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Discussion Starter #1
Team,

After nearly 13 years, I'm literally blowing the dust off my Grim Organist project. I started researching the project and collecting materials in 2004. Shortly thereafter, the project was shelved. Here's my research and progress to date,


I initially considered using Pepper's ghost illusion, however, I was intimidated by the prospect of handling and storing a giant piece of glass. At the time I shelved the project, the plan was to animate the organist (using pneumatics) in direct view of the audience. The current plan is to record (video) an actor in a custom, Disneyesque organist mask and costume consisting of a Victorian cape, tuxedo, goth shirt and partially-crushed Reggie hat. The video will be projected on a large sheet of scrim in front of the organ. Two handfuls of organ keys will still be animated using pneumatics.

I welcome and encourage feedback on all aspects of the project. I'd especially appreciate suggestions for making faux organ pipes. Ideally, I’d like two organ pipes in each of six different diameters. Each pipe must be tapered from the mouth to the toe. PVC pipe would seem to be the obvious choice. Here's an example of what I'm after.

wbn
 

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Holy crap a that's a biiiiig project. I can see why it went on the shelf for a few years. Way too intimidating for most folks I'm guessing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I tend to tackle one big project a year (and several smaller ones). I spent five months (on and off) on the first prop I ever built,


It was built from scratch from lumber at Home Depot. I learned my lesson. I won't make that mistake again. At least with my Grim Organist, I'm starting with a Wurlitzer organ,


I could project an organist "hollusion" on scrim in front of the organ as-is and have a pretty cool effect. I'll work to evolve the Wurlitzer organ in the direction of the Haunted Mansion organ and see how far I get before I run out of time and money.

wbn
 

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The pipe organ section is a fairly easy build. I made mine from scrap wood and PVC pipe. This is a topper for our piano and is designed to hold speakers in the base for stereo organ sound.

That pipe addition should really dress up the Wurlitzer you have as a base! I can't wait to see how your project progresses!





Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wolfbeard and Icepick,

What do you think about the idea of projecting a video of an actor in an organist costume on scrim in front of the organ?

wbn
 

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Wolfbeard and Icepick,

What do you think about the idea of projecting a video of an actor in an organist costume on scrim in front of the organ?

wbn
That was my original intent, but I decided against it as I would have bleed through. That's why I went the skeleton route.
 

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I also think there would be bleed through if projected directly on a scrim.

I know you are concerned about using glass, but for a "Pepper's Ghost" technique you could probably use plexiglass or even shrink fit window film (think patio door size) over a frame instead of real glass. Here's the type I am referring to. : https://www.lowes.com/pd/Frost-King-84-in-x-9-17-ft-Clear-Poly-Door-Weatherstrip/3465632?cm_mmc=SCE_PLA-_-ToolsAndHardware-_-WeatherstripSoftGoods-_-3465632:Frost_King&CAWELAID=&kpid=3465632&CAGPSPN=pla&store_code=2544&k_clickID=06413658-4937-44a3-b58b-776c2ec24f54

Eric
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What about rear projection? From the ceiling? Or off to the side? Can't you minimize the impact of bleed-through with ambient light (e.g., candles)? Worst case, couldn't I project on to a diagonal sheet of scrim (oriented the same as the Pepper's ghost glass)? Any bleed-through would be on an adjacent wall, rather than on the organ / organist.

I considered the use of Plexiglass with Pepper's ghost illusion, but it's still one big piece of Plexiglass. Again, a 4' x 4' x 8' room (which would barely contain the organ / organist ... it's more of a closet than a room) would involve a 5’ 8” x 8’ piece of Plexiglass. I appreciate the shrink-fit window film suggestion. I'm a little skeptical I could make a sheet of window film "disappear".

wbn
 

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What about rear projection? From the ceiling? Or off to the side? Can't you minimize the impact of bleed-through with ambient light (e.g., candles)? Worst case, couldn't I project on to a diagonal sheet of scrim (oriented the same as the Pepper's ghost glass)? Any bleed-through would be on an adjacent wall, rather than on the organ / organist.
The short answer to the bleed-through problem is to have it land on an object or in an area that can't be seen by the spectators. This only comes through trial and error and experimenting with the sight-lines you have to contend with.

When projecting at an angle, I suggest angling the projector beam rather than angling the scrim if possible; in other words, the scrim is facing straight on at the viewer and the projector is off to the viewers' left or right (or above or below, whatever). The greater the angle of the projection, the "skinnier" the image appears. Angling the scrim instead of the projector seems to amplify this effect, I don't know why.

As far as ambient light, I doubt candles would work, first because they're not bright enough and secondly they're a "static" light, if you take my meaning; the motion of the projected image would still be recognizable. MAYBE you could get away with those kaleidoscopic "fire and ice" lights, I don't know.

If the Haunted Mansion used projection instead of the Pepper's Ghost technique, it would be considered "front projection" (projecting from the same side of the scrim as the viewer). I'm not even sure how you could pull it off with rear projection but if you can figure it out, just keep in mind you also have to keep the hot spot out of sight (the actual lens of the projector, visible as a VERY bright circle of light).
 

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Hi everyone, Been a while but just happened to stop in and saw this.. I have wanted to do this for years myself ever since watching this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EntsUMlHAzs
the "Behind the scenes" shows why it only works with a limited viewing / tweaked viewer perspective:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Mie9pFMSwo&t=63s

Question.. Did you think of having a shadow player? Check out what Matt Champneys has from a few years ago Look at 2:15 in this video when he talks about the decomposing composer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWBFf7Qg_vE&t=135s

May be easier.. heck you could probably use a low res pico projector as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Excellent, Pete !

This certainly proves it'll work with a projector and a rather sizable piece of Plexiglass ... although I'd expect the Plexiglass to be closer to 7' x 8' with a 5' x 5' x 8' room.

I'm not sure I understand the advantage of using a live actor.

Any thoughts in terms of projecting on scrim (front or rear, from above or off to one side), rather than Plexiglass? I'd think the projector horizontal and vertical offset would compensate for the angle (i.e., in the same way you compensate for a home theater projector mounted to the ceiling). I noticed you used one of the AtmosFX videos. Any reason a front- or rear-projection Hollusion wouldn't work?

I'd prefer a 10' x 10' x 8 off-stage room which would require a ~14' x 8' piece of Plexiglass. Can you give us a sense of what a 4' x 8' sheet of Lexan costs? I can multiply the cost by 3.5.

wbn
 

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Excellent, Pete !

This certainly proves it'll work with a projector and a rather sizable piece of Plexiglass ... although I'd expect the Plexiglass to be closer to 7' x 8' with a 5' x 5' x 8' room.

I'm not sure I understand the advantage of using a live actor.

Any thoughts in terms of projecting on scrim (front or rear, from above or off to one side), rather than Plexiglass? I'd think the projector horizontal and vertical offset would compensate for the angle (i.e., in the same way you compensate for a home theater projector mounted to the ceiling). I noticed you used one of the AtmosFX videos. Any reason a front- or rear-projection Hollusion wouldn't work?

I'd prefer a 10' x 10' x 8 off-stage room which would require a ~14' x 8' piece of Plexiglass. Can you give us a sense of what a 4' x 8' sheet of Lexan costs? I can multiply the cost by 3.5.

wbn
Thanks!

The reason I used the plexi over scrim was because I was going for the Peppers Ghost type look like HM.


The use of a projection over an actor has many advantages. The same set up can be used with a live actor as well.
You would just need to add lighting to fade from one scene to the other.


I got the Plexi at Tapp Plastics. The larger sizes (over 4'X8 ' ) are only special order so I made the 4' X 8' work.
I think it was around 200.00 for a 1/4" thick 4'X8' sheet of lexan.
One set up concern is the viewers distance and viewing angle. Because the image appears to move on the glass relative to the observers motion and distance from the glass it is best to have a fixed spot to view it from. This is why the HM set up works- you are in a fixed viewing distance being in the Doom Buggy.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The reason I used the plexi over scrim was because I was going for the Peppers Ghost type look like HM.
Me, too. You don't think you could achieve the Pepper's Ghost look using something like AtmosFX "Hollusion" projection material?

The use of a projection over an actor has many advantages.
Agreed.

I got the Plexi at Tapp Plastics. The larger sizes (over 4'X8 ' ) are only special order so I made the 4' X 8' work.
I think it was around 200.00 for a 1/4" thick 4'X8' sheet of lexan.
That's not too bad. I bet a 7' x 8' sheet will be over $500. We had a TAP Plastics just down the street when I lived in San Jose. No TAP Plastics here. I'll need to look around for a local supplier.

One set up concern is the viewers distance and viewing angle. Because the image appears to move on the glass relative to the observers motion and distance from the glass it is best to have a fixed spot to view it from. This is why the HM set up works- you are in a fixed viewing distance being in the Doom Buggy.
Yes. As others have suggested, it's going to take a bit of experimentation. Thanks for sharing.

wbn
 
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