Superman's virtual santa setup

Discussion in 'Incorporating video or projection in your display' started by Superman, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. Superman

    Superman I Have C.L.A.P and its very infectious Global Moderator

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    Hi All,
    This is a post for anyone who would like to know how I do my virtual Santa. This guy is by far the most popular thing in the whole display. I use a Epson eh-tw5900 home theater projector, DVD player and a screen made from a wooden frame with white plastic table cloth as the screen and vinyl as a filler. This setup works in my house but every setup is dependent on the size of the window and the zoom level and offset capabilities of the projector.
    This is the view from outside
    [​IMG]

    This is the view from where my projector sits

    [​IMG]

    As I have mentioned the screen is a frame made from pine to fit the inside of my window. I only project to the top window so I block the bottom out with a red piece of vinyl with some bricks painted on it. The top section of the screen is currently stretched Lycra, works ok but is very transparent when the show turns off and I’m inside watching the TV. I will be changing this back to white plastic table cloth I picked up at Spotlight.


    As I have lights on the windows I also shield them from the screen with some "L" channel[​IMG]

    My projector has many settings so I can put it wherever I like this is definitely a good thing to have. I have it offset to the screen and on the floor shooting up to the window so visitors don’t see the light shining out of the projector lens, some very cheap mini projectors won’t allow any skew adjustment at all as a minimum I would want vertical adjustment so I could have the projector square to the screen on the floor shooting up at the window.

    [​IMG]




    He can be seen in my display video but it's not the best with my camera.


    2013 Display

    virtual santa
     
  2. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    thanks for all that info steve what projectors would you recommend at entry level that would be worth getting for this??

    as the wife loves the idea of having santa around each night
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Superman

    Superman I Have C.L.A.P and its very infectious Global Moderator

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    the makers of virtual Santa have projectors that dont look too bad
    http://www.christmaslightshow.com/christmas-light-show-video-projector.html

    The key things to get are
    Keystone. that allows you to offset the projector
    Lumens. mine is 2000 I think with light around your window 1300 would be a minimum
    screen ratio 4:3 or 16:9(wide screen)

    the one on ther site looks pretty good as a minimum.
     
  4. greg58

    greg58 Full Time Elf

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    Great idea mate, I might be doing the same next year
     
  5. AlexB

    AlexB New Elf

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    This is my second year running Virtual Santa, and (although there is no animation in my display) he is still easily the most popular thing in it.


    We run ours from our upstairs window, which is good if you don't want to mess around with keystoning to prevent the glare from the projector itself - you can have the projector lined up dead centre as no one sees the flare in a second story window.


    as has been discussed in chat recently, the trouble with the projectors is they generally need to be controlled manually.


    I have a DVD player that runs my show which automatically plays the disc when it is powered on. My Projector is the same - it switches on whenever it is plugged in. In the past, our DVD player didn't auto-play, so we just plugged it into a different socket and let it run on loop 24/7.


    We then just plug the projector into an ordinary timer and it comes on at 6:55pm each night (to give the projector time to warm up).


    Having Santa in the upstairs window also keeps the kids from discovering the 'trick' if they got too close to it.


    Here's how ours looks from outside... inside pictures are much the same as Superman... and we use white plastic tablecloth also - i've found it gives the best effect.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Bird

    Bird Proud LOR user

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    I did not get time to set virtual Santa up this year in the new house, but the past 2 years he got more cheers than the lights did. But that's OK, for kids, Santa is the MAN. [​IMG]
     
  7. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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  8. smeighan

    smeighan Dedicated Elf

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    This was first year for virtual Santa for me. I also think it got more compliments than the lights.

    My setup
    Raspberry pi as the video player
    Video out to Epson projector.
    Screen was frosted plastic paint drop cloth stretched over upstairs bedroom. I was surprised how bright it was.
     
  9. twinkleclaus

    twinkleclaus New Elf

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  10. roo

    roo Full Time Elf

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    Hi,
    Is there a way to get a projector to play a video auto repeat?
     
  11. David_AVD

    David_AVD Good news, everyone!

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    Do you mean the video player? Some DVD players may have that option.
     
  12. roo

    roo Full Time Elf

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    mean via the projector. the file is on a usb stick
     
  13. MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    It depends on the projector and how much control it gives you over USB playback. I bought a cheap ($30) DVD player from K-Mart. I burnt the Virtual Santa video to DVD and used the option to play it on loop. I leave the disc in the DVD player and all I need to do is turn on the power to it and the projector each night and it starts playing automatically.


     
  14. roo

    roo Full Time Elf

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    ok cheers thanks will try a dvd player I think
     
  15. logandc99

    logandc99 Dedicated Elf

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    Second year running virtual Santa and the kids ( and adults) are fascinated by it. We use a white bed sheet stretched over a wooden frame and have an outer layer of black see through voil to help make the window look nice and black and remove any background brightness from the projector. Use a DVD player on loop repeat hooked up to the projector.
     

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