Monday, December 28, 2009

Pepper's Ghost Done Right!

I hope none of you remembers my last attempt at showing you the Pepper's Ghost effect... the technique used in Disney's Haunted Mansion to show many of its ghosts, in particular the stunning scene of the Ballroom Ghosts dancing.

The technique is fairly simple, although care must be taken in set-up. Now, fortunately I have a real workshop in which to work... something between the Weta workshop and your Uncle's basement Ah, but it's not the size of the workshop, but what you do with it! In the Haunted Mansion, you ride above the ballroom in your DoomBuggy,and watch breathlessly as ghostly dancers glide across the floor below you. In reality, you are looking down into the ballroom through a very large clean piece of glass and the dancers are quite solid and dancing below you. With the right lighting, the dancers are reflected off of the glass in such a way so that they appear to be in the ballroom, and quite transparent!

Watch the video to see how I demonstrate this phenomenon, and then I will show you how it was done! Faint of heart, beware!

Catch your breath and remember, this was just a demonstration! No actual little plastic girls in pink coats were injured or even scared silly!

See in the photo at top how the 'ghost train' appears to come out of the tunnel through solid foam rock and straight through the little girl? Pan back (second photo) and the magic is revealed. High tech gadgetry and a steady nerve were required to reproduce this wonderful effect! But remember, I accomplish so much because I stand on the shoulders of Giants. ( Meaning, others did it first, I copied, but with my own twist)

Now, below is a quick photo of the workshop itself. Once the Imagineers at Disney see this video, I'll be sure to be snapped up into their inner circle, but don't worry, dear readers... I will always be here to entertain you.

Cheers, JOHN :0)


Kishore said...

Awesome video John!! Looks really cool. :-) Definitely impressed me at least.

Looks like a nice layout you have there. I didn't know that you were into train layouts. When do you have time for all this? Wow!

BTW, I am still waiting for the address and the TN#.

John said...

Cheers, Kishore!

Actually, the trains and workshop came with the new house, although I am already making them my own, as you can see. :0)

I'll post train pics another time... took the previous owner 15 years suposedly to create the entire layout, with lights, sound, etc. I'm hoping to put the Haunted Mansion on one of the hills. :0)

I actually bought the house just so I could do this video. :0)

JOHN :0)

PS Didn't you get my Christmas card?