Monday, February 17, 2014

Recreating the Haunted Mansion's Nine Old Men

I have recently started visiting Disney World and the Haunted Mansion as much as I can (season passes are great), call it my way of decompressing from life and work. This past Halloween I introduced the Haunted Mansion into my yard haunt by using various versions of Grim Grinning Ghost (as done in the ride), and decided that I wanted to pay tribute to the Mansion graveyard scene (in the ride, not outside) in my haunt. First step was to recreate elements of the graveyard, so I showed up early so I could 'document' the graveyard, and I was really surprised when I studied the pictures and found out that there were only a few tombstones used over and over throughout the graveyard. A little research starting with some links from the Haunted Mansion thread at HalloweenForum, and I found out that the tombstones have been referred to as the nine old men, a tribute to Disney's original animators. I built my own collage using pictures I took:
Flash really flattens the depth of the tombstones, the best I have found to show the depth, and some of the movement are a couple of youtube videos taken when they had to turn the lights on: The first stone I will recreate is the Murdniwg stone:
I used one of the pictures in Gimp, performed an edge detect, skewed, and overlaid a graph to build a template:
Once this was done, I scaled it to be 36" tall, then printed it out using Microsoft Paint. Paint is good because it allows you to print to scale on multiple sheets, which you can tape together to make a scale template. 2 inch foam will be used for the form, and papier-mâché for shell. More to come!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Tres Fantasmas

No video of the Halloween setup this year. This year I was dealing with a bad cold the entire week prior to Halloween, and Halloween day itself turn too windy for the cloaked FCG, and the phantom shadow and cloaked ghost went out at the last minute but were not worth filming in the wind. I managed to get set up, and as always Halloween itself was great, but I was too exhausted to bother with pictures afterwards. I did take the video below the night before Halloween while testing the 3 ghosts. Next year will see a different layout, a crypt for the FCG so I can display it regardless of the wind, and an effort to recreate parts of the graveyard scene from the Haunted Mansion.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Phantom Shadow is Done!

Without further ado, or Scooby doo, I present the Phantom Shadow. Now give me a Scooby Snack! I am so happy to finally get this done. The cam system has been very reliable, and the highlighter ink does a great job providing a yellowish green UV glow. I will probably add a chain, and touch up the green, but for the most part it is done and ready to display. Enjoy!

The following video shows it in action.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Hi everyone. I have not been a good blogger, and I have not had much time to work on the latest ghost, but I finally had some time today to work on the Phantom Shadow. I wanted to post some pictures that show the forms and the black cloth application. All that is left is the cheesecloth. I soaked some yellow highlighter cores in water for the cheesecloth for the initial color. Once the cheesecloth is dyed with the yellow, I going to soak some green cores and add highlights to the cheesecloth (the yellow glows much brighter then the green).

Monday, September 9, 2013

I have the phantom shadow armature done, as you can see in the following video.

The cam setup should be usable in a wide variety of motion applications.  The next steps include building small enclosures for the eyes and mouth that will hold red or orange LEDs, covering the face in black cloth, and building the forms.  The ghost will be covered first with black cloth similar to the previous ghosts.  Instead of using RIT treated cheese cloth, I will be using ink from green and yellow highlighters.  The result will hopefully be a good representation of the Phantom Shadow from Scooby Do.  More to come, thanks for watching.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

I am beginning construction of a new ghost, based loosely on the phantoms from Scooby Doo.  A lot of thought went into the design which I was initially going to build for the Haunt Forum $20 prop contest, so I thought I would post the sketches I will be using to build the ghost.  This will attempt to use an internal crank and lever mechanism to introduce a variety of motions that will be reliable and easy to maintain.  The first sketch are the various positions of the ghost from the Scooby Doo video.

In the following sketch is how I hope the final ghost appears, and the basic movements.  The head will move up and down from the shoulders, the head will turn back and forth, and the shoulders will rock to introduce the arm movement.

The following 2 sketches detail the mechanisms, at least enough for me to build it.  I will attempt to have the eye and mouth shape change, and may also add finger movement.

More to come, thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

$20 prop contest ideas

I am still searching for ideas for the $20 prop contest, and I have a couple brewing. The first was originally inspired by this post I found on pumpkinrots site, the image is by rainbowzebra93:
What I like about this is the long flowing ghost, it also led me to the idea of using some form of black mesh to build a very 3 dimensional form, the leave lots of gaps in the cheese cloth to give the impression of a very hollow ghost. Kinda like a previous ghost I built, but with more voids to give the impression of something hollow.
The second idea is for an animated ghost with more of an emphasis on the sculpture than I usually do, and with different animation using a lot of cams with a deer motor. After all, it is a $20 prop contest, and you can make a lot of cams with scrap wood. The basic movement is based on one of my all time favorites, the Green Ghost from Scooby Doo. I would try some ideas I have had to build a very detailed armature from paper mache, give it a basic posture like in the Scooby Doo ghost, and then animate it as much as I can using a deer motor. Another image I want to incorporate is by (Divinity II: Ego Draconis Art & Pictures)
Next step is to sketch something out and start planning the animations.