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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks - this is my first post and I'm looking for opinions.

I recently acquired the DVD "Ghostly Apparitions" by AtmosfearFX. On the Blog section of their site is a description of how to project the image onto a transparent fabric to create a Pepper's Ghost-type of effect. I'm curious if any of the forum members have done this or anything like it. I'm specifically looking for recommendations for fabric for the scrim. The Blog recommends gray mesh for a bridal veil. Has anyone tried anything else? A different type of fabric or mosquito netting or what have you? Is a darker material better than lighter?

This is not a traditional scrim per se, it doesn't matter if it appears opaque under certain lighting. The main objective is to have a scrim that is as invisible as possible but still produces a good image from the projector.

Glad to be aboard, friends, and thanks for any help!
 

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I am also dying to learn the answer to this question. Or for that matter, to learn where one gets a grey scrim (doesn't seem like a popular wedding color...). I suspect that white will work (the lighting is very controlled around the fabric) but the it's the size of the weave that is uncertain. Also cotton versus nylon fabric etc.

I posted the question to their website and referenced this post. They have been pretty responsive in the past.

For those that don't know what we are talking about. It's this. Pretty freaking awesome and reason enough to buy this DVD, eh? You just need to control the sight lines so it's hard to see the splash on the surface beyond the fabric in the doorway.
 

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A grey-colored scrim could be typical "screen door" screen.
I would think a white scrim would work well, however, if it's a synthetic material like nylon. The material would be more reflective than a natural fiber, so if the projector is on the same side of the scrim as the viewer, it should show up well.
In addition, the synthetic fiber should be a bit more translucent than a natural fiber, so if the projector is on the opposite side of the viewer, hopefully a bit more of the light will show through the fibers, making it a bit brighter.

In a really dark area, black nylon scrim might work well, as long as the projection is on the same side of the scrim as the viewer. The reflectiveness of the fibers will allow the projection to show up quite nicely, and the darkness would hide the black scrim almost completely.
 

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Scrims would typically be used in front- or back-projection scenarios, for which I have no experience. For side-lit projection (see Pepper's Ghost illusion), one could use that window weatherproofing shrinking plastic, put over a frame and shrunk taut (i.e., without wrinkles). Glass is the best, but getting and storing a large pane is problematic.
 

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Told you they would reply. Here it is:

"Hello,

We used a grey bridal mesh. You can read the AtmosFX blog post that breaks down supplies and set-up:
http://atmosfearfx.com/blog/entry/creating-the-perfect-materializing-ghost-effect

Cheers,
The AtmosFX Team"

I guess that doesn't tell us much more than you already knew ("grey bridal mesh") because you had seen that blog already. At the risk of being annoying,I will press for more info. Will let you know what I get.
 

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Well this is the last communication I got from them:

Hello,

Unfortunately, the blog post has all the information that is available. There was no brand name, weave size, or other info on the fabric. The tag had a generic name - ‘grey bridal mesh’.

We recommend going to your local fabric store with a flashlight to test out which fabrics work best for your display. Shining the light through the back of the fabric is a good indicator of how the effective the fabric will be with a projection.

Cheers,

The AtmosFX Team
 

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Well, I will be making an attempt using their suggested 'flashlight' method. Thanks for the effort, and for sharing the fruit of your labor, Gus! ;)

I've been looking for a way to bring off a projection effect in the center of the yard without having to go the Pepper's Ghost route. This is the closest thing I've seen to the notion that is in my head.

I don't know that I'll get to it any time soon, but if I find something with a SKU, or other reference number/name, I'll post it right back here....
 

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Anyone have any update on this? I tried general grey, white, and black tulle from a local fabric store. They all work somewhat, but are not dense enough. It looks like ~ 35 thread/inch on the images from atmosfearfx. My general tulle is ~ 15-20 threads/inch and the threads are definitely thinner. It CAN work, but in my opinion just isn't bright enough. I've tried doubling them together in a brief test. This works better for the brightness of the ghost, but you have to be VERY meticulous on making sure the 2 layers don't have any gaps between them. It actually gets a bit more 3D ish with a gap, but the ghosts start taking on a wonky appearance and aren't "clean". I'm still looking for a more dense material that is still translucent enough. I'd love to hear more ideas!
 

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this effect is very cool.
but I wonder if you need to be concerned with the image showing up on a surface after it passes through the mesh. like on an adjacent wall etc.

still interested in learning of a proven fabric for this application.
please post details if anyone finds a good fabric
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, you do need to control viewing angles, some of the image WILL pass thru the scrim and land on some object(s) beyond. I still haven't settled on a material yet but it will probably be either white bridal veil material, black veil material, or very small gauge charcoal fiberglass screen like is used for screen doors and windows. I tested each of these through a doorway between rooms in my house. All display a satisfactory image but I need to wait until the weather warms up so I can work outside in the actual conditions I need to deal with and see what looks best.

The way I'll be setting up (hopefully) is in a garage. The layout is such that the front door that faces the street is in a direct line of sight with another door that faces the back yard. My plan is to have the scrim covering the back doorway and project onto it from inside the garage; but at a slight angle so any bleed-through is projected onto some bushes that aren't visible from the front of the house. With a flood light illuminating the back yard and the interior of the garage completely dark I'm hoping a good Pepper's Ghost-type effect will result.

You basically just have to play around and experiment with all the variables that would affect viewing and projecting angles. For instance, maybe you could rear project from a very LOW angle and the bleed-through shows up above and behind the spectators where they can't see it or would have no reason to look. Maybe the bleed-through is visible on a side wall but you position some object between it and the spectators. I don't see this being any more angle-sensitive than the classic Pepper's Ghost illusion, you just have to experiment and find what works for your particular conditions.
 

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My application is indoors, and yes I am definitely going to have to deal with the bleed through. My plan was rear projection at an angle much like the video here (where you can see the bleed actually if you look...) and build a slight angle of plastic sheeting out on the right hand wall, which would effetively be the "thing in between" the bleed and the audience. That part I'm not worried about. I'm just concerned about find the "right" material. I'm going back to the fabric store to try some more slightly opaque material (read: thicker or more dense) so I get more light bouncing off. If I find a good candidate, I'll definitely post the a link to the material. If anyone knows links to good material, please post a URL!

Part of me almost wants to just bite the bullet and try www [dot] studio-productions-inc [dot] com /set_home.html with an 8' by 5' finished scrim ~$60. (sorry this is only my second post and the moderators wont let a URL go through until you have 3...sheesh. Anyway, I'll leave it to you to interpret that URL.

Keep the input coming folks! :D
 

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Yes, you do need to control viewing angles, some of the image WILL pass thru the scrim and land on some object(s) beyond. I still haven't settled on a material yet but it will probably be either white bridal veil material, black veil material, or very small gauge charcoal fiberglass screen like is used for screen doors and windows. I tested each of these through a doorway between rooms in my house. All display a satisfactory image but I need to wait until the weather warms up so I can work outside in the actual conditions I need to deal with and see what looks best.

The way I'll be setting up (hopefully) is in a garage. The layout is such that the front door that faces the street is in a direct line of sight with another door that faces the back yard. My plan is to have the scrim covering the back doorway and project onto it from inside the garage; but at a slight angle so any bleed-through is projected onto some bushes that aren't visible from the front of the house. With a flood light illuminating the back yard and the interior of the garage completely dark I'm hoping a good Pepper's Ghost-type effect will result.

You basically just have to play around and experiment with all the variables that would affect viewing and projecting angles. For instance, maybe you could rear project from a very LOW angle and the bleed-through shows up above and behind the spectators where they can't see it or would have no reason to look. Maybe the bleed-through is visible on a side wall but you position some object between it and the spectators. I don't see this being any more angle-sensitive than the classic Pepper's Ghost illusion, you just have to experiment and find what works for your particular conditions.
jco
Agreed, I didnt mean to sound as though the bleed trough would be a deal breaker.
Only that it should expected.
And as you point out. have a plan to mitigate the side effect
 

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I am also getting close to experimenting with scrim materials. The bummer with the "studio scrim "suggested by Zewyn is what happens if you buy it and the results are disappointing. If I knew the results would be amazing, I would probably splurge (probably good for multiple years). Probably not returnable is my guess.

I was thinking of emailing them, giving them this link, and asking for their recommendation. Did you try that already Zewyn?
 

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Part of me almost wants to just bite the bullet and try www [dot] studio-productions-inc [dot] com /set_home.html with an 8' by 5' finished scrim ~$60. (sorry this is only my second post and the moderators wont let a URL go through until you have 3...sheesh. Anyway, I'll leave it to you to interpret that URL.
Well, I completely understand your desire to 'bite the bullet' on this particular product. They sure paint a rosy picture of their material. However, I will tell you that I did pull the trigger on this particular bullet, and felt like a complete imbecile when it arrived.

Fair warning, it is literally weed stop. Yes, the stuff you can buy at Home Depot or Lowe's to prevent weeds in your garden. Not even the good stuff. Just the plain ol' $5 a roll weed stop.

Now, I'm not saying it won't work; it does to a degree. However, it doesn't offer any substantively different results than you can achieve with any number of other products (including weed stop), and wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Luckily, I only purchased a small piece....it really could have been SO much worse. Just my opinion, of course, but I would definitely categorize this as a caveat emptor type scenario. ;)
 

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If you go to your local fabric store and ask for grey tulle (pronounced "tool") and look for one with a hexagonal pattern, that should give you what AtmosFEAR used. Just make sure that the holes in the fabric aren't too big that you can't see through it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If you go to your local fabric store and ask for grey tulle (pronounced "tool") and look for one with a hexagonal pattern, that should give you what AtmosFEAR used. Just make sure that the holes in the fabric aren't too big that you can't see through it.
Dminor - thanks for the tip but forgive my ignorance - isn't being able to see through it half the point? I want as little evidence as possible that there is ANYTHING there to project on to. I'm ok with losing a little brightness of the projected image, I think that might even make it a bit more realistic in some ways.
 

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No worries! Actually, now that I'm reading it again, it was written in a confusing manner. Basically I meant to say that you don't want that holes so big that what you're projecting onto it doesn't have anything to be seen against...but also not too small that it's not see through enough for the environment you're using it in.
 
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