Halloween Forum banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Here are a few test videos using my "new" (refurbished off eBay) ~2,200 lumens projector I got for less than $100 with free shipping, having less than 500 lamp hours. It's a model we were discussing over on another thread--a used Polaroid from Amazon. Although one is branded Polaroid and mine is branded Mitsubishi, I believe they may be the identical model, due to having the same model number and visually looking the same (from Amazon / eBay photos). That other thread is here:
http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/136919-projector-help.html

Long story short, it's bright enough to be seen during early morning hours after sunrise. And so I'm hoping it will be similarly bright enough to be seen early on Halloween before dark when the younger kids start trick-or-treating.

I liked the projector so much I found and ordered another refurbed Mitsubishi XD500U from eBay--this time finding one that is said to have between 500 and 800 lamp hours on it for $80 including shipping.

Anyway, here are two test videos I took between 7am and 7:30am or so this morning, Eastern time:

Test video #1 morning:

Test video #2 morning:

Rear projection surface I believe is a cheap, thin, white plastic tablecloth sourced from either Party City or Dollar Tree.

Although I purchased Ghostly Apparitions from AtmosfearFX a few weeks ago at Spirit, most of the ghost loops in that collection are too "evil" / scary for my yard haunt. Love the bride, except for the final moments of the loop (a scare / startle). May use the butler though in one of my windows. Would be perfect except for when he removes his head--again, I go for atmosphere, not fear (mostly due to the number of little kids trick-or-treating). Not judging, just trying to be respectful of those who visit my yard haunt and the type of subdivision I live in--one in which many opt-out of Halloween entirely due to religious reasons.

Here's the instruction manual for my projector(s):
http://www.mitsubishielectric.com/bu/projectors/downloads/pdf/xd500u/manual_xd500u.pdf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Photo of my set-up

Here's a photo of my set-up. A cheap black plastic shelving unit (HDX brand) from Home Depot. You may be able to see in the photo that I was experimenting with some of the various Fire and Ice spotlights, some Daren Wave / Aurora master units, and the 3W LED ocean wave pirate light as backdrops for Rona the Ghost Maid. Those were taken very early AM this morning while it was still dark. May post a few, although my digital camera doesn't do justice to what I saw in-person. The videos are a bit fuzzy / washed out. Anyway, here's the photo of the projector / DVD player set-up:

SAM_1041.jpg

Window rear projected onto, interior view. You can the projection surface is thin cheap white plastic; not stretched particularly tight, etc:
SAM_1039.jpg

Outside view. Looks much better in-person than what my camera was able to capture:
SAM_1022.jpg

SAM_1023.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,093 Posts
Hey Mike glad to see you decided to hire Rona as your maid! We enjoyed her service at our house, Ghost Manor Inn, last year. Dminor did a great job with her. And he makes her so reasonable to hire/own for members who are looking for her maid service.

She looks great in your window. I think the projector has enough lumens to do a good job in the early evening (test 1) and definitely does well come darker conditions (test 2). She is clearly visible from a considerable distance. I'm sure the videos will be helpful to anyone looking to buy a projector and not sure what to look for. We had one large picture window with two smaller adjacent side windows to project her path on. If I'm not mistaken from your previous videos inside, aren't both of your windows at that side of the house in one room? Wondering if you can project her to travel from one window to the next? I know sometimes it's not possible depending on how she was filmed and how far back the projector has to be to do that. We only had 8 feet of throw but were able have her travel more across the house as our windows were so close together. She does fit nicely in your window regardless. Good height and enough movement. The kids are in for a treat this year. You're really stepping it up with everything you are doing!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Hey Mike glad to see you decided to hire Rona as your maid! We enjoyed her service at our house, Ghost Manor Inn, last year. Dminor did a great job with her. And he makes her so reasonable to hire/own for members who are looking for her maid service.

She looks great in your window. I think the projector has enough lumens to do a good job in the early evening (test 1) and definitely does well come darker conditions (test 2). She is clearly visible from a considerable distance. I'm sure the videos will be helpful to anyone looking to buy a projector and not sure what to look for. We had one large picture window with two smaller adjacent side windows to project her path on. If I'm not mistaken from your previous videos inside, aren't both of your windows at that side of the house in one room? Wondering if you can project her to travel from one window to the next? I know sometimes it's not possible depending on how she was filmed and how far back the projector has to be to do that. We only had 8 feet of throw but were able have her travel more across the house as our windows were so close together. She does fit nicely in your window regardless. Good height and enough movement. The kids are in for a treat this year. You're really stepping it up with everything you are doing!!
Thanks so much for the kind words Spookie! Also happy Rona provided superb service at your residence. :) Alas, no picture windows at all in my abode. Just many tall, narrow ones. I'd love Rona to at least walk between two windows. Actually had the thought earlier today when I bought my second projector. What I might need to do is position them both at the same height, split the video signal coming from the DVD player (just a single yellow composite cable), then point each projector such that wanders from one window to another. Don't see any other way to do it given the depth restrictions of that particular bedroom.

There are 5 windows across my home. The two seen on the left are one bedoom. The two windows on the far right are another bedroom. And the window in the center of the second story is a closet in the bedroom to the right.

It would be terrific to have Rona roam the entire upstairs--possibly skipping the closet (I could easily forgive her that). But would likely need four projectors. Would also need to somehow edit the source video / play with the width. Don't see it happening this season, but one never knows. :) Thanks again for your kind words / inspiration. And kudos / props to Dminor for producing exactly the right effect I wanted--spooky but not super-scary. And a dollop of fun / playfulness thrown in with the gloom.

Here are a few more test videos of Rona using the 3W blue LED ocean wave device folks are discussing on a Pirate thread. My digital camera doesn't quite capture how cool it looks from the exterior. Color / video is all washed-out. Again, a limitation of my point and shoot digital camera:


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,093 Posts
I was actually kind of surprised given how bright the Fire & Ice (and your wave light's blue) LEDs are that she still projects so well. I think you have the right idea adding a motion background light to the room's walls/ceiling to draw attention to the windows there. ToTers are more likely to then notice the projection that way because their eyes will be trained up there even when she's not in view. At our house some noticed her on the way up for treats and commented, other's didn't see her until they were walking away and caught a glimpse of her and then watched from the street. Others we know from viewing our security cam never noticed her being focused on doing things with friends and looking at other props.

You know the Lowe's multi-colored Fire & Ice kind of reminds me of a church's stain glass window coloring. Might be a useful application of the fixture for an old church's haunted cemetary ruins or castle ruins scene.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Toxic / Green Fire & Ice spotlight

I was actually kind of surprised given how bright the Fire & Ice (and your wave light's blue) LEDs are that she still projects so well. I think you have the right idea adding a motion background light to the room's walls/ceiling to draw attention to the windows there. ToTers are more likely to then notice the projection that way because their eyes will be trained up there even when she's not in view. At our house some noticed her on the way up for treats and commented, other's didn't see her until they were walking away and caught a glimpse of her and then watched from the street. Others we know from viewing our security cam never noticed her being focused on doing things with friends and looking at other props.

You know the Lowe's multi-colored Fire & Ice kind of reminds me of a church's stain glass window coloring. Might be a useful application of the fixture for an old church's haunted cemetary ruins or castle ruins scene.
Thanks Dave and Spookie for the feedback. @Spookie, great idea about the multi-colored F&I subbing in for a stained glass church or abbey window. Also agree that it, for me anyway, is a happy accident that the constant motion of the ancillary lighting will attract ToTs eyes; humans are much like cats in that, like you say, they're attracted to motion. Especially important since Rona appears so infrequently.

Here's another set of test videos, this time with Spirit Halloween's "Toxic" / Green Fire and Ice spolight:

Exterior:

Interior:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Final set of test videos

Here's the final set of test videos--for now anyway--using the Fire and Ice spotlights. I have a few more videos showing the Aurora Master in a few of its different modes. But they're a bit too dim to see well in the exterior shots. And it was so early in the morning this morning when I shot the video that I don't even recall how they came across in person. But if anyone wants, I could at least post a few of the interior Aurora Master videos--don't think I even bothered with the Daren Wave, since the Aurora Master has a blue mode.

Interior:

Exterior:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Finally bit the bullet and cored an XD500U from ebay but it is still in transit so I haven't had a good look at all the connections. One question, what cable are you using to connect the dvd player to the projector? Looks great and thanks and thanks in advance for the info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Finally bit the bullet and cored an XD500U from ebay but it is still in transit so I haven't had a good look at all the connections. One question, what cable are you using to connect the dvd player to the projector? Looks great and thanks and thanks in advance for the info.
Thanks Rob! Hope you're as happy with your XD500U as I am with mine. My third XD500U arrived via FedEx yesterday... :)
I used a plain old Composite RCA cable (typically a yellow plug) to connect the DVD player to the projector.
And I recently picked up a cheap Y splitter cable to send the same DVD player signal to two projectors.

Didn't notice any degradation in quality when splitting the signal. For anyone interested, I used an RCA male to two RCA female Y cable / adapter / splitter. The RCA male plug goes into the Composite video out from the DVD player, then you supply your own male-to-male "yellow" RCA cables to connect to the video projectors--you could also use a white or red RCA male-to-male cable for the video signal; shouldn't matter.

Some other input options are monitor (RGB) and s-video. No newer options like HDMI or DVI since it's an older projector.

Here are some photos. Not quite sure what to do with the odd USB form factor input (printer style?)--somewhere in the manual for it online, it says that can be used for Presentations. That could mean it has an auto JPG player--not sure.

Looking these photos over, I also see there's a Serial port--haven't seen one of those in a while. As well as an RGB monitor out. Makes me wonder if I could simply use the monitor out on one projector connected to monitor in on the second--don't know if it "steals" the signal or simply passes it along. If it just passes along the signal, might be cool to chain three XD500U projectors together using RGB monitor cables.

SAM_1208.jpg

SAM_1209.jpg

SAM_1210.jpg

SAM_1211.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Trying to get Rona to project onto two windows using one video source


Here's the description from YouTube video I just posted:

"Here's a test of the Rona Ghost Maid halloween projection effect, sold by Better Haunts and Gardens, split between two windows using two projectors and one video source.

Without the luxury of a picture window, or two windows immediately adjacent to each other, I'm trying to make due with two narrow windows having, *ahem*, Dead Space, between them.

Not sure how this will look from the outside--too early in the day to tell. But here's how this was accomplished:

1) Split the video signal (composite) from a single DVD player using a "male RCA to two female RCA Y" adapter cable, with two male-to-male composite cables, one going to each projector.

2) Cross-aimed the projectors so that the XD500U on the left projects onto the right window, and the XD500U on the right projects to the left window. Otherwise, the path Rona walked wasn't correct.

Again, not sure how this will look from the outside. Because there's no natural delay between Rona passing from one window, through the empty space, to the other. But then she's a Ghost Maid with Ghostly Powers, right? Here's hoping an architectural technical work-around turns out looking cool to outside observers.

I paused the DVD player deliberately while filming this YouTube test video to show that, hopefully, there's no projection overlap between windows--or at least none that makes a notable difference to viewers.

For this video, I've got Rona on an A/B Repeat loop from around 2:09 to 2:14. This precise configuration may not work for all of Rona's window passes--that remains to be seen. Wanted to see if it would work at all with at least one window pass. The entire Rona video projection effect has a run time of approximately 6 minutes."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Most test videos

This is probably about as good as I'm going to be able to get it. Had to sacrifice more window width for a delay:



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
I see what you did: Knowing that there was no delay , you set up the 2nd projector to start from the wall between the two windows to anticipate the maid from the 1st projector so that from the 2nd window it would look like she crossed over when in reality its just the tail end of her crossing that we're seeing.

That is awesome. Well done!

Victor
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I see what you did: Knowing that there was no delay , you set up the 2nd projector to start from the wall between the two windows to anticipate the maid from the 1st projector so that from the 2nd window it would look like she crossed over when in reality its just the tail end of her crossing that we're seeing.

That is awesome. Well done!

Victor
Thanks Victor! :) Yep, it took a lot of experimentation to arrive at that solution but it seems to work. Also, the projectors are in an X / cross configuration with respect to the chairs each sits on. With your back against the rear wall of the room, facing the two windows, I had to angle each projector so that each aims at the window opposite of the chair its sits on.

Before I looped any particular window pass of the Ghost Maid (Left to Right or Right to Left), it seemed when aiming each projector from its chair, in a straight line to the widow sitting in front of each projector, that the path of the Ghost Maid wasn't correct. Can't quite explain it, especially this early in the morning. However, cross-angling the projectors made making fine adjustments of the angle of each projector a bit awkward as I'm mildly dyslexic. :) But it's what seemed to be required.

Ideally, there would be no separation at all between the two Maid projections; so the delay would be precisely what one would expect. But then I'd sacrifice even more projection surface width, in each window, for the Ghost Maid. So I couldn't overlap the two projections exactly. Hope that makes sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
Thinking about doing this next year. It is very cool!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thinking about doing this next year. It is very cool!!
Thanks Berserker. This all has me wondering now--if I could find a sufficiently good, free open source Video editor for Windows--Windows Movie Maker is either too limiting; or it has lots of plug-ins and functionality I know nothing about; if I could make a single projection video of the two Ronas walking together, that would free up an entire projector for use in another room. Assuming I could get the projection rectangle cover all parts of both windows that I need it to cover.

I've seen people bounce video projection light off mirrors to increase the size of the projection image, e.g. decrease the throw space required to get the desired size. For example, to get a larger image than you have depth in a room from, like a shallow closet that has a window.

When you bounce a projection off a mirror, you lose some lumens and possibly some clarity. But I feel the XD500U has sufficient lumens (~2200) where some loss of brightness wouldn't be an issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,093 Posts
Hey Mike that little trick of yours turned out pretty good! Very ingenious.

The only thing that I would change is how high in the window she appears. Can you lower her so she isn't trunacated at the bottom and fills the window space near the window ledge? If not maybe adding a solid filler panel (ie rectangular piece of cardboard even) in the lower window panel can make up the difference and present the same look as lowering the image. I know from our past project work in our house, sometimes it's hard to reposition the projector angle.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top