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"Optical 'Eye'-llusion"

By Rick Whitlow

3D. An effect that is commonly used in many haunts today. The three-dimensional craze has spread across the haunt industry like a wild fire, consuming haunts with its bright colors, mind bending illusions, and intricate designs. The 3D effect has evolved from more than just sections in a haunt, spawning complete haunts designed entirely around the three-dimensional concept.
While many haunts utilize paintings and murals for their effect, some have taken it one step futher, and added 3D makeup jobs into their haunts. The finished result is a mind boggling eye catching optical illusion that tests your mind's capabilities to distinguish reality from illusion.
While there are many artists who create three-dimentional artwork, there is one man who is quite possibly the best artist in the industry today.... Stuart Smith. Stuart has created three- dimensional designs for many many haunted attractions nationwide, with no shortage of clients just waiting to get their haunts "christened" by his airbrush. His designs are colorful, smooth, and eye catching to say the least. To many, he is the standard for 3D artwork. Stuartizm Designs creates atmospheric scenery as well as top notch murals and designs for haunts. He is truly the best in the business when it comes to artwork.

While not to take away from the other aspect of the effect, which is makeup. 3D makeup isn't so much aimed at the illusion aspect, but more towards being eye-catching. Most makeup jobs use a flourescent based paint, which will create a glowing effect when lit under a blacklight. This, combined with the 3D glasses and artwork, turn out to be an experience not to be missed.

An example of 3D makeup would be from the Tunnel of Terror, in Cleveland, OH. which took place over the summer of 2002, which featured flourescent 3D makeup by Pogo & Ejarza of Demons Of Darkness. The intricate designs and bright colors are truly eye catching. While most prefer to airbrush the makeup, some choose to apply it by hand, which, when done properly, can be more effective than airbrushing.

No matter what method is used in haunts, one thing can be said about it all: 3D has become an awe inspiring sensation that's sweeping haunted attractions by storm. With the current advances in the techniques used to achieve these results, who knows what a few years down the road may have in store for haunt enthusiasts. Who would have thought, 10 years ago, that haunts today would be producing such breathtaking illusions. I certainly didn't, but I'm impressed with it so far. We can only anticipate what the future holds for three-dimensional effects and artwork in this great industry!


Last image is Matt "MIDIAN" Luciano of the First Order Of Fear. 3D artwork pictures courtesy Stuart Smith, 3D makeup pictures courtesy Pogo of Demons Of Darkness, and may not be reproduced without permission from their respective owners. ___________________________________________________________________

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