Pepper's Ghost . Pity is welcome, even encouraged. . Anyone who dislikes rants, please cover your eyes.
I've decided to use my latest MOC as a demonstration of the disparity between imagination and reality. To begin:
INCEPTION: I wanted to build a Pepper's Ghost. Pepper's Ghost is a theatrical effect used in turn-of-the-century stage productions (as well as Disneyland's Haunted Mansion) in which the image of an actor is reflected onto a tilted sheet of glass in front of the stage, making it appear as if a ghost were walking on the stage. I thought it'd be an easy build: a T-shaped room, a small plate of glass stolen from a picture frame, a few characters in front of a black background, and voila, Pepper's Ghost.
CONSTRUCTION: First of all, building the actual room took way too long, probably because I didn't use any baseplates, and had to build the floors from scratch. Once I set the glass in place, a whole new slew of problems arose. Double reflections, tilted reflections, lighting issues, limited space, etc.
DOCUMENTATION: I had to borrow a camera after my old one decided it just wasn't going to take any more of my abuse and died. I went from a Canon PowerShot SD110 (which lasted about five years and is covered in battle scars) to a Pentex Optio 60 P.O.S. This camera is... well, I'm not a fan. No offense to the good people at Pentax or anyone who happens to own one, but this camera blows.
CONCLUSION: These were the results:
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My goal was to turn this Shining-inspired red room from a quaint little lounge...
...into a ghostly chamber.
Problems arose. The first was the glass itself. At the wide distances on stage, the double reflection caused by the two sides of the glass is too small to detect. But here, in such close quarters, double image = blurry image. Bummer.
The second was the lack of a ceiling. From minifig POV, the room is U-shaped. The solution? Wide shots...
...and unusual angles.
Above, the one shot I like. Run, you wuss!
I'll admit, I like how the pianist is slowly vanishing from the waist up.
PROBLEM #3: tilted glass. Even the slightest angle meant the ghosts were in midair.
PROBLEM #4: shaky hands. I should have switched to decaf years ago.
There you go. Pepper's Ghost. It's a shame it didn't pan out so well, but hey, what can ya do.
Next up, Pepper's Ghost meets Mr. Sledgehammer.
P.S. In retrospect, yes, I should have stuck a Sgt. Pepper's Ghost joke somewhere in there, but I was tired. Someone else, go for it.