicely.


So getting the characters onto the actual platform ended up being a lot easier than I expected. After about an hour today I had them up and running!


I'm shocked that the little motor I bought is actually working. It's a $10 geared motor off Amazon.

Unfortunately the skeleton without the head is already being used elsewhere, so I can't actually pose and dress the skeletons until I can buy another one from Costco or Walgreens. What time of year do those usually show up?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
476 Posts
nice! coming along very well.

i don't start seeing them in store till September. got a little wait. counting the days! lol! love September. thought by then i it'll mean i better be close to finished with my haunt props. not usually the way it goes though. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,199 Posts
I want an Xcarve!

Excellent work. Should be a good pepper's ghost effect. Maybe add some very sheer, flowing material around the girl skeleton's waist and maybe a little like a cape on the guy. They would be flowing in the breeze as the move around and make it all look a bit more 'ghostly'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thank you everyone. I'm glad you guys are enjoying it so far. I'm always far too critical of my own work...

A quick update: For the automatic light dimming, I spent a bit of time trying to rig up a standard 120V wall dimmer to have low-voltage control. Yes, I could go with physical control like some showed in my other thread, but figuring out new solutions is half the fun here. I also have some ideas for the scene that physical control wouldn't work well for (possibly some coordination of props.)

So my dad (with over 40 years of electronics experience) and I were devising a solution involving an optocoupler between the arduino and the control knob on the dimmer. Experiments so far though have proven that the optocoupler can't handle the current that's going through those dimmer circuits. I don't think I can easily find one that can handle that sort of current either, so it's back to the drawing board.

My next plan of attack is to go the low-voltage route. Rather than trying to control a 120v flood light I'm going to try to control 12v LEDs. J-Man originally suggested this in my other thread, but initially it appeared rather expensive. However, I've since found that I can get the 10W LEDs by themselves with no casing for a tenth the price of the same LED with a casing. It looks like all I'll need is a standard MOSFET to carry over the PWM from the 5v Arduino circuit to the 12v LED circuit and it should be a pretty inexpensive solution. So now I'm waiting on those components from China and will let you guys know how it goes once I get them.


nice! coming along very well.

i don't start seeing them in store till September. got a little wait. counting the days! lol! love September. thought by then i it'll mean i better be close to finished with my haunt props. not usually the way it goes though. lol
Okay, thanks for the ETA. I'll keep an eye out for them in September.

I want an Xcarve!

Excellent work. Should be a good pepper's ghost effect. Maybe add some very sheer, flowing material around the girl skeleton's waist and maybe a little like a cape on the guy. They would be flowing in the breeze as the move around and make it all look a bit more 'ghostly'.
The Xcarve is a lovely machine if you're okay with having to spend time on the machine itself. It's not a plug-n-play solution, but it's great for hobbyists.

Yeah, I'm planning on dressing them a bit once I get the second skeleton (the one without a head is a stand-in I stole from a different prop.) I'll probably go to the thrift stores and find some outfits to tear up. I definitely want some free-flowing motion to them.


Looks awesome! I got my skeleton for my cauldron creep to free stand on his own by slipping thick all-thread rod through the leg bones. Mine is in a crouching position with the legs bent so I'm sure yours would stand fine with the all-thread.
I went with the exposed pole solution since these are going to be behind the pepper's ghost effect. It should be pretty much invisible. I'll keep that in mind though if I need to pose more visible skeletons.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top