how do I get my spectral illusions?

Once you purchase your effects, you will receive an email with a download link. Click that link and follow the download instructions. You should download them first to a computer before transferring to any other device. Tablets and smartphones will not download the file properly, resulting in an error code. Once the files are on your computer, you will need to unzip the files as they are two files bundled together. From there, choose which file (MP4 or MOV) works best for your system, and hit play. NOTE: Downloading to tablets or smartphones is not advisable. Most mobile devices will not work with this type of download. Additionally, as the effects are zipped, you will need to unzip them on a computer first before transferring.

what format do spectral illusions come in?

Most Spectral Illusions effects come bundled as 2 files: MP4 and MOV. Some of our backgrounds are offered as MP4 only due to size contraints. If an MOV file is needed, please contact us and a link will be emailed to you within 1-2 business days. We offer the multiple formats so you can choose which file works best in your playback system. All files are 1920x1080, Full HD video files with soundtrack.

Our pre-loaded USB drives contain Full HD MP4 files.

are your effects available on dvd?

No. We do not offer our effects on DVD, only as digital downloads. However, you are welcome to burn your effects to DVD yourself using DVD Authoring software. Remember that DVD resolution is only 720x480, so the image quality will be lower than if you use a digital format.

what kind of projector should I use?

When we are at shows, we use a BenQ Short Throw 1080p Projector. It gives us a beautiful image and can make a 10’ wide image at an 8-9’ throw. If you need a longer throw, get a “regular” projector which are usually a bit less expensive.

If searching for a used projector, keep in mind that you want to get the highest resolution (HD or better is ideal) and lumens (2000 lumens or more is preferred) you can find, with the lowest number of hours on the bulb. The bulb is the most expensive maintenance you are likely to have to do on a projector, so if you have to replace that right away, you might as well purchase a new projector over a used one. If your scene is in a very dark area or you are projecting a small image, you could potentially get away with lower lumens or resolution. 

what can i use to playback my spectral illusions?

There are several options for delivery methods for your Spectral Illusions effects. Which one you choose will be dictated by space, location and other concerns.

  • Media player

A media player is a compact, digital source for playback, and is increasingly the most popular choice. Looping is seamless. The one we recommend is the Micca Speck 1080p Media Player and can be found at Amazon and other retailers for $50 or under. It has proven to be a very reliable device and loops beautifully. It is simple to use and hide due to its extremely compact size. For a more “pro” level media player, the Bright Sign Player, either the HD 222 or XD232, is an excellent choice. They can be found at Amazon and other retailers for $250-400. They are designed for heavy use and run smoothly and easily. They also begins playing as soon as it is turned on, so it is ideal for situations where you need to simply power up to go. 

  • Smartphone/Tablet/MP3 Player

These devices are most useful when utilized like a television for smaller effects, for example a tabletop display or, for example, Creepy Peepers, which is designed to be smaller and can be hidden in a small area. Check manufacturer and/or app information for looping ability. 

  • Computer

A computer is one of the better options for your image. It can be difficult to conceal, but the smoothness of the looping can be very helpful, especially if your projector or scene is indoors.

  • DVD/BluRay Player

When the end of the clip is reached when using DVD or BluRay, the laser must physically move back to the beginning, resulting in a few black frames. Our solution is to burn multiple copies of the clip in a row on your DVD or Blu-Ray. This way, the clip will play several times in a row before the laser has to reset. This is the most cumbersome option, however, it is useful when necessary.

what surfaces are suitable for projection?

With projection effects, it’s all about how best to conceal the projector. They can be front projected or rear projected (a fairly standard option on projectors, either as a switch on the back or under settings). You can project on a screen; scrim; solid surface, like a building or wall; in a Pepper’s Ghost configuration; and even on smoke or fog, as long as you have minimal airflow and the proper equipment. 

There are very effective professional projection surfaces: screens, rear projection material, Sharkstooth scrim, etc. There are also highly effective, and less expensive materials available. We like 100% polyester knit for front and rear projection screens as the material is smooth and wrinkles can be stretched out. Bridal Tulle is a passable scrim material. Use grey or black for better integration into your scene. Inexpensive shower curtain liners are great choices as well. Frosted shower curtains can sometimes show a “hotspot” from the projector. When purchasing fabrics from a fabric store, verify they are flame retardant for safety’s sake. If they aren’t, there are flame retardants available to treat the fabric from various theatrical sources.

what is the duration of each effect?

All our effects are seen in their entirety in the YouTube videos. A few have added black at the end to assist with looping. Total video duration is as follows:

  • Accursed Helmsman: 1:03
  • A Dark and Stormy Night: 4:26
  • Creepy Peepers: 1:52
  • Daisy the Ghost Bride: 1:20
  • Electric Specter: 0:39
  • Evil Clown Town: 3:33
  • Forsaken Prisoner: 0:40
  • Ghostly Hearse: 0:50
  • Ghost of Prudence Primm: 0:45
  • Ghosts in the Graveyard: 4:26
  • Haunted House Ride: 2:13
  • Haunted Library: 2:00
  • Haunted Library with Prudence: 2:43
  • The Haunted Tombstone: 1:51
  • Lost at Sea: 0:33
  • Phantom of the Park: 0:31
  • Phantom Wraith: 0:58
  • Restless Spirit: 0:40
  • Revenant: 0:28
  • The Runny Man: 0:33
  • Spirit of the West: 0:55
  • Waking the Dead: 0:37

What is the difference between portrait and landscape versions?

Daisy, the Ghost Bride and A Dark and Stormy Night both come bundled with both portrait and landscape versions. The portrait version will have a vertical frame (1080x1920) and will need to be projected with the projector stood on its end. The landscape version is the standard orientation and has a horozontal frame (1920x1080)

How do I project onto a static form with daisy, the ghost bride or the haunted tombstone?

Very simply, project your effect onto your flat surface (Styrofoam, Foam Core, Plywood, etc.) in the desired size and trace around the image. Cut it out, and stand it up. You can see a video demonstration of this technique here.

If you have further questions, please Contact Us.