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Over at Modd3d there’s a quick demo of a character in a video interacting with objects in the real world.  Below is a video of the trick. It was all done in-camera and used no fancy editing.  Head over to the site for the how-did-they-do-that video.

 

 

Animated Skull

 

There are several ways to synchronize the movements of your animated props to audio.  Two of the more popular ways are MIDI control and audio control.  It’s not always obvious which method is best, so I’ll go over a few of the pros and cons of each.

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If you have any kind of MIDI-controlled prop you should check out this video.  It shows you how to create an animation sequence for your prop.  The video uses a skull and Reaper software, but you could apply the technique to any MIDI prop.

 

Keyboard Hack

Hacking a keyboard is a cheap (free?) and easy way to control your computer with external switches and sensors.

Keyboard Hack

 

Do you want to add computer control to your haunt or show, but you’re not sure which controller to choose?  Wolfstone has an overview of several types of controllers and the advantages / disadvantages of each.

 

Vile Things has an article that gives some good information on basic prop control, as well as details on how they built a controller based on a Keybanger and some relays.

 

Gemmy Skull MIDI Hack

Gemmy Animated Scary Skulls are great for hacking. Their jaws move, their eyes light up (and even move on some models), and best of all they’re cheap.

Right out of the box they’re not so impressive though. You trip the motion sensor and garbled noise comes out of the tiny speaker for a few seconds.

What’s it saying? It sounds kind of like “I’m on sale” to me. I guess they just want you to subconsciously decode the message and buy more skulls.

The best thing to do with these skulls is to rip their brains out and add MIDI control so you can sync them with your own soundtrack. This tutorial will show you how to do just that.

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Yard-light motion sensors are a cheap and easy way to add some automation to your haunt. Just hook up power to the sensor, hook the output to an outlet, and you can control anything that runs on 120VAC. But what if you want to control something else? It turns out it’s pretty easy to modify these motion sensors so the output just acts like a normal switch or button. Here are some of the things you can control with a modded motion sensor:

  • LED spotlights
  • Any Halloween prop with a “Try Me” button
  • CD / MP3 player
  • Fog machine
  • Air canon
  • PowerPoint presentation

Basically if you can control it with a switch or a button, you can control it with a motion sensor.

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This article explains some of the basics of pneumatics and goes on to show you how to build a grave popper.

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Haunting with Compressed Air

Haunting with Compressed Air

 

Talk To Stuff Via SMS

Here’s a project that uses the serial port on a cell phone to let you talk to your props and gadgets via SMS.  It’s not the fastest remote control in the world but it will let you control things from a distance.

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