View Full Version : Creating the Illusion of multiple levels

09-04-2010, 02:16 PM
With the theme of a haunted cruise ship we feel the need to create the illusion that the guests are going deeper and deeper into the ship. The problem of course is that our haunt is only one level. We do take them down the stairs to get into the actual haunt and we are having an elevator scene with some special effects. Are there any other ways that we can create the sensation of going further down while remaining on the same level the entire time?

Thanks in advance

nOrTHeRn TouCh
09-05-2010, 09:30 AM
wow that would be a cool effect.... not sure where to start, what about slanted roofs...

09-05-2010, 03:47 PM
I would use a color scheme in your haunt that the beginning or higher level on the cruise ship is lighter and brighter. As you go down use less and less color becoming totally monocromatic (sic) only browns and blacks at the bottom. Clearly mark each room with a level number . Each entrance should have a slight ramp so the person will get the feeling they are constantly descending and also making the lower levels colder (break out the industrial AC) and making the walls appear to be slick with moisture is a good indicator of being far below the surface.

09-05-2010, 04:49 PM
To add to the above suggestion, you could also use a very pronounced, reoccurring section of the haunt to make the transitions from level to level more pronounced. For example, when you move from the upper deck to the lower deck like a dining room (Whatever) use a very plain wall with in big stencil lettering LV 1 or something like that. I am not sure how ship levels are marked ^^. But to add maybe a cool subtle creep factor to this idea, is to make each of the reoccurring transitions a little less normal. Like, the first time you round the corner of the "Upper" deck. The walls are plain and look to be as they should be. But when you are at the lower deck, they can be aged and decrepit like they've been there quite a long time. You could also make the lower deck transition bloody or whatever the theme of your house is. Just my added two cents, so far you are up to six. ^^

09-05-2010, 11:42 PM
Thanks those are both really great ideas and they definitely give me a starting place!

Jim Warfield
09-06-2010, 12:37 AM
Of the cut-away look at a ship with a little arrow sign pointing at a lower deck saying:You are here.
Some people will fall for it. Really, they will.

09-07-2010, 06:20 AM
Depending on what you have available I would say Lighting and finding a lighting system or a way to cause variants or a refraction onto the walls would be a big key. this way it looks like movement of water. however this would only be an issue on the uppers levels once below dek most cruise ships will not have windows or port holes below a certin level so the later part unless the ship is suppose to be partially flooded.

09-07-2010, 06:49 AM
We wanted to do that in one of our scenes this year, it's a basement, so we made it appear that the floor is falling through from the room above.. might be an option.


09-07-2010, 09:43 PM
Brett, I think the way you did the ceiling in that seen is so brilliant and it was such a great effect in your haunt. It really gave the illusion of being in the basement.

09-08-2010, 11:55 AM
You can also do it "Mystery Hill" style and do it all with clever angled illusions and slight slopes. Start them off on a somewhat raised platform and slowly slope down and/or combine with the walls/ceiling. Make it appear they are descending when all it is that is changing is the angle of wall or decoration next to them (such as a floor edging continuing up the wall to appear as you are walking below the level of the floor, coupled with the ceiling. Short black hall for a crude transition and you can come back into another room at normal angles that is now "down a level". The fake elevators done well also work great. Fear Fest in Columbia did an amazing job with this in their asylum attraction...they even had you come back out into the same exact hall you walked in from by using a wall on hinges.

Mike "Pogo" Hach