For the last few years, I’ve stopped at the front of my favorite box stores where I search for Halloween supplies to peruse the array of digital and lighting effects. But, little friendly ghosts spinning around on the front of my house didn’t entice me. Then, a few weeks ago I received an invitation to take a gander at AtmosFX’s digital decorations. As I explored atmosfx.com, what came to mind was my childhood trip to Disney’s Haunted Mansion. But, unlike the cheesy, friendly ghosts there, AtmosFX has created spectacular, realistic effects like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
Few deliveries have been met with as much anticipation as my package from AtmosFX containing the 2017 Digital Decorating Kit. The kit comes with an all-in-one projector, 14 digital decorations, a tripod, a remote, and a screen. It sells for $199.99.
The setup was very simple. Just pop the SD card into the back of the projector, screw on the tripod, put batteries in the remote and you are ready to go. For a quick preview I hung the projection material in a doorway and looked through the included options. I was surprised what good choices came on the SD card without buying one of the premium packages. The image below is the “Beckoning Beauty” from the card.
It even included options for holidays other than Halloween. I can’t say I’d be likely to use most of those, although I may add fireworks to my front window next Fourth of July and the general floating party balloons would be cool for a kids party
My only complaint with the equipment is that the ball on the tripod is not stiff enough, particularly when the projector is mounted vertically. It wouldn’t take much of a jar for it to come tumbling down. It is also short, so you need a table to set it on. Therefore, I swapped it out for an inexpensive standalone tripod that allowed me to easily adjust the height too.
Just a few minutes after opening the box I was ready to go. I simply hung the included material from two plastic hooks stuck a few inches above the back of the hallway door frame with the projector set up behind it. I also connected my computer to the television and played one of the selections from Unliving Portraits on it. The below video shows Unliving Portraits‘ “Withering Heights – Trio” on my television and “Beckoning Beauty” from the included SD card in the hall doorway.
Hollusion is AtmosFX’s word for effects projected onto a special material creating the illusion of a hologram such as a ghost floating in the air or passing by a window. And, while they do have some family friendly alternatives like the Boo Crew or Jack-O’-Lantern Jamboree, it was the creepier collections that caught my attention. I choose three to try out. That wasn’t easy with all the cool options. But, hard as it was to pass up Zombie Invasion, Bone Chillers, Macabre Manor and others, I chose Phantasms, Blood Walls and Unliving Portraits to test. You can also purchase individual scenes from each package.
Phantasms includes variations on four characters: the “Demonic Poltergeist”, the “Seductive Siren”, the “Sinister Spinster” and the “Wicked Wraith”. The siren and the spinster are both humanoid figures while the poltergeist is sort of a demonic skeleton like creature and the wraith more along lines of a reaper.
Each featured creature has clips optimized for different purposes such as using AtmosFX’s 3D form, creating a Hollusion, projecting onto a wall or showing on a television. The TV folders for example show clips from an old movie that becomes staticy and then the phantasm breaks into the scene.
For my cemetery by the pond I chose “Rise of the Wraiths” which features various reaper-like characters floating upward among whisps of glowing smoke as they wail and moan.
Blood Walls includes three options, “Bloody Massacre”, “Dripping Blood” and “Words of Warning”. The first two include blood splatters and drips while the third has various options for writing such as “join us” being written in blood.
To test how the digital decorations work outdoors, I set up the projector in my workshop projecting the window version of “Bloody Massacre” from Blood Walls onto the material hanging from the inside of the door so it could be seen through the window.
I then hammered two electric fence posts into the ground behind the plants surrounding my small pond and cable-tied a piece of bamboo to each. I put clips on the projection material and cable-tied them to the bamboo. The video below shows the result. If you listen closely you’ll notice the effects include sound.
Note than the darker it is, the better the effect. The wraiths in the above video appear to float up from behind my plants and the screen isn’t visible. The indoor scene in the first video doesn’t appear to blend quite as well, because lights were on in the surrounding room so I could read the directions. With the lights all off, the effect is amazing. You can add lighting without showing the screen though. The tombstones have spotlights on them and I actually forgot to turn the porch light off when filming the massacre inside in the lab, but it still looked good.
All in all, I was very impressed with AtmosFX products and can’t wait to choose a permanent place for them among my displays. Visit atmosfx.com for some fantastic videos showcasing hollusions in action as well as instructional videos on setup options.