Projecting Halloween Peril

Every holiday has a few, dedicated individuals committed to “going all out.” Whether they’re trying to show up the neighbors, love the look, or just want to put a smile on the faces of those passing by; the results are often spectacular. A recent trend in decorations has been away from analog lights and ornaments and towards digital light shows via a projector. [Georgia Clegg] and [Luma Bakery] have written up a fantastic guide detailing the involved process of house projection for those feeling the holiday spirit.

There is more to the effect than simply pointing a projector at a home and running a video clip. The good displays make use of the geometry of the home and the various depths of the walls don’t distort the picture. The house itself is mapped into the image being displayed.

There are generally two approaches to mapping: point of view mapping and neutral/orthographic mapping. The first is just setting the projector in a fixed position and designing the graphics in such a way that they will look correct. The downside is that if there are multiple projectors, each projector will need to be separately designed for and they cannot be moved or adjusted. The second maps the house in an actual 3d sense and figures out how to display the content according to the viewpoint that the projector is currently at. This means you can create one source content and simply export it for the various projectors.

As you can imagine, the second is much more involved and this is where [Georgia Clegg] has stepped in. There’s a whole series that covers creating your house in MeshRoom, cleaning it up in Blender, creating the videos in After Effects, and setting up your projector to keep it running through the season.

We’ve seen other amazing projector mapping displays with lasers here at Hackaday. Now you can make one yourself. Just don’t get bogged down refurbishing your vector projector along the way.
Check out the results they’ve achieved in this highlight reel:

3 thoughts on “Projecting Halloween Peril

  1. This is great, thanks for sharing the how-to! The media player is much better than leaving a laptop outside for sure. I have also used Raspberry Pi’s, running PocketVJ software (available with a Pi or as an SD card). This can play back pre-mapped content, can sync multiple players, or warp on-the-fly with madMapper files. It’s open source, but I couldn’t get that to compile and bought the SD card. Anyone successfully build this from source?

  2. “a smile on the faces”?? At the sight of rotting corpses?! Giant, monstrous arthropods?! Toxic waste sites?! Undead man eaters?! What kind of sicko gets his kicks from that?!!!!

    :-) :-) :-)

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