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Flickering Candle

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by dannyn, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. dannyn

    dannyn Member

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    Hello all,
    I am trying to achieve the flickering candle, effect.
    I know that there is those little tea sized flickering lights, but I need this is a much larger scale, with something that produces much more light.
    Does anybody have any ideas?
    Thank You!
     
  2. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    How much larger a scale? Can you give a few more details? This post is really too vague for us to give any effective advice.

    Several different ideas come to mind, but I don't know which direction to steer you.
     
  3. dannyn

    dannyn Member

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    I am looking for something like this
    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OemR3oCBTWk&NR=1[/media]
    But I need the same light equivalent of a 30watt incadescent bulb.
    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  4. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Let me think,

    GAM makes a flickering machine.

    But that's expensive, I think programming a single channel chase of varying intensities of a 60 watt lamp could create a flicker effect nicely.

    Or, have a dual gobo rotator with flame gobos, in an ellisoidal focused in the general area of this candle.

    There are those little flicker-flame bulbs too, but no one likes those.
     
  5. amdram

    amdram Member

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    Don't know where you are, but if you're in the UK you could try GlowGadgets.com - Where Everyone Glows
    They do an LED candle that might be what you need.

    Andy
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  6. BrianA

    BrianA Member

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    Location:
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    How about the Flickering Candle from Rosco?

    We sell these starting at $29.75 for the Basic Module. Give me a ring for more info.


    Brian Adoff
    Director of Sales
    Philadelphia Theatrical Supply
    215.627.1225
     
  7. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    If you need it to be portable, you are going to be hard pressed to find something that will be as bright as you want it. If you do it will be heavy and big on account of the battery needed to drive it. If the candle is just going to sit in a candlestick or candelabra then [user]gafftapegreenia[/user] probably has the best idea.

    We do candle effects all the time and for stationary candles we just use flame shaped candelabra based lamps and wire everything so that it can plug into a dimmer. If we need a flicker effect we write on on the console. Sometimes, when the look is right we also use flicker lamps like these:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. dannyn

    dannyn Member

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    It does not need to be portable.
    I like the picture that you posted, but I am worried that there will not be enough brightness for what we need. If there was a version of that picture that screwed into a normal light bulb (I don't think itd be lamp,hope I used that right) socket then that would be the best.
    Thanks for all the help that you have given me!
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2008
  9. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Dannyn, You're being unintentionally vague, I believe. " I like that picture that you posted..." a could be in response to three different posts in this thread. I'm going to assume < usually a bad idea> that you are referring to Icewolfs picture of the classic "candelabra base flicker bulb" Now those are cool, and they do come in a medium screw base size, bu they don't put off much light. They are really mostly for effect. If it's the shape that you like there are several manufacturers of Lamps that sell flame shaped lamps that are rated at anywhere from 20 - 100 watts. Perhaps a 60 watt-er run and 50% would give you the look you are looking for ?
    I know you posted a picture but perhaps you could take the time to describe the effect you are looking for ? The lamp that Icewolf posted the picture of is about the same size as the entire candle depicted in the picture you posted. Basically, I'm confused. What's your application? What's your budget? What's your look? What's your skill level? These are the basic TD kind of questions I like to ask before making recommendations.
     
  10. dannyn

    dannyn Member

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    Thanks for the post Van.
    I like the picture that Icewolf posted.
    I would like to actually use something like that, but I would like it to fit in the standard light bulb socket, if that is possible.
    Do you have any links?
    Thanks!
     
  11. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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  12. dannyn

    dannyn Member

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    I like the second one better beacuse it is a lot more watts. I think I am going to order both lamps and see which one works better.
    If anyone has any other suggestions, I am open to anything.
     
  13. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    More watts doesn't always mean brighter. Especially with devices like these flicker and flame lamps. One other caveat to these lamps is that they aren't really designed to dim. In fact some don't dim at all, if the voltage gets too low they just go out, but until then they stay lit like they are at full (I have done some testing).

    What you are trying to do is what we in theatre generally call creating a "Motivated light source." The thing about motivated sources is that in general, in theatre, they the source itself is not bright enough to carry the scene. So what do we do? We try to imitate the quality of light from supplemental sources. How can we do this? Well, the cardinal rule of lighting for the stage is that you have to be able to see the actors. If the audience can't see the actors they feel like something is wrong. Therefore if we supplement the light that a single candle emits and actually light a big chunk of stage (in a manner consistent with how a candle illuminates a room) the audience will believe it.

    So now is the part where we do some thinking. How does a candle illuminate a room? What does candle light look like? We know that candle light is warm, and we know that it isn't that bright. Also if your candle rests on a table the light from it comes at a very low, almost flat angle to everything. Also, set up a candle and note that in general you don't notice all that much flickering except when you are close to the source. How do we achieve this look on stage? Low angle front and side light in a warm color. You may also have some kind of warm soft focused special that illuminates the area where the candle is as a downlight (or close to down). Mix in a little cool back or top light to make your people pop and you should be OK.

    If you have your heart set on having lots of flickering going on you can now write an FX cue in your console that randomly changes the levels of the fill lights. Consider though that lots of flickering light will get annoying and distracting very fast. If you end up using flicker lamp (even if you don't) you will convey the idea of "candle" to the audience. The other thing you can try to get the "flickering" effect is gobo rotators. Any TwinSpin style rotator will do the trick. Rotating two organic breakups in opposition will continually change the shadows and highlights in the space and should give a pretty good flicker effect.

    The audience is smarter than you think, you don't need to hit them in the face with "candle light" for them to believe that is how the scene is illuminated. You also have to think about how far away the audience is from the effect. In a proscenium stage the audience is usually so far away that they don't pick up on the minute details. This is why we can get away with thing like using a Rosco or CTI Flicker candle instead of a real one, you can't tell the difference when you are in the audience.

    So before you go scrounging around the web and buying up different lamps and candles you might want to think about how you really need the effect to look. What other gear do you have to supplement the effect in house? This is one of those things that falls under the art of theatre. We attempt to mesh the needs of the design with the needs of reality and hopefully come out with art!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  14. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Forget the candles and use torchieres! (Much more dramatic.)
    [​IMG]
    Le Flame
     
  15. WillowEllery

    WillowEllery Member

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    Be specific! Details remember, are the cornerstone of solving problems. :D

    Edit: Whoops, didn't realize there were two pages of this, so I deleted my questions, because icewolf, above, pretty much had already said everything I'd said. However, to the original poster, my last comment still stands. :D Details are the cornerstone of problem solving.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  16. dannyn

    dannyn Member

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    Thanks to all who helped.
    I went with what Van posted.
    This is for a haunted house, so it need to be just perfect, beacuse I do not want too much light to take the effect away, but I also want it to still me safe.
    Thanks for the long post Icewolf.
    Nice idea Derek, but I already have many of those in place.
    Thanks to everyone once again :)
     

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