Tower of Terror Theater

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Oct 22, 2019
Location
Las Vegas, NV
So I am working on a Tower of Terror recreation in my home, and part of the set consists of an approximate 13' x 9' photo of the Tower of Terror Boiler furnaces printed on a semipermeable vinyl banner. In order to increase the realism and illusion of depth, I have been adding lighting effects as shown in this video. I will also be adding some faux steam pipes shortly. The lighting effects were created simply placing small LEDs behind the vinyl banner where there are two overhead lights seen and an illuminated green instrument panel light. The boiler furnace fire effects were created by placing some commercially purchased LEDs made to simulate flame and mounting them in a thin styroform mold with a light-blocking screen to only allow the flame light to be seen in the open holes in the grates and not through solid areas of the grates or the boiler structure.

 

RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
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Waterdown, ON, CA
So I am working on a Tower of Terror recreation in my home, and part of the set consists of an approximate 13' x 9' photo of the Tower of Terror Boiler furnaces printed on a semipermeable vinyl banner. In order to increase the realism and illusion of depth, I have been adding lighting effects as shown in this video. I will also be adding some faux steam pipes shortly. The lighting effects were created simply placing small LEDs behind the vinyl banner where there are two overhead lights seen and an illuminated green instrument panel light. The boiler furnace fire effects were created by placing some commercially purchased LEDs made to simulate flame and mounting them in a thin styroform mold with a light-blocking screen to only allow the flame light to be seen in the open holes in the grates and not through solid areas of the grates or the boiler structure.

@Tower of Terror Theater I'll speak to your flame effects through your boiler's grates.
I'm not describing an existing commercial product.

Consider multiple colors of LEDs or incandescent sources behind each slot spaced back a few inches behind thin sheets of Rosco, or other, difusion gel.
Consider generally darker colors (reds and dark ambers) towards the bottom, medium ambers in the centre, and light ambers, heavy yellows and one or two light blues towards the top. Power your approximately 12 to 20 circuits from 12 to 20 separate DMX controlled dimmers, then program pseudo random chase sequences with varying intensities between ~5 to ~90% over a variety of pseudo random fade rates ranging between approximately .5 to 5 seconds with NO steadily on or off states. Various controllers from ETC and Strand can be programmed to output these types of chases, not as stock pre-programmed effects but by putting more and more time into finessing their basic stock effects.

I'm long retired from current technology, I still think in terms of lighting consoles from the early 1990's.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

Tower of Terror Theater

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Oct 22, 2019
Location
Las Vegas, NV
Hi Ron: I think your suggestion would indeed give a really realistic flame effect, but I think this is one case where I am happy with the effect obtained with a relatively small amount of time effort and cost. As always appreciate your insight and suggestions. I have mentioned previously I really have no experience in programming show controllers or DMX so I am dependent on a very good tech who unfortunately has alot going on and further progress is pending his availability so I am hesitant to add more onto a already significant list of tasks for him to work on. This prop was one where I could do the the wiring, and actual prop build, so it is keeping me occupied while I anxiously await the programming of multiple effects.
 
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almorton

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Dec 17, 2014
Location
Caterham, Surrey, UK
You could get the sort of flicker effect Ron suggests (I've used it myself on stage to simulate ovens and burners, it can look convincing) without a full on desk by using an arduino, raspberry pi, teensy, beaglebone (or any of those single chip systems really) to control your LEDs. They're not hard to get in to.

And yes, a graduated set of colours with some diffusion works a treat.
 

MRW Lights

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Jan 4, 2017
Location
NYC
Now that you have your LED's this won't help at all, but is only to say that as long as they're still available my favorite go to DIY fire effect is a series of incandescent bulbs and inline fluorescent starters. A varying mix of wattage, lamp size and bulb shape, plus a mix of the aforementioned gel selection and gel origami and you've got yourself one nifty looking fire. I still keep a bag of parts around to create this effect right next to my TeleQ.... Every young upcoming ME hates me when I hand them a ziploc of starters and wire nuts, but by the end they typically agree it looks better than any programmed LED...

In the legendary comments of @RonHebbard "Toodleoo!"
 

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