Some people feel that a blanket of fresh snow is enough to get their Christmas spirits up. Well those scrooges don't live in my house; I would hang tiny Christmas ornaments on my ornaments if I could. 

It occurred to me that a fresh blanket of snow creates magnificent blank canvas, ready to be decorated. But how does one apply the colors to create the art without ruining the canvas by walking on it. Renting a crane and hanging from a tether in the style of Mission Impossible may provide some entertainment for your neighbors, but not much else I suspect.

I used a digital projector located in an upstairs bedroom to create images on the snow below. People regularly stop in front of my house while the show is playing. I think they are mostly curious as to the source of light. I wanted to create some anamorphic 3D perspective wizardry with the images in the style of Julian Beever's amazing chalk art. "Greasetatoo" has a great instructible on how to achieve this visual illusion and I have largely applied his methods to the medium of digital projection and video. This was  a really fun project which forced me to learn about perspective, anamorphic art and video animation.

See the video below to see the entire show, or at the very least skip to 45 seconds to see the whole yard crumble away.  At 124 seconds I look up to reveal the position of the projector, and the remainder of the movie is merely to illustrate how deformed the images need to be to trick your eyes from the vantage point in the street.

Step 1: STEP 1: Requirements

For this project you will need:
  1. Computer (a recent model with decent video card is advisable)
  2. Digital Projector (> 1000 lumens) 
  3. Drawing software, I used Corel Draw (Gimp is available for free)
  4. Movie software, I used Adobe After Effects (Imovie or MS Movie Maker for free)
  5. Some snow, the fresher the better: Check out the sad sad probability map for the US... Living in Winnipeg has to have SOME advantages.
Given enough time and experience you can largely make up for less than state of the art software. The quality of your projector, however, is going to have a direct impact on the quality of the final product. The model I use is a ≈1000$ consumer model (Optoma HD20) which has 1700 lumens, 4000:1 contrast and 1080p resolution. This is more than enough power and quality; you may be surprised how well your old office projector will work. Fresh snow provides great reflectance; and depending on the placement of streetlights, you could impress with less than 1000 lumens. You can also reduce the size of projection (by zooming or moving your projector closer to the target) to gain some precious brightness.
Woah luv it its sooo sparkly
Thanks, the cover photo is sparkly from the snow itself.! No trickery there.
Whoa tat is sooooooo cool
Follow me plzz I'm new

About This Instructable




Bio: A lowly geologist who likes to build stuff.
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