Disappointing results with Wonderwall projector for simulated laser vortex effect
I had very disappointing results attempting this effect with the Discovery Wonderwall early AM this morning, when conditions in my garage would be as dark as they'd ever be during trick or treating, e.g. there's a street light across from my house, etc. It was so disappointing that I don't feel it's worthwhile to post any videos. The digital point-and-shoot camera I use for video is fine for lights-on video but terrible in low light.
The concept is absolutely sound--it will work with a sufficiently bright projector. And possibly with the Wonderwall in very near or total darkness.
Thinking my ~2200 to ~2500 lumens Digital Galaxy DG-747 might work. But I'm reluctant to try. Because given the "confined space" of a garage, even with the garage door wide open, I don't know what the fog might do to my projector over an entire evening of use. Was really looking forward to the sheer variety of vortex effects a video projector would allow.
The key really seems to be brightness. And that's where a green laser, so to say, shines. But I'm done thinking about laser safety issues and so still won't deploy with a laser. Since I have two Wonderwalls, I'm potentially willing to sacrifice one by subbing in a different bulb. But so far, I don't know of a single person who has been successful at significantly boosting the lumens output of a Wonderwall.
Wondering how many lumens the Holiday Projectors (using glass slides) have. Anyone know? Or how many lumens an old-school slide projector puts out. May have to start looking through thrift stores again. Or search eBay.
I'd still encourage others with the Wonderwall, or equivalent "toy" projectors like the Shift3, to test. Maybe there's a way to tweak the brightness of the projected image, e.g. creating a thicker ring, using different RGB values for the ring, coming up with some other geometry that when projected is more noticeable (if anyone wants to move away from the classic single "green laser vortex" tunnel), etc. Or even mess with the Wonderwall settings. I think I turned the contrast way down and the color up. You know, when you're doing projected effects of images, you typically try to set the projector so that the border of the rectangle--the area that should be black--isn't noticeable. With this effect, maybe it's ok to pump things up so that the "rectangle" appears. Because the light source is so weak that it will disappear on its own when aimed from the garage to "infinity" (toward the outside). I also forgot to mess with focusing the Wonderwall. Not sure if that would have made a difference. Or playing with color settings on the DVD player itself.
Finally, it was tough getting constant fog--Fred, I experienced the same problem as you with fog dissipating too fast. So I brought in a second fog machine to help with that. I was also fumbling in the darkness with my DVD player in Slideshow mode. One thing I'd do next time is make individual videos of each image that run for several minutes each for easier testing. Although there's a way to get a JPG to play by itself and not cycle to the next one, in practice, fumbling in the dark--and the wee hours of the morning--I never got that to work.