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Discussion Starter #1
I'm still uncomfortable with the idea of pointing a green laser vortex at an audience, due to real or merely perceived safety issues. But searching around on YouTube I found what may be a cool and safer alternative - using a DJ style moonflower light plus fog. I'm interested in potentially setting one of these up in my two car garage. Here's the video I found. It also reminds me of the light tunnel effect seen at the beginning of Epcot Center Norway's Maelstrom ride, where you're starting to ascend at the beginning of the attraction:


In a garage, it should be dark enough and I wouldn't have to worry about wind dispersing the fog too quickly. However, it wouldn't be a Haunted Garage. Don't want it to be a walkthru or to attract interested trick-or-treaters. Is there any kind of inexpensive mesh netting I could hang to the outside of the garage door to discourage anyone trying to walk into the garage? Maybe like those child safety pool screens you sometimes see.

Wonder if there's something strong enough to keep little kids out. But that would let enough light in to see the moonflower light tunnel. Also makes me wonder about scrim. Having some sort of cool scene in the garage, viewable from the driveway part of the time, e.g. front lighting it, then backlighting it on a timer.

Anyway, I think the guy mentions using a ~$150 American DJ moonflower unit. That's a bit out of my price range. Any other model suggestions? Recently saw a large rotating multi-color "globe" light at Party City for $15. Can't help but wonder if I could mount it horizontally rather than have it stand vertically, and sub that in for a moonflower light tunnel effect. Don't know if it would be bright enough. Or if I could mod it to use a brighter light bulb.

Here's the Party City item:

Spinning Rainbow Light 9in SKU: 215559
http://www.partycity.com/product/spinning+rainbow+party+light.do?from=Search&navSet=spinning%20rainbow%20light
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've seen a YouTube vid where a projector was used, it was stunning. Sorry, at work and can't find the link to it.
Thanks God of Thunder. It would be great if you could post a link to the video when you have time. Would love to repurpose and use stuff I already own, like my el cheapo Discovery Wonderwall projector--one of which is still unboxed from the Woot.com deal a while back.
 

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been watching the laptop screen in the corner.

so all you would need is a video of a black screen with a green circle. burned to a dvd played thru a projector to replicate the laser vortex???

anyone know how to make such a video?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Wow! Thanks for posting! :) Looks fantastic. I read in the comments while viewing this directly from YouTube that it uses a regular video projector, but it's 2700 lumens. So I may be able to use my Digital Galaxy DG-747 2500 lumens projector. Not sure about the Wonderwall--forget how many lumens it has, but not much. Would prefer to use the Wonderwall for a tunnel effect because I want to reserve the DG-747 for higher-resolution stuff (may try to project tarantulas or snakes this season). Imagine you'd be able to have a cone in the source video and thus simulate what a real laser vortex does.

Icemanfred, in the description section for the video it states:

"A digital projector shines points of light through a foggy room, creating a fairly inexpensive alternative to a programmable laser projector."
Would love to have the source video (or something like it) for testing this out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
been watching the laptop screen in the corner.

so all you would need is a video of a black screen with a green circle. burned to a dvd played thru a projector to replicate the laser vortex???

anyone know how to make such a video?
You beat me to it. I just noticed the laptop in the video and have been watching it. Hard to see, but I think you're correct. Black screen plus green circle should produce a green "laser" vortex. And a single series of dots that rotate in a circle should produce the Moonflower tunnel effect.

As far as how to make such a video, Windows Movie Maker should be able to do it. It either came free with my Windows XP OS or was a free download from Microsoft. You could use a free drawing program--even MS Paint!--to create a green circle JPG on a black background--and feed that into Windows Movie Maker. That's essentially what I did to create my Ghostly Footsteps video. Just created a series of JPG images with IrfanView (another free image software for Windows), then used Windows Movie Maker to sequence them together and use fade effects between images. Pretty easy to do.

I left a comment on Austro's video (the one God of thunder posted here) asking if he'd share his source video. But may create my own--no promises though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Icemanfred, there seems to be free open source software called MusicBeam available for Windows, Mac, and Linux that will create Moonflower patterns, etc.
Haven't used it yet, but here's a video from the developer:


And here is the MusicBeam software web site:

http://musicbeam.zepplab.net/
 

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thanks. I will look into it.
you might want to use the high power projector for the tunnel. and use the lower power for the spiders/snakes. dont need high resolution for them
 

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this is a great idea. using a movie projector
but I think that software seems too advanced to just do the vortex tunnel.
dont really need a light show or to be synced to music.

just need that green circle to be steady. and let the fog do the rest.
not to mention I would prefer not to tie up a computer. dvd players are a dime a dozen .
 

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Discussion Starter #12
this is a great idea. using a movie projector
but I think that software seems too advanced to just do the vortex tunnel.
dont really need a light show or to be synced to music.

just need that green circle to be steady. and let the fog do the rest.
not to mention I would prefer not to tie up a computer. dvd players are a dime a dozen .
I'm with you. Don't need sync to music, etc. Although it seems like a great feature for home parties, clubs, etc. No promises, but prior to Halloween I'm really hoping to give this a try. I would burn to DVD for convenience, reliability, ease of set-up/break down, etc. Will share source videos to YouTube if I make any.

One thing the MusicBeam folks say is that in addition to high lumens, it also helps to have a projector with a high contrast ratio. The Wonderwall probably fails on that count. Dunno.
 

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I'm with you. Don't need sync to music, etc. Although it seems like a great feature for home parties, clubs, etc. No promises, but prior to Halloween I'm really hoping to give this a try. I would burn to DVD for convenience, reliability, ease of set-up/break down, etc. Will share source videos to YouTube if I make any.

One thing the MusicBeam folks say is that in addition to high lumens, it also helps to have a projector with a high contrast ratio. The Wonderwall probably fails on that count. Dunno.
do you mean give music beam a try of try to create the green circle in another program?

wondering of once a show is created , if it can be exported or burned to disc.

I think the wonderwall would be better suited to project spiders or snakes.
 

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so here you can see what the scanner (using the program) looks like against a wall.
next is just a green circle againt a black background done in windows movie maker.
the white bars above and below give off alot of light but without it the green circle is pretty bright. maybe even bright enough for the tunnel effect.
may try this with fog and see if it works.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
so here you can see what the scanner (using the program) looks like against a wall.
next is just a green circle againt a black background done in windows movie maker.
the white bars above and below give off alot of light but without it the green circle is pretty bright. maybe even bright enough for the tunnel effect.
may try this with fog and see if it works.
Thanks for posting your results so far Fred. If you make a video of the green circle and burn to DVD, hopefully it has a function where you can zoom in and out to play around with the area of the projected cone. If not, you could just create different sized circle JPGs and add them to your Windows Movie Maker movie. Would love to see it blown with fog when you get to it. For the projector you intend to use, how many lumens does it have? If you have suggestions for, or questions about, the MusicBeam software, it sounds like the creators want feedback here: [email protected].

This projector method opens up so many different possibilities like a vortex within a vortex and all other sorts of cool kinds of geometries and colors. Really liked seeing the blue vortex in the video God of Thunder posted (blue lasers are still expensive) as well as the undulating color-changing liquid sky, etc. Really have no idea what software was used by the guy in that video. It's neat that such simple geometries look so spectacular when projected and blown with fog--or possibly even just haze.

@AMK, thanks. I've been unhappy with the potential safety of the green laser vortex pointed at an audience for years (again, real and merely perceived). So this is a very cool find.

Wonder if there is other software out there. Or if VexFX could whip something up in a Flash application like with his Ghost Steps. Still would be an issue of capturing video. But I know at least SnagIt for Windows has a 30 day free trial that will capture video as .AVI files. Then other software could convert to formats playable by certain DVD players.
 

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Thanks for posting your results so far Fred. If you make a video of the green circle and burn to DVD, hopefully it has a function where you can zoom in and out to play around with the area of the projected cone. If not, you could just create different sized circle JPGs and add them to your Windows Movie Maker movie. Would love to see it blown with fog when you get to it. For the projector you intend to use, how many lumens does it have? If you have suggestions for, or questions about, the MusicBeam software, it sounds like the creators want feedback here: [email protected].

This projector method opens up so many different possibilities like a vortex within a vortex and all other sorts of cool kinds of geometries and colors. Really liked seeing the blue vortex in the video God of Thunder posted (blue lasers are still expensive) as well as the undulating color-changing liquid sky, etc. Really have no idea what software was used by the guy in that video. It's neat that such simple geometries look so spectacular when projected and blown with fog--or possibly even just haze.

@AMK, thanks. I've been unhappy with the potential safety of the green laser vortex pointed at an audience for years (again, real and merely perceived). So this is a very cool find.

Wonder if there is other software out there. Or if VexFX could whip something up in a Flash application like with his Ghost Steps. Still would be an issue of capturing video. But I know at least SnagIt for Windows has a 30 day free trial that will capture video as .AVI files. Then other software could convert to formats playable by certain DVD players.

already burned three different size green circles to dvds.
hoping to run the fog machine tonight and test.
using 2500 lumen projector with 2200:1 contrast
 

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in the video god of thunder posted I noticed in the comments all the way at the bottom. the guy says he used:
Adobe Flash CS3
 
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