Can the actor behind a scrim see through it ??

I can't find an answer to this question anywhere...Can the actor behind a scrim see through it if it's front lit? I want to have the scrim front lit, so that the audience can't see through it. But I need the actor behind the scrim to be able to see through it so they can see the audience...Would this work? Thanks
 

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
I can't find an answer to this question anywhere...Can the actor behind a scrim see through it if it's front lit? I want to have the scrim front lit, so that the audience can't see through it. But I need the actor behind the scrim to be able to see through it so they can see the audience...Would this work? Thanks
@Australia18 I'll but in and say: If the audience is lit; Yes.
If the actor isn't blinded by light in his eyes; Yes.

I'm assuming you're front lighting your scrim from an extremely oblique angle so the front light on the scrim either down lights or cross lights the scrim from one and /or both sides without passing through the scrim to front light your actor.

I'll butt out and I'm confident others will post if they haven't already while I've been typing.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Generally, you can see illuminated objects - people - through the scrim. So how well lit is your audience?

I'd ask Doug, was what was downstage of scrim - audience presumably - illuminated?
 
I guess I should be more specific...The light will be coming from a large bonfire 20 - 30 feet in front of the scrim. I want actors behind the scrim to be able to see the bonfire and people around it, but I don't want the people around the bonfire or in front of the scrim to see the actors behind the scrim...Would that work? Basically I'm trying to have a 1-way fabric effect...
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Is it totally dark behind the scrim? If the actors are lit, even by moonlight, they may be visible to the audience to some degree. I really don't know how light from a bonfire will affect the scrims transparency. It seems like it could be straight on and thus pass through. If you can experiment, try angling the scrim somehow.
 

jtweigandt

Well-Known Member
like in the other thread... google David Copperfield makes the Statue of Liberty disappear... With the right lighting and audience placement.. this can be done even without a scrim.
The fly in the ointment here is your bonfire... to do the disappearing, your light sources need to be somewhat controllable and directional.. ie.. the light coming at your audience needs to be
an order of magnitude brighter than any light that catches your invisible actors. And the actors need to not be blinded by the light source.
 
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gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
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A Scrim is not magic. If it is only lit from the top and sides, it appears solid. Any front light hitting the scrim will pass through and you will see through it. Any bright light behind it and you can see through. Dim light, or accidental light leaked will sort of reveal the other side. That basically works in both directions. But again it's not magic, there's a lot of tweaking required to get the effect just right and it's easy to screw up. People often hang a solid black drop behind the scrim to keep the look perfect and sneak it out just before the big reveal is going to happen.

So, yes the effect you describe is possible, but it may be difficult and may not be practical. You may have to mess with the lighting so much out front to make it work, that you ruin the design from the audience point of view.
 

jhochb

Active Member
Good Morning


Is there a name for this effect.

I do power distro & R&R mostly. I've seen this work but have never had the chance to work with it.

Thanks
 

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