View Full Version : Could this be the next generation haunted house facade?

03-21-2011, 08:35 AM
I saw this video, its a hot wheels promo, but using a projected 3d video onto the Sydney australia opera house, its absolutely mind blowing. Wouldnt this be a cool idea to implement for a haunt facade?

03-21-2011, 08:45 AM
We've actually looked into this...simply put, it's not cost effective for our industry. What you're seeing there with the hotwheels projection...probably ran a few MILLION dollars! Not to mention the cost of the projector needed to do this the right way ($50-200K costs).

The way it's made though is a 3D model of the buildings facade is created in a computer...then, the animation is created for that building; working with the dips, corners, and design of the building. So, everything would have to be custom....unless a vendor offered this product with EXACT dimensions on building a facade to work with it. Watch this:


Great idea though... -Tyler

03-21-2011, 09:01 AM
Thats also pretty amazing!

03-21-2011, 10:47 AM
I highly doubt it would have cost that much. Especially for a division of a brand (Mattel) like Hot Wheels. Granted they are a large brand...that would be rather silly to have spent "several million" on an outdoor display like this...money would be better spent on a superbowl commercial. I couldnt see something like this costing them over 20-30k at most, and that is honestly probably pretty high depending on how long it took the CG artist (s) to create the video and what they charged, aside from any public display permits and all that. With as powerful as some of the 3D rendering and mapping software that is available today, it probably wasnt as difficult as one might assume to have created for someone with experience. With the right CG artists and equipment, Im sure this could be done relatively easily, and for a semi reasonable cost. I mean just look at the display that was in the Dark Zone this year with the bugs on the walls...or even the ghost busts...same principle. The facade would just be a few steps up from that.

If a projection of the facade based off an HD capture of the facade at same angle it will be projected from was used as a base, it would not be necessary to get all that technical with size...you'd just have to match up the projection for registration. Yes to get it to look good you would need to figure in shadows and such...but a good CG artist is already going to be versed in those subtleties. It could be designed to work even more smoothly if the facades were made in prefab shapes and sizes, and/or with an optimal projection friendly color/surface. Using HD video and projection could yield excellent results. Also if projecting in a semi dark atmosphere or even in conjunction with other lights...a good projector would only cost in the range of $2-5k at most for use at the scale most attractions would need. This would not be unlike the projectors most touring large scale musical acts use that have to shine through several stage lights and project brightly. Granted this is something that would still likely only be affordable by some of the bigger attractions...defintely something that could be in the near future, and come down in overall price as technology improves. Im sure you could do it on smaller scales too...its all in creative lighting and the CG design. Just like in movies...you will have some movies that are seamless, and others that look like they were made in someone's basement with green screens. Even the Hot Wheels one versus the others there was a big difference in how they looked....the others actually looked almost better.

Wish I had the ability to do this...its really a great idea and could be the next leap in the industry...its pretty darn close to hologram stlye technology.

Mike "Pogo" Hach

03-21-2011, 11:08 AM
On the contrary...last summer we contacted a company called Nuformer (they do the 3D building projections) and was quoted for this type of work on our castle facade. The total bid was $145,000 not including cost of projector. The projector was $5K, you'll need one that can display a "true black", meaning where the animation display black, there's literally NO pixels being projected there...so a "true" black; not to mention WIDE projection with extreme brightness, sharpness and HD capable.

The animation we wanted created was only two minutes long and not "effect heavy". Of course, if we had wanted alot more detail and effects, or longer time, the price would go up dramatically.

So, the hotwheels thing...it probably did cost a few million. It was a long, fully animated with a ton of detail, animation! Superbowl ad? Why would hotwheels spend money on that? It's NOT their demographic.


PS: For the outdoor buildings seen in these videos...you'll need a projector like the big ones at movie theaters, if not bigger! Those can vary in price from $10K-$125K...

03-21-2011, 12:23 PM
I am only injecting friendly argument with the intent to keep this as a viable option for people to look at for the future.

You are basing your data on one company you contacted for this (at least according to what you have said so far). Of course if they are thinking they are the only ones that can do this, or make a strong argument to anyone that looks into it through them, they are going to charge a lot more than what it actually costs, even on top of a healthy profit margin. Additionally it looks like this company is based overseas and would be charging you for flights/lodging/etc... for their team of techs to come and work out the effect at your location adding in lots of unnecessary costs etc...and you probably arent going to be as attractive to them as a larger corporation like Mattel...they probably got a much better deal due to who they are than you think, if not even just to be their showcase sample. While if they are specializing in this particular service there is some value in that as well as their past clientele, it really sounds a lot like they blew a lot of technical jargon smoke at you to imply a lot of false perception of value there.

If you really break down what it is and hire those needed to achieve this effect, especially on a smaller scale like a haunt, and only 2 minutes, you can easily get away with a LOT cheaper...anyone paying that kind of money is being taken for a ride, or on the train of thought that because its grossly expensive it must be good. I am sure some people may pay it without question though, or not take the time to break down how simple it really is. Get in touch with their customers and really see what they paid for what they got. While there are some companies that have the money to just blow on something like that and not question cost, all I am arguing is that it does not really "cost" that much to achieve an effect like this. Im sure any company with experience in CG could bust out some very affordable and convincing effects like this.

I agree on the demographic thing with Hot Wheels/super bowl, was just making a general value comparison. I am just saying that honestly from a sensible marketing standpoint I do not see a small division of even as large of a corporation as Mattel spending that much on something that is not a straight ad unless they just had the money to burn left over from unspent marketing budget dollars at the end of the year. This looks like something you would see as a sideshow at Disney World, and even they wouldnt pay that much for something like this. I wouldnt be surprised if their big water projection show (forget the name of it) didnt cost as much as you were quoted for your 2 minute effect. When you really break it down...all that was, was a projected cartoon on the side of a building, using a capture of the building as a canvas for the animation, and it looks like even they skimped a little bit on the projector used, or couldnt get the area dark enough. If ANY company paid anywhere near a million for that, I'm sure they'd be asking for their money back. Yes it looked cool, but lets be honest that would be a lot for anyone to pay for something like that for what it really is.

I am not trying to argue with you, just the fact that this can be done, and at a semi reasonable price. You can always spend more on bigger and better projectors and such, but again...most haunts are not going to need anything more than what an at most $5K projector can do...and additionally if the facade was made with this effect in mind you can make it a much more convincing effect in the design of it. Ive worked with a lot of large venue touring musicians that use projection effects, and most use in the range of 3-5k projectors that power through full light shows that would easily be able to handle this type of effect. There are many ways it could be done. I'd really like to see a company step up and try this.

Wish I had the capital to invest in it myself as I know it could be huge done with the right people.

Just my thoughts on it.

Mike "Pogo" Hach

The Nightmare Factory
03-21-2011, 12:49 PM
We used a rosco diacrolic lens to project our logo on the front of the haunt this season. See picture below. I am toying with one of our ultra projectors to project things onto the facade this coming year.

Here's one of the cooler 3d projectiosn I've found so far. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h3D6dCLAeo

Disney projects images onto it's castles, and I have seen other projection units out there. I also bought Dazz 3d at the show, wondering if I can use it to help make images to project onto the front of our haunt.8712

Mad Wax Sculptor
03-21-2011, 01:13 PM
I would love to see a few vendors create some haunt facades like these. Its an amazing concept.

The Nightmare Factory
03-21-2011, 02:40 PM
We own three, I have plans to buy three more.


Jim Warfield
03-21-2011, 03:00 PM
You work to build something in your house that will be really impressive... but it isn't quite that impressive.
Turn down the lights, now it looks better!
Then spend boo-coo bucks illuminating the outside where nobody even has to be holding a ticket to see it!