Creating Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis with limited resources

Hello,

I am helping a small community theater with their production of Almost, Maine and they are doing a very scaled-down version of the Northern Lights effect. The effect only needs to be on an 8 foot section of the stage left proscenium wall. Right now the fixtures at my disposal are an 8' Altman R40 and two ADJ Inno Pocket Z4 moving heads. I'm struggling to figure out the best way to make this work for this effect and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!
 
How is your Altman wired in terms of the "cells". What do you have available to control your lighting (console, dimmers etc)?

I've done this sort of effect with LED battens and a slow pulsating intensity effect and a slowly changing colour effect. That would be my suggestion - gel up your Altman in different shades that you want your northern lights (greens? Pale blues? Cyans? They're sometimes red, of course) and run a slow "dimmer chase" on them, augmenting that with the ADJs - don't worry about trying to make them move, I think that will be distracting, again, just make the colour slowly pulsate. Maybe uplight the wall directly with the Altman and then uplight with the ADJs crossed.

Not sure why, but I feel it might look better uplit rather than downlit, but try it both ways?
 
How is your Altman wired in terms of the "cells". What do you have available to control your lighting (console, dimmers etc)?

I've done this sort of effect with LED battens and a slow pulsating intensity effect and a slowly changing colour effect. That would be my suggestion - gel up your Altman in different shades that you want your northern lights (greens? Pale blues? Cyans? They're sometimes red, of course) and run a slow "dimmer chase" on them, augmenting that with the ADJs - don't worry about trying to make them move, I think that will be distracting, again, just make the colour slowly pulsate. Maybe uplight the wall directly with the Altman and then uplight with the ADJs crossed.

Not sure why, but I feel it might look better uplit rather than downlit, but try it both ways?
It is a four circuit, so I have fairly good flexibility in that sense. I have a bunch of dimmers and plenty of circuits to power them. For control I'm using an Express 250, which I'm relatively familiar with.

I'm thinking of doing dark and light blues, the idea being that the dark blue will establish the "canvas" of the night sky and then I can pulsate slowly some paler blues, greens and maybe. I'll likely ignore the red in this case. I like your idea of uplight and crossing the ADJs and I agree- no movement for those. The ADJs do have a zoom feature which could be helpful but I'll see.

Thanks for the suggestions!
 
We're expecting them again this evening. I haven't processed my camera shots from last night yet, but here's one from my phone (SO's iPhone did a much better job than this)
 

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Hello,

I am helping a small community theater with their production of Almost, Maine and they are doing a very scaled-down version of the Northern Lights effect. The effect only needs to be on an 8 foot section of the stage left proscenium wall. Right now the fixtures at my disposal are an 8' Altman R40 and two ADJ Inno Pocket Z4 moving heads. I'm struggling to figure out the best way to make this work for this effect and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!
You can also get epson ultra short throw classroom type projectors for about 100 bucks on ebay now.. Could project an animation or 3 slides with fade transition.
 

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