Epson Laser Projectors Illuminate Newfields’ Spooky “Harvest Nights” After Dark Event

An Epson projector lights up this spooky ghost train.
(Image credit: Blockhouse Studios)

Another year of spook-tacular encounters returns under the Indiana harvest sky with Harvest Nights at Newfields evening event at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Returning this year, boutique multimedia production company Blockhouse Studios was brought on to design and create an illuminated experience for visitors filled with mysterious moments. Leveraging Epson projectors and impressive projection mapping skills, Blockhouse Studios brought the Harvest Nights immersive experience to life, taking guests down a path of glowing pumpkins, through an enchanted forest, towards a magical ghost train, and finishing with a massive projection mapped party at the National Historic Landmark Lilly House mansion with spooky festivities inside and outside.

The month-long Harvest Nights event includes several aspects of projection mapping throughout the walking path and takes guests through a ghostly tour of wonder inside the Lilly House mansion. Leveraging technology to push the boundaries of imagination in order to create new experiences this year, Blockhouse Studios’ team incorporated impressive special effects to immerse visitors into magical illuminations.

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“It’s impressive to watch how fast projection technology is evolving, and we were able to incorporate some of the art tech, tools, software, and applications into this project,” said Kevin Winkler, owner, Blockhouse Studios. “Epson’s new EB-PU2200 series projectors were game changers when it came to image quality and installation for Harvest Nights. At almost half the size of previous models, the new projectors were easier to rig and required smaller enclosures. This helped us cut down on costs, while still getting the same stunning color, brightness, and detail that we are used to from Epson.”

Blockhouse brought in one massive Holographic HOLOVISION scrim made by U.S. company Gerriets. Hand sewn and silver-infused, the ultra-transparent HOLOVISION was new to this year’s event. Mounted on a standing truss in the woods, it created sharp and bright images when projected upon while almost going invisible when unlit. As guests walk through the path into the fog-filled forest, a hidden Epson EB-PU2216B 16,000-lumen projector1 with an ELPLX02 ultra short-throw lens creates a mysterious, holographic-like experience through the magic of projection. Rumbling below guests’ feet, the ghost train slowly approaches and whooshes by with a gust of wind, giving an illusion as if a real train has sped by. Walking past the ghost train into the forest further, an additional EB-PU2216B and HOLOVISION scrim was used to create an eerie, yet elegant dance starring the Three Graces sculptures.

Epson projection mapping lights up this haunted house in eerie colors.

(Image credit: Blockhouse Studios)

Completing the walking tour, guests arrive at the historic heart of Newfields, the Lilly House mansion. Creating a complete architectural mapping of the entire building, Blockhouse Studios used ten Epson EB-PU2220B projectors to light up the mansion. Leveraging 200,000 lumens of brightness, Blockhouse Studios lit up the 20th century country estate and used a 5.1 surround sound system to completely immerse guests in a larger-than-life projection mapped party scene. From the outside, figurines are seen in the windows enjoying the evening, while the Three Graces statue is brought to life to perform a dance. Flashes of lightning take over the outside along with flying bats and other mystical components. The projection mapping ends with the house being restored to its historic glory.

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New to this year’s event, guests were encouraged to explore inside the Lilly House mansion. Leaving no spot untouched by projection, the team at Blockhouse Studios created high resolution copies of paintings hung inside the Lilly House mansion and used Epson LightScene and PowerLite  L530U projectors to projection map faces and scenes onto them, bringing the paintings to life.

Epson projection mapping light up this spooky ghost train.

(Image credit: Blockhouse Studios)

“The magic of Harvest Nights comes together with the remarkable capabilities of projection mapping, as you see throughout the nightly experience. Blockhouse Studios did an incredible job using Epson projection technology to bring Newfields’ vision to life,” said Jonathan Berger, vice president of marketing and external affairs and executive producer of Harvest Nights.

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With 14 Epson projectors powering different parts throughout the Harvest Nights experience, Blockhouse Studios was able to leverage Epson’s free Projector Professional Tool software to blend, warp, color match, and configure projectors from one central location. With an easy-to-use interface, the software was a simple solution for all of Blockhouse Studios team members to use during pre-production and execution of the different projector elements. “From installing and setting up the projectors to managing content," Winkler added, "working with the EPPT software and Epson’s PixAlign ELPEC01 cameras gave us easy access to key projector features, streamlining the process immensely.”

The AVNetwork staff are storytellers focused on the professional audiovisual and technology industry. Their mission is to keep readers up-to-date on the latest AV/IT industry and product news, emerging trends, and inspiring installations.