Companies such as AtmosFearFX offer a wide variety of digital decorations from friendly shadows to use in your upstairs windows, to home-invading zombies punching through your wall (Figure 1). With a little hunting online, you can find free animations that
other Halloween fanatics have created and uploaded to
places such as You Tube and various Halloween forums.
You can use your imagination and creativity in numerous
ways when it comes to setting up these digital
decorations, but perhaps the easiest way is through the
use of projectors.
Projectors have come a long way over the past few
years. Evolving from large bulky items (Figure 2 and 2A),
projectors are now small sleek devices that you can hold
in a one hand (Figure 3). Some projectors can even be
found in pocket-sized offerings now, which can lead to
some really neat uses when it comes to decorating for
The price for purchasing a projector
has drastically changed, as well. While
some projectors can still run in the
thousands of dollars, there are plenty
that can be purchased for way less. I
was able to come across two small 3M
mobile LED projectors last year online
for $99 each.
There are other smaller projectors
available for as little as $50 through
various online resources; just do a
Google search to see what you can
find. With a little effort, you can get a
projector to fit your budget.
Once you have a price range in
mind, there are a few other things to
consider when purchasing a projector.
A unit’s brightness is measured in
lumens, and most projectors will list the lumens/output
right on the device. The higher the number, the brighter
the projector will be.
Don’t feel like you have to purchase a projector based
solely on its output. Surrounding light pollution can greatly
affect a unit’s ability (Figure 4).
If the digital animation will be set in a dark area, a
lower lumen projector will work just fine. If you are
battling a lot of nearby light pollution — such as street
lights or other sources — then be sure to look for units
with a decent amount of output.
If you are looking to haunt a large scene (like your
upstairs window with a passing ghost), I recommend a
projector with at least 2,000 lumens. If you want to do
something a bit smaller in scope and size (such as a
haunted portrait or singing pumpkin), a unit with less
lumens will do the trick.
Resolution is also something to consider when
FIGURE 3. Handheld
FIGURE 1. Projection of zombies breaking through a
wall from AtmosFearFX.
FIGURE 2. Professional installer
mounting a bulky projector.
52 October 2014