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The Long-Forgotten Haunted Mansion Effect Thread 7: Further Realms of Fright

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  • Some significant news: Apparently the changing portrait effect in the WDW HM has been upgraded. The lightning flash now shows the scary stage in full color and form, not just as a sort of fainter, white image. It's a cinch that this effect will be incorporated into the DL HM for the 50th, and in fact I wouldn't be surprised if it's there when the HM reopens after going down for the HMH removal.

    I also am going to go out on a limb and predict that April-December will return. It's really the only Hatbox-like restoration from the past that they can do for the 50th, and the reason she was scrapped in the first place is that the new lightning effect of 2005 wasn't suitable for the AD, which contains wording. With this new upgrade, the AD gag is fully restorable. It seems to me natural that for the 50th they would want to bring back something from the 1969 original that is now gone. The only question is where they could put her? Would they oust "Master Gracey" (so called), who only arrived in 2005? My preference would be for them to eliminate the second lightning-flash window and bulge out the wall on that side so as to accommodate an additional changing portrait on the left. There's plenty of room in that corner without encroaching on the watching-you busts. They could also do her portrait differently than the others, morphing thru all six stages as originally planned. The logic would be that the lightning flashes illuminate the other portraits, but not this one, being on the same wall as the windows.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbkp...l2NG5wxhqkSyHc
    Last edited by HBG2; 01-05-2019, 10:15 AM.
    "My mental facilities are twice what yours are, pea brain!"

    The conversation continues at Long-Forgotten, the blog.



    ......... .....May April March!.....................

    Comment


    • Are they still using a scrim or have they switched to flat monitors? The paintings looked very bright.
      Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by MRaymond View Post
        Are they still using a scrim or have they switched to flat monitors? The paintings looked very bright.
        Always hard to tell with videos. I'm assuming the contrast between the before- and after- isn't so extreme when you see it live. We need more reports!
        Also, forgot to mention, but another reason AD could return is that we now have access to all six panels in the Ed Koch form of the original production piece, not just as Marc Davis concept art.
        "My mental facilities are twice what yours are, pea brain!"

        The conversation continues at Long-Forgotten, the blog.



        ......... .....May April March!.....................

        Comment


        • Originally posted by HBG2 View Post
          Some significant news: Apparently the changing portrait effect in the WDW HM has been upgraded. The lightning flash now shows the scary stage in full color and form, not just as a sort of fainter, white image. It's a cinch that this effect will be incorporated into the DL HM for the 50th, and in fact I wouldn't be surprised if it's there when the HM reopens after going down for the HMH removal.

          I also am going to go out on a limb and predict that April-December will return. It's really the only Hatbox-like restoration from the past that they can do for the 50th, and the reason she was scrapped in the first place is that the new lightning effect of 2005 wasn't suitable for the AD, which contains wording. With this new upgrade, the AD gag is fully restorable. It seems to me natural that for the 50th they would want to bring back something from the 1969 original that is now gone. The only question is where they could put her? Would they oust "Master Gracey" (so called), who only arrived in 2005? My preference would be for them to eliminate the second lightning-flash window and bulge out the wall on that side so as to accommodate an additional changing portrait on the left. There's plenty of room in that corner without encroaching on the watching-you busts. They could also do her portrait differently than the others, morphing thru all six stages as originally planned. The logic would be that the lightning flashes illuminate the other portraits, but not this one, being on the same wall as the windows.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbkp...l2NG5wxhqkSyHc
          I first was going to theorize that this plussing could have come from the latest Phantom Manor refurbishment - but then I remembered that it is highly unlikely that this effect is used in Phantom Manor: While in WDW and DL there are windows opposite of the changing portraits, through which the lighting comes and makes the change, at PM there are no windows at either side of this gallery: both sides have furniture and paintings.

          Comment


          • Tonight is the last night for Haunted Mansion Holiday. It's time for the Ghost Host, the Marble Busts, and the Hitchhiking Ghosts to return and follow us home.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by DLHMFAN View Post
              Tonight is the last night for Haunted Mansion Holiday. It's time for the Ghost Host, the Marble Busts, and the Hitchhiking Ghosts to return and follow us home.
              …? Pretty sure the Ghost Host is still in the HMH, or else who exactly is Corey Burton voicing?

              Also, don't forget Constance.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Thaddeus Twain View Post

                …? Pretty sure the Ghost Host is still in the HMH, or else who exactly is Corey Burton voicing?

                Also, don't forget Constance.
                If you noticed, Corey Burton's narration doesn't identify him as the Ghost Host, which is interesting.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by HBG2 View Post
                  Some significant news: Apparently the changing portrait effect in the WDW HM has been upgraded. The lightning flash now shows the scary stage in full color and form, not just as a sort of fainter, white image. It's a cinch that this effect will be incorporated into the DL HM for the 50th, and in fact I wouldn't be surprised if it's there when the HM reopens after going down for the HMH removal.
                  Supposedly the Attic portraits have received a similar treatment, which have always been a problem at MK for some reason. Also at some point they expect to convert Leota to an HD projection. They did Little Leota years back and the effect in person is freaky - almost razor sharp, but never went ahead with the main figure. I'd also expect them to redo the Aging Man effect and upgrade him to HD as well since the digital morphing version has never looked as clear as the glass slides did. Would be nice if they fixed the orientation of the portrait at the same time.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by MRaymond View Post
                    Are they still using a scrim or have they switched to flat monitors? The paintings looked very bright.
                    the scrims had the texture of canvas, so they really looked like paintings; as did the softness of the projection

                    I fear we're going to go from "how'd they do that?" to "of course that's how they did that.."

                    another example of a primitive effect being better than the modern high-tech version

                    by the time they finish "upgrading" the mansion it will look like you're walking through a video game and not a handcrafted work of art...
                    L + L = R

                    Comment


                    • To some degree the de-mystification is inevitable. Let's face it, technological advance has taken most of the "wow" factor away from talking heads and changing portraits, no matter how they decide to do them these days. Even if they went back to producing the images the same way they did in 1969, people would still mutter "computers" and their flabbers would remain ungasted. The grand exception to all this is Pepper's Ghost, which still mystifies people and produces a ghost effect still unsurpassed.
                      "My mental facilities are twice what yours are, pea brain!"

                      The conversation continues at Long-Forgotten, the blog.



                      ......... .....May April March!.....................

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by FoxxFur View Post

                        Supposedly the Attic portraits have received a similar treatment, which have always been a problem at MK for some reason. Also at some point they expect to convert Leota to an HD projection. They did Little Leota years back and the effect in person is freaky - almost razor sharp, but never went ahead with the main figure. I'd also expect them to redo the Aging Man effect and upgrade him to HD as well since the digital morphing version has never looked as clear as the glass slides did. Would be nice if they fixed the orientation of the portrait at the same time.
                        Fascinating. One wonders how much of this will be on display at DL when the HM reopens. They have to do SOMETHING amazing for the 50th.
                        "My mental facilities are twice what yours are, pea brain!"

                        The conversation continues at Long-Forgotten, the blog.



                        ......... .....May April March!.....................

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by HBG2 View Post
                          Some significant news: Apparently the changing portrait effect in the WDW HM has been upgraded. The lightning flash now shows the scary stage in full color and form, not just as a sort of fainter, white image.
                          It looks like they just replaced the old lighting with high intensity LEDs. You can see the edges of the paintings have a glow. Probably rows of LEDs around the inside of the frame. You might be mistaken, the panther lady is still a white tiger in that video. While it looks like they could do full-color versions, it seems to me like its a rather minor update. Still nice though!

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by HBG2 View Post

                            Fascinating. One wonders how much of this will be on display at DL when the HM reopens. They have to do SOMETHING amazing for the 50th.
                            Rode MK Mansion today, first time in about a year.

                            The new effect looks great. It's not a screen, simply an upgraded version of the multi-layered effect that's been in use there since 2007. If they bring this version of the effect back to Disneyland, I think it'll be a significant win - I've never liked the version of the effect there, and this is nicer than either the 2005 or 2007 models. It looks as if this new version is bright enough that they could possibly front light the portraits a bit more which could dim in synch with the flashes, which has always been an issue with this effect - you can never quite see the "unchanged" version of the portraits clearly enough.

                            My impression is that WDW is working on getting the Mansion largely converted over to LED lighting, which this upgraded effect is part of. All of the scenic lamps in the Attic were too bright, as was the blue rim light behind Constance, so much so that it washed out her projection! This is a common issue when LEDs are installed but before WDI can come in and tweak all of the levels. On the plus side, all of the Attic portraits have also been upgraded and also look great, and to my eyes at least are not screens as some have reported. They may be doing all this to make way for an HD / 4K Constance projection effect.

                            There was also work taking place in the graveyard, as two figures were in the shop and several UV lights were off. They also stuck some white hair on the Caretaker, possibly to put him more in line with the DL version, which I think is a meh change.
                            Last edited by FoxxFur; 01-15-2019, 07:03 AM.

                            Comment


                            • I also got a nice video of the outside of the house now that those awful huge trees have been removed!

                              https://youtu.be/7W-8d3wsIfw

                              Comment


                              • Just got home from a trip to WDW to run the Marathon and was able to visit the Mansion a nice handful of times.

                                Foxxfur, I hope your assessment about LED lighting levels still needing to be set by WDI is correct, because there were definitely points of the ride that were too bright. The Attic was the most obvious offender - Unless I'm making things up, I noticed this change was made while I was there because on my first day I noticed how the rectangular edge of Constance's projection was visible on her dress, and the next day that I rode the whole room was very bright, including the blue light you mention, which drowned out the edge but also made the intended effect difficult to perceive.

                                I personally have to disagree about the "new" Changing Portrait effect -- It's VERY bright, to be sure, but in giving it a good look it appears that most of the newfound saturation comes from the Front Image, not the Back. It doesn't seem that any color has been added to the "After" image, just that the brightness is pushing through the "Before" in a more intense way. This seems most evident in Medusa's portrait, where the after reveals a lot of Blue and Orange that are only native to the Woman's painting and not the Gorgon's. Compared to the more subtle but clearer effect before, this change actually feels like a net-loss to me. The effect was less bright, but the after interfered less with the before and appeared sufficiently ghostly.

                                The lighting in the Hallway that is meant to fade up when the Portraits are not flashing is indeed in inverse-sync, so if you didn't know what the paintings looked like "before" you wouldn't have an easy time figuring it out. It makes it all the more confusing when the now hyper-bright flashes set off, because the front and the back feel more blended than ever before, and it's like the set up and the punchline of the joke are being told over each other.

                                If they're going through and adjusting light levels throughout the attraction I would hope that they find a way to get this back into sync. When the Mansion first came back online from its Rehaunting the effect was rather handsome, and right now it's just a bit of a mess. It definitely felt to me like the scene has yet to be calibrated to account for the new variables.

                                I'm also not sure I "get" the new veils over the portaits -- maybe they're just an aesthetic choice, but they seem a little strange and the wall feels more bare without the hangers above the portraits that were removed with this change. This isn't helped by the wallpaper, which was changed with the Rehaunting in 2007, and has always been a little demure for the Mansion. A bolder pattern would have been a more suitable choice, since what's there now tricks the eye into seeing a wall that's vaguely "peach" rather than a distinct or relevant wallpaper. This paper continues into the staircase scene prior. I've always preferred the previous Orange and Black Stripe wallpaper, though I understand that after removing the Sinister 11 from the Portrait Hall a change may have been necessary.


                                In addition, perhaps the most interesting nugget I have to share is that yesterday I took the "Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom" Tour at the park -- the tour is a 3 hour walking tour of the park with a guide from Guest Relations, and the info across the tour seems to vary lightly in its accuracy and level of interest, but the most compelling part of the tour is that it takes you backstage and down under the Ballroom at the Mansion where you can see the figures that appear in the glass. They also walk you under the Attic to get there, though they didn't point that out specifically - the hard turn of the Doombuggy Path and Wooden Floorboards overhead gave that away as we were on our way out. It was a total experience to get to be down there, even knowing for years how the effect was done, seeing it in action in person from that side of things was really something else. I'd recommend it to anyone who's wanted to take a peek at this bit of magic for themselves, to me the $50 price tag for the tour was worth it for this bit alone, and then the rest was a nice bonus.
                                www.BrandonHardy-Art.com

                                https://www.facebook.com/Brandon.Hardy.Art

                                "The show's called Pirates of the Caribbean, not Boy Scouts of the Caribbean. They're my babies, you know? I hate to see them fool around with 'em."
                                -X. Atencio


                                "Whether I like it or not doesn't matter. Each new generation has the right to come in and do what they feel is right for the show -- and that's what they did."
                                ~Alice Davis



                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by yensidtlaw1969 View Post
                                  Just got home from a trip to WDW to run the Marathon and was able to visit the Mansion a nice handful of times.

                                  Foxxfur, I hope your assessment about LED lighting levels still needing to be set by WDI is correct, because there were definitely points of the ride that were too bright. The Attic was the most obvious offender - Unless I'm making things up, I noticed this change was made while I was there because on my first day I noticed how the rectangular edge of Constance's projection was visible on her dress, and the next day that I rode the whole room was very bright, including the blue light you mention, which drowned out the edge but also made the intended effect difficult to perceive.

                                  I personally have to disagree about the "new" Changing Portrait effect -- It's VERY bright, to be sure, but in giving it a good look it appears that most of the newfound saturation comes from the Front Image, not the Back. It doesn't seem that any color has been added to the "After" image, just that the brightness is pushing through the "Before" in a more intense way. This seems most evident in Medusa's portrait, where the after reveals a lot of Blue and Orange that are only native to the Woman's painting and not the Gorgon's. Compared to the more subtle but clearer effect before, this change actually feels like a net-loss to me. The effect was less bright, but the after interfered less with the before and appeared sufficiently ghostly.

                                  The lighting in the Hallway that is meant to fade up when the Portraits are not flashing is indeed in inverse-sync, so if you didn't know what the paintings looked like "before" you wouldn't have an easy time figuring it out. It makes it all the more confusing when the now hyper-bright flashes set off, because the front and the back feel more blended than ever before, and it's like the set up and the punchline of the joke are being told over each other.

                                  If they're going through and adjusting light levels throughout the attraction I would hope that they find a way to get this back into sync. When the Mansion first came back online from its Rehaunting the effect was rather handsome, and right now it's just a bit of a mess. It definitely felt to me like the scene has yet to be calibrated to account for the new variables.

                                  I'm also not sure I "get" the new veils over the portaits -- maybe they're just an aesthetic choice, but they seem a little strange and the wall feels more bare without the hangers above the portraits that were removed with this change. This isn't helped by the wallpaper, which was changed with the Rehaunting in 2007, and has always been a little demure for the Mansion. A bolder pattern would have been a more suitable choice, since what's there now tricks the eye into seeing a wall that's vaguely "peach" rather than a distinct or relevant wallpaper. This paper continues into the staircase scene prior. I've always preferred the previous Orange and Black Stripe wallpaper, though I understand that after removing the Sinister 11 from the Portrait Hall a change may have been necessary.


                                  In addition, perhaps the most interesting nugget I have to share is that yesterday I took the "Walt Disney: Marceline to Magic Kingdom" Tour at the park -- the tour is a 3 hour walking tour of the park with a guide from Guest Relations, and the info across the tour seems to vary lightly in its accuracy and level of interest, but the most compelling part of the tour is that it takes you backstage and down under the Ballroom at the Mansion where you can see the figures that appear in the glass. They also walk you under the Attic to get there, though they didn't point that out specifically - the hard turn of the Doombuggy Path and Wooden Floorboards overhead gave that away as we were on our way out. It was a total experience to get to be down there, even knowing for years how the effect was done, seeing it in action in person from that side of things was really something else. I'd recommend it to anyone who's wanted to take a peek at this bit of magic for themselves, to me the $50 price tag for the tour was worth it for this bit alone, and then the rest was a nice bonus.
                                  All very nice. Thanks!
                                  "My mental facilities are twice what yours are, pea brain!"

                                  The conversation continues at Long-Forgotten, the blog.



                                  ......... .....May April March!.....................

                                  Comment


                                  • I think there is a delicate balance between updating a ride (LED lights) and keeping the original effects/look. People like us that have grown up with rides prefer them as they were, but newer audiences might find them dated and hokey looking.

                                    The WDW front trees are a good example. While I admit that they had gotten too big, I also remember them when they were much smaller. They grew up with me. My mental image has them there.

                                    I am also uncertain about effects like the HHG video. They are obviously videos so there is no mystery to the effect. Again, modern audiences might find the old effect too static and boring. I also think the mystery is no longer important to the newer audience. We are so used to myth busting, background tours, making of... that there are very few mysteries if someone really wanted to know.

                                    I've talked to people that like upgrades because they are more dynamic, interactive and exciting. For example, the queue made the wait time more fun and it didn't matter a whit that it destroyed the narrative of the story by having ghosts before Leota, or making it emphatically a haunted house. For them, it was a ride and not a story.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Kreepy Karl View Post
                                      I think there is a delicate balance between updating a ride (LED lights) and keeping the original effects/look. People like us that have grown up with rides prefer them as they were, but newer audiences might find them dated and hokey looking.

                                      The WDW front trees are a good example. While I admit that they had gotten too big, I also remember them when they were much smaller. They grew up with me. My mental image has them there.

                                      I am also uncertain about effects like the HHG video. They are obviously videos so there is no mystery to the effect. Again, modern audiences might find the old effect too static and boring. I also think the mystery is no longer important to the newer audience. We are so used to myth busting, background tours, making of... that there are very few mysteries if someone really wanted to know.

                                      I've talked to people that like upgrades because they are more dynamic, interactive and exciting. For example, the queue made the wait time more fun and it didn't matter a whit that it destroyed the narrative of the story by having ghosts before Leota, or making it emphatically a haunted house. For them, it was a ride and not a story.
                                      I think the thing about LED's is that they can work in a setting like The Haunted Mansion if used properly.

                                      Generally LED technology has now evolved to the point where you've got 2 main choices - "natural-looking" light, which mimics the look of either incandescents or sunlight and comes in colors of the white or off-white variety, and "unnatural-looking" light, which is basically any other color, from those blue-whites to "ultraviolet" and everything in between.

                                      You could get away with making every practical light fixture in the Mansion LED if you stuck to "natural-looking" light. At Walt Disney World, at least, Main Street USA has had perhaps all of its popcorn lights upgraded to LED's, and if you didn't know you wouldn't know. Their Mad Tea Party had its popcorn lights updated prior, and the technology was slightly less convincing at the time. The color is "right", but there's something about them that doesn't capture the warmth that popcorn lights are famous for.

                                      Outside of natural light sources, LED's certainly have the right stuff to give the kind of eerie, unnatural glow that supernatural beings might give off. The new blue LED illuminating Constance's veil in WDW would be right on key if the brightness was just brought into balance with the projection. The Changing Portraits can get away with LED's given that lightning is a super-bright, super-white light . . . but right now it needs a little more balance to suit the scene it's in. The way it looks at the moment is just too overpowering to both the scene and the effect.

                                      The only real danger with LED's in this kind of setting is that "Ultraviolet" LED's do not function exactly the same way that fluorescent blacklight tubes do - of the differences, most noticeable is the way they cast purple light in addition to causing UV responsive things to fluoresce. This has yet to be implemented in a trouble-causing way in The Haunted Mansion at WDW, but their Peter Pan's Flight added some to the Flight Over London in the past few years and it detracts from the effect. The UV paint glows brighter than before, but the really-black-blacks that they are against which really sold the effect are drowned out in spots by cast purple light.

                                      There's a difference between UVA, UVB, and UVC wavelengths and how they get things to fluoresce, and the new lighting tech that's come in the last decade seems to have muddied the waters at Disney a little. LED's are cheap and last seemingly forever, so they're appealing to use, but they generally don't suit older scenes that were reliant on fluorescent tubes. Hopefully we won't find changes like this coming over to the Mansion and causing lighting issues - but then, most of the Mansion's effects are a lot less reliant on blacklight than the average person would assume. Mainly the Graveyard ghosts use them, the Seance Circle, and Little Leota, but not too much else.
                                      www.BrandonHardy-Art.com

                                      https://www.facebook.com/Brandon.Hardy.Art

                                      "The show's called Pirates of the Caribbean, not Boy Scouts of the Caribbean. They're my babies, you know? I hate to see them fool around with 'em."
                                      -X. Atencio


                                      "Whether I like it or not doesn't matter. Each new generation has the right to come in and do what they feel is right for the show -- and that's what they did."
                                      ~Alice Davis



                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by yensidtlaw1969 View Post
                                        I think the thing about LED's is that they can work in a setting like The Haunted Mansion if used properly.
                                        It's definitely going to look weird for a bit until WDI is able to go in and balance everything, but once they're done, it should look exactly the same. The WDW stretch room has been LED since it was redone in 2007, and it looks fine - honestly, probably better than the florescent tubes ever did. I believe the Ballroom has also been mostly LED since then too. MK Pirates has been LED-only for several years now and you'd never know.

                                        Last I heard, and honestly I'm very out of the loop on this, WDI has still not been pleased with the way that LEDs look when they are run through a flicker circuit, so much of the practical lights in the Mansion should remain incandescent for now. I'm not sure if this has changed recently, but they would definitely need to bring the show down if they were planning on switching all of those flickering lights over to LEDs, which is why they're messing about with the general fill lights instead.

                                        Comment


                                        • Familiarity is a big player here. There are things in the HM that look bad and continue to look bad, but no one ever complains because they've been like that since 1969. "Whenever candlelights flicker...." The light fixtures in the foyer flicker all right, but they're so obviously naked light bulbs that it's not even a debate. And you're standing mere inches away from them. They now have the technology to make 'em look like real candle flames, and by any sane aesthetic they should, and it wouldn't cost much to convert them, but will they? Does anyone even think about it?
                                          "My mental facilities are twice what yours are, pea brain!"

                                          The conversation continues at Long-Forgotten, the blog.



                                          ......... .....May April March!.....................

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