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Moonflower light tunnel = safer alternative to green laser vortex?

13844 Views 52 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  mikeerdas
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
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Here we go

Please note they used a digital projector so YMMV

what? this was done with t projector???
can you explain more about it?
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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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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
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.
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.
couldnt resist downloading this program.
'but still can figure how the tunnel effect, in the first few seconds, was created using this program

Here we go

Please note they used a digital projector so YMMV

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.

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
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
looks like what I have. only I just concentrated on one green circle.
when I saved the image as a bitmap( in paint) and imported to windows movie maker it played for 7 seconds. so I kept adding that bitmap till I got about a minute.
then saved that and added that, ten times to windows dvd maker and made a dvd that looped. dvd seems to work fine on the laptop.

I wanted to test w/fog and dvd tonight. we'll see.
I was setting up the dvd player, fog machine and projector.
even though the sun was still up ( you can see how much the sun is shinning against the back wall at the end of the video).
I couldnt resist running it.

may still do another test in the dark.
forgive to bad video. but its hard to hold the camera and control the fog machine at the same time:

wondering if the is distance limitations. I am 6 ft from the opening of the garage (30"wide vortex at this distance). wind takes the fog away quickly at this point, can t tell.
have no idea if this will work ...

instead of using a dvd ... what if you masked a green colored plastic sheet with say aluminum foil with just a thin circle cut out of it placed in front of the projector, or really you could probably use any high intensity light source, ... wouldn't you get a green cone of light projecting out?

i'm thinking this might be easier ... but i don't really know if this would work as i haven't tried this method

sorry if i didn't make myself clear

do you mean , like a slide projector?
I originally was going to display this behind a large stone-like facade with 2"cutout in the center.
My idea back then was to use a play tunnel behind the facade to contain the fog.
I had found one that was something like 30" in diameter.
But that was a couple of years ago.
I had shelved the whole idea due to safety concerns.
May revisit the vortex application for this year.
wondering if leaving an image playing for hours will "burn" the image into the projector.
I remember seeing that pic. It was a project on the monster list.

I just don't feel that it gets the same effect.
The vortex needs a bright light to cut through, so you can see the cross sectionof fog. And a contained ssource of fog to keep it from disipating. It , the fog, needs to be constantly rolling. So when a narrow, bright light cuts through. You see a cross sectionthat is swirling alot.
Almost certain your fog need to be running constanly
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