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Effects and colors to simulate water

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by jjestrauss, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. jjestrauss

    jjestrauss New Member

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    Does anyone have some ideas for effects and/or colors that best simulate water????
  2. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Gam Film FX unit with water loop and a taped together gel of a few colors in the blue range.
  3. Logos

    Logos Active Member

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    We've had a couple of threads on this.

    1/ Have a shallow dish of water about 2 feet square. Focus a lantern down on it and have a fan agitate it. It will give you a water reflection.

    2/ Pin a sheet of aluminium foil to the back of a drop. Point a fan at it to agitate it and bounce the light from a lantern off it. Once again water like refections.

    Light blues and sea greens I won't give numbers as I use Lee.

    These are both cheap and easy and give the effect of water refections on the set. There are a number of projection techniques including but not limited to gobo rotators, effects wheels, wave projectors but they are more expensive. What are you actually after and how much budget do you have?
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Oh, go ahead and name names there, Logos. We have lots of Lee Filters in this country. And users can always go here for conversions, for the unofficial color media of the Control Booth! (but what's up with no #00, Clear?)
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team

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    Logos gave you a good rundown but to really recommend something there are a few things we need to know...
    How large of a space are you trying to cover with the water effect?
    What kind of budget do you have?
    Is this just a quick show or a long term install?
    Do you have any sort of real water on the set that could be used to generate the effect?
  6. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Depending on your budget and the size of the area you need to cover there are several water projection fixtures in the market.

    The Aquasplash by VEI is inexpensive and does a nice job for under $ 200.00

    [​IMG]

    Here's the link with a Quik Time Movie.
    http://www.visualeffectsinc.com/visualeffectsweb/products/annex/v9970dlx.html

    For a more robust output and larger area coverage the Elation Waterfall 250 will do the trick for around $ 700.00

    [​IMG]

    Here's the link
    http://www.elationlighting.com/product.asp?ProductIDNumber=1320&cat=Special Effect

    And yes a shallow pan with a mirror in the bottom and an inch of water will also work. We used this method for the "Hair" tour in '72.
  7. Logos

    Logos Active Member

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    OK I always like L131 Marine Blue and for a more saturated sea green L116 medium blue green. When I can get it I also use L725 Old Steel Blue and L132 Medium Blue. This is for the above mentioned water effects you understand. I sometimes add a diffusion gel to soften the edges of the effect.
  8. Jezza

    Jezza Member

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    Depending on how literal or how realistic, GAM has great "recipes" on their site to use a dual gobo rotator along with a static gobo to create some respectable looking effects.

    The best water I've seen, outside of a scenic projector or actual video has been using the Rosco Scene Machine, which is fairly close to a scenic projector. Using different Image Glass, the device can create a very pleasing water effect.
  9. cnnrward

    cnnrward New Member

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    Does anybody know how to produce a similar effect using only conventional lighting?
  10. AudJ

    AudJ Member

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    Lots of ideas on other threads. Last I used a Pyrex baking pan filled with water on the floor (just offstage, or somewhere it won't be seen) with a mirror on the bottom of the pan, and focus a tight beam at the mirror (be careful not to put the electric anywhere near the water as it can spill easily). A small equipment fan I found at radio shack kept the water moving, and was fairly quiet. If you get a good focus and angle this works well. Bolt and secure everything so an accidental bump does not cause an unsafe situation.

    I used a bunch of old cd's once instead of a mirror. They can be hot glued to get a more random looking pattern, or make a better spread, depending on your angles required.
  11. cnnrward

    cnnrward New Member

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    What about if I need to make the floor appear as if it is a river?
  12. AudJ

    AudJ Member

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    I have flown a pan in the past, and went right through it with the light. Same procedure with the fan and electric, but this gets a little dicy, as you do not want Pyrex falling from the sky. For that one, I used a plastic cake cover (like the from the grocery store when you buy a cake), and created a sturdy frame from 3/4 ply and 2 brackets w/pipe clamps stripped from old lights. Careful not to get the light too close, as I am sure it can melt the plastic. You might try to find something better as a water basin, but whatever it is, be sure to fasten securely on all sides, and integrate safeties.

    I recall this was quite tedious to focus and keep safe, but the result was respectable. A good tight beam will help. I think that is where I first hot-glued the cd's on different angles in the pan to help out.

    Probably goes without saying, but do not hang water from the electric bar.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
    cnnrward and (deleted member) like this.
  13. Judge

    Judge Member

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    Occupation:
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    1/ Have a shallow dish of water about 2 feet square. Focus a lantern down on it and have a fan agitate it. It will give you a water reflection.

    Second this idea. The most effective use I ever saw of this was on a TV shoot I was doing and they got a really big shallow dish and put a smashed mirror in the bottom, then put about 6 inches of water in, then had a guy standing there agitating with a stick. Then fired a 2.5kW HMI down onto it. That made awesome watery patterns!
    Water and broken glass on set is not always practical, so in the past I have done a recreation of this by taping ally cooking foil onto the ground and then firing spots down onto it. If you can rotate gobos onto it so much the better.
    Lately I have discovered (albeit a bit late) the wonders of the animation wheel in a Mac 700 spot. Get that going with the right speed and out-of-focusness and you can get great effects - water or flame depending on orientation and color.

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