Animated Pumpkins Sing And Scare On Halloween

The animated video combined with the 3D-printed prop makes for an excellent effect.

Carving Jack O’ Lanterns out of pumpkins is a favorite Hallowe’en tradition for many, but relying on candles and knives is decidedly low-tech. [Lewis] of [DIY Machines] decided to whip up something a little more animated to scare the local trick-or-treaters instead.

The build consists of 3D printed pumpkins, lit from behind with a low-cost projector. Driven by a Raspberry Pi, the projector plays video files that project animated faces onto the pumpkins. The effect is great, giving the illusion of a real anthropomorphic Jack O’ Lantern sitting on your very porch. To control the system, a series of arcade buttons are hooked up to the Raspberry Pi allowing visitors to activate a song, a scare, or a story.

It’s a fun build that is a great way to add some interactivity to your Hallowe’en decorations. If you want to take your work up a notch, consider projecting on to your whole house. Video after the break.

5 thoughts on “Animated Pumpkins Sing And Scare On Halloween

    1. The videos he is using are an off the shelf dvd/download that you can buy. I did this about 3 years ago with real pumpkins using front projection using the same animation videos. I setup a Pi with the videos on a random loop using vlc. The pumpkins, sing, talk to each other and tell jokes.

    2. There’s another company that makes animated pumpkins for projection, that has a wide variety of songs. I don’t think the animation quality is quite as good as the atmosFX stuff, but I like the variability of it. (

      I’ve been contemplating building a version that’s generated on the fly so you can position the pumpkins separately, and have some dynamic control over them. Will have to wait until next year though.

  1. Is good that projectors have come down in price and LED lights replace relatively short live bulbs. I was expecting to see much more of this type of display this year.
    Old projector bulb LED rework be a plus but most need bypass product repurchase assurance system or ‘safety’. Selectable response is cool. Given the environment right now would have thought a stomp! or other switch system. Not feeling turning filament into sheet$ though.

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