View Full Version : New Darkness Scenes...what do you think?

12-20-2007, 08:31 PM
As you may or may not know we do all or most of our renovations during the off season. We're working on a new scene in our temple section, which will include several animations inside the room. This is the facade of that room. The other thing we're building is a gypsy cabin, which will rock side to side suspended over water/swamp.

Let me know what you think.


12-20-2007, 09:38 PM
These look good, you should get Nate Mitchel from SpookywoodsFX to draw you sets in full color. He is one amazing artist and your build crew can build exactly your vision by his drawings with scaled take offs.

Greg Chrise
12-20-2007, 11:51 PM
I can tell from the ghost lines, there is nothing wrong with the art or the artist but somehow he was instructed or has limited himself to this thing must be in a space exactly 12 feet by 11 feet or 12 by 12 and be blocks of this and that size.

When drawing I make the same mistake because I'm the guy who will be building so many panels and they should bolt together thusly. So you end up with too uniform and symetrical a design.

Perhaps using an artist that has no idea of the space can be edited down to something? Concepts from all over hodge podge and then let this guy lose?

In the real world, nothing is exactly square, not made of 4 boxes off of a main box. If you look at what is supposedly a time honored artist rendering you will see they intentionally screw up perspective like a 3 year old, almost to get the responce can't this guy draw? But, the image not being able to be mentally inventoried and checked and balanced makes it memorable or bothersome.

Especially with a haunted house it isn't supposed to be too uniform. The crazier the better as far as seeking out quality is concerned.

Arch, Arch, Skull, eyeball, check...All in balance, next? If the vision of detail can not be inventoried it means it has to be seen again to try to grasp it. If it is out of symmetry it will never be inventoried in the viewers perception. Hence repeat customers or reproachable sales contacts.

House, porch, porch, swamp. Yes it is in balance, next.

I have sort of thought that even mediocre artists had a better chance in haunted house design because everything is supposed to be screwed up. Who is to say a monster is designed wrong, it is supposed to be ugly and not anatomically correct.

I used to let my dad do my art homework. He would intentionally make a drawing of a person with a leg too short, an arm not right. He would draw a house with one side looked like it was sunk into the ground. He still sells oil paintings with this same screwed up exagerated method and people eat it up because it is wrong. It isn't the cutsie coloring book connect the dots thing.

I hope I'm being constructive. It happens everywhere. Every haunted house facade I see has the second floor window where the floor would be on the second floor. Everyone is obsessed with 4 foot by 8 foot with a few feet on top. I make the same mistakes. It's like an engineer builds things square but in nature every thing is round and artists do the roundy and unsymetrical thing.

Is it a century old ruin or a portable storage shed from sears with styrofoam on it?

I don't want to dis this work, I know he has been with you a long time from the style. The finished work you do looks great because the actual makers don't care to carry out exact symetry like the drawing. But, sometimes it is the same check and balances over and over.

It's kind of a judgement call, is it expected performance you have come to knwo and love from HPI products or is it I don't know why I love this design?

Greg Chrise
12-21-2007, 12:23 AM
For the gypsy house, look at the crazy roof lines and add ons to buildings in the village in Van Helsing where the Vampire Brides swooped down on the towns people. The current drawing has no straight lines at all on it but it is still overlayed over a square box. It should be tall and thin with a crazy lean to added to it, then go crazy with the texture of the roofing and siding.

For the facade there is that thing fell over and rolled away 400 years ago look of the Tomb Raider movies.

In the real world this implies there is a story to this scene that is in the viewers mind of what happened here. Also in the real world it means not having to buy or build two of everything cause it looks balanced. Less becomes more.

12-21-2007, 03:47 AM
Great ideas ans concepts there Larry. Maybe I will make it down to the Darkness this season since I was too busy this last one.

12-21-2007, 08:55 AM
look good if you ask me i think the first one is graet.

12-21-2007, 09:40 AM
As a designer, I suppose I far from agree with Greg. These drawings are somewhat symmetrical, but not nearly as much as you lead the reader to believe. If you look a bit more closely at the drawings, the artist has different points of degradation and dilapidation. Granted, there are minute details that could help throw these off kilter a bit more than what you are seeing in the drawings, but these are conceptual drawings. As every haunted knows, your original design and the finished product are often totally different things. Many times they come out fairly identical, but there will always be changes made whether it be do to budget or otherwise. These are just things we as haunters have come to understand. Anyway, I think these conceptual drawings look quite good. I think they are good visuals so that you can begin brainstorming the tiny details the HPI is known for. Of course, at that point you can adjust your thoughts, adding/subtracting, and then redraw this and add a bit of color. Kudos and good luck with the production! I am certain it won't be any less than perfect...as usual.

Mike B

damon carson
12-21-2007, 10:56 AM
They look pretty cool larry. But the gypsy hut reminds me of the one in pirates of the carribean. LOL! Just kidding looks awesome.

12-21-2007, 12:37 PM
They look good. Is the egyption one going to have two exits or are you showing the exit and the entrance and you will have to walk around the animation?

Doug Kelley
12-21-2007, 04:25 PM
I thought the drawings looked great but some of the folks with more artistic eyes have made good points. Does everyone here work from drawings or does anyone build models prior to constructing a new scene? I know Disney does it that way but does anybody else? Do you use 1/12 scale (dollhouse)?

12-21-2007, 05:22 PM
Nice larry, do you ever rest?lol. You could make three or four haunts out all the stuff in the Darkness. I need to see your haunt someday, yours and Bens NeverWorld, I hear thats a good one too.

12-21-2007, 10:52 PM
I think that the drawings look fine, after all, they are conceptual drawings, and their purpose is to convey a general idea of what something is supposed to look like. A lot of times i like to add color to them, but its not always needed, and sometimes it even helps to add people into the drawing so that you can get a better sense of being there, if that makes any sense. Basically, sometimes things look better with a crowd of people there. And yes, the final product can greatly vary from the concept sketch. I do work for Kersey Valley Spookywoods and I like to make another set of construction drawings that we use when we build the sets, but not always do we have drawings before we build something...some of the best scenes are often done on the fly. Just my thoughts.

Jim Warfield
12-22-2007, 08:34 AM
Over these last 20 years I have had some fun-poking critisim of the things I have built, usually coming from professional nail-pounders:"Don't you own a level?"

"What's that?"

Because of Campbell Center here in town I have had numerous world-reknowned architects tour the Ravens Grin Inn...then they spent ALOT of time back on the campus arguing about what is located over what? And how they got from point "A" to pointless "B"? Pretty funny huh? These guys work and create tricky plans for a living and often they happen to be wrong in their assumptions concerning the physical facts of the place.
I have so many people think they are in the basement here when they are really outside in my backyard, only to realise this when they happen to look up and see the nighttime stars! Pretty funny huh!
Some of the parts of the original house have sagged since 1870 so I can't recieve the credit for these but I have put new beams under it all and steel posts, ex cetra, it ain't going anywhere.
The one room upstairs has a floor that has quite a slant to it, this makes mopping up urine more predictable, it's all in one corner!
My old upstairs maze I recently removed used to fool some into thinking they were walking on the outside roof of the house, another amazing concept to my way of thinking and purely accidental, effects-wise.
Maybe it is really my powers of suggestion? Sort of a mild form of hypnosis?
Basically my designs that happen before I actually begin construction begin with the wildest idea I can crank out of my little brainless skull, then I back track it a notch or two returning to the realm of my own financial and physical possibilitys.("No, Jim, you Don't own a big crane!")
I have spent years building some certain things here, still working alone 99% of the time. Satan still doesn't help me no matter what those little old ladies say about it in their monthly meetings. Some of them are world travelers though , they have "Seen the Nile".
Thank you for sharing your drawings with us all, Larry, lot's of fun!
As far as things not always being symetrical, I read a car magazine many years ago in which the writer pointed out that (at that time) most Ferrarris were not actually symetrical as their sexy, rounded fenders did their swoops and curves and Maybe this was a subconscious portion of their beauty and appeal? Yes! They reminded us of "the -girl-next-door"? Not quite perfect, but foxy, and a turn-on because she just might be attainable versus those perfect Hollywood starlets we will never meet!