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Faking the Glass

Discussion in 'Scenery, Props, and Rigging' started by GallyTD, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. GallyTD

    GallyTD Member

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    Ok comrades, jfisher2008 and I are working on a set that was designed before we knew our budget (fun) and now trying retroactively to fit inside our budget.

    As a result I'm cutting corners all over the place, but there is one spot where I'm getting stuck- we're building flats to represent a house, and as designed, it has 6 windows. The cheapest way I found to purchase a material to substitute for glass was 1/4 inch rigid plastic sheets (4x8) from Acme Plastics, but that still runs over 125 per sheet (not including shipping here).l

    So the question is- how have you faked glass in the past? Are we talking plastic wrap, using the audience's "imagination" or what? Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. DaveySimps

    DaveySimps CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Unless it is integral to the show in some form, I would say the glass can be imagined. Some sort of window frame would suggest the actual window design, and various window treatemnts should help disguise it.

    ~Dave
     
  3. philhaney

    philhaney CBMod CB Mods

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    If you don't need it, don't use it.

    There is always the chance that someone, somewhere in the audience, will get hit by the reflection of light coming from an instrument somehow (you'ld be surprised).
     
  4. Traitor800

    Traitor800 Active Member

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    If your going for the frosted glass look (which is usually the way it is cause clear glass or plexi dosent really read on stage it needs some frosting, and frosting hides what is backstage) a good substitute is the frosted clear shower curtains that you can get at Wallmart for $2.50. What you do is stretch the shower curtain over the back of your opening, use a ton of staples like 1 every 2" and be sure to use proper stretching techniques like you would use if stretching duve or mus on a flat. after the shower curtain is stretched tight you can eliminate the big wrinkles and most of the little ones using a heat gun. GO SLOW with the heat gun, patience is key. The shower curtain will sag a little as it gets warm and then if you move the heat gun away it will tighten itself as it cools eliminating the wrinkles.

    If you are looking for the clear glass look, I would use nothing, clear glass barely reads on stage and can cast reflections as stated earlier.
     
  5. propmonkey

    propmonkey Well-Known Member

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    i just saw a show wednesday night in milwaukee in which they used some fabric for the glass. i cant remember the name but i think it was started with a b.
     
  6. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    For an effective glass treatment try going to your local Home Improvement Center and asking for "Frost King" window treatment. It is a clear plastic that is designed to be installed over a double hung window with single pane glass. It comes with a roll of "Snot Tape" which you can install around the outside of a window frame, press the plastic to it. Then heat with a Hair Dryer. The plastic will pull Very Tight. This is and excellent option as long as the wall the window is in is very well braced, the least amount of wiggle in the wall will cause the Plastic to, sympathetically, wiggle as well.
    This plastic can also be hit with Hairspray < Aquanet, Super Hold, Unscented> to cut down on glare < reflections> or a favorite of mine is to lightly dust the outside of the material with Flat White spray paint to mimic frosting, or dirt on the outside of the window.
    Another great way to create an Opaque type glass is to stretch Vellum, or Tracing Paper over the outside of a windows "glass" hope one of these pearls helps you out. Believe me when I tell you I sympathize with your Budget / Design situation.
     
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Van you stole my post... right down to the hairspray! :( When using hairspray or spray paint be sure to spray a from a good distance away. I like laying it on the ground and spraying from 3 or 4 feet above.

    I've also seen people just use the silver window screen material. It's not perfect for every set, but it has an interesting look that can work.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  8. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Or go down to your local fabric shop and pick up some grey or black bobbinette. That works great for windows, we use it all the time.
     
  9. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    Depending on the time period for the windows and size, simple wax paper works well, and looks nifty lit behind. That's the only trick I can think of that's not listed above.
     
  10. Jfisher2008

    Jfisher2008 Member

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    we are doing "Fences" the Director/Set deigner wanted to set the period in late 1950's

    GallyTD and i are going to look over the suggestions that you all replied with. hopefully we can decide on the choice to do the window.


    Thanks Everyone.
     
  11. thorin81

    thorin81 Active Member

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    If you have access to it, clear vacu-form plastic sheets are significantly cheaper than 1/4" plastic you would get from Acme. It is nice since all you need to shape is is a matte knife. It also bends easily - since it is a thermal plastic you can jsut take a heat gun to the particularly stubborn places and it will go where you want it.
    If you have questions about it or where to find it, PM me I would be glad to help!!
     

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