Realistic Moving Cloud

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by Nic, Sep 21, 2019.

  1. Nic

    Nic Member

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    I've scoured old threads so if I've missed something already covered, apologies.
    I'm working with a local high school theatre on a production of The Addams Family Musical as the LD/guy who knows stuff. I've nailed down the overall look, specials, and most of the special effects. Most.
    The one I'm struggling with is during Act 2, Scene 4 (http://www.hilltoptheatre.co.uk/ADDA-CV.pdf) when Fester, in love with the moon, calls out to her and she makes an entrance. The director and I have more or less agreed that realism would be preferable in this scene and, unlike other productions that have simply flown in a moon or made the moon an on-stage character, we would like the moon to be revealed from behind cloud cover.
    Our moon will either be a glass gobo projected onto a sky drop or a circular light box flown behind the drop (the theatre is equipped with a full manual fly system). I have also suggested transitioning from the light box to the projection as the "cloud cover" thins.
    Unfortunately, what I have not been able to figure out is a way to create opaque cloud cover that dynamically moves and thins in a natural, realistic way. Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.
     
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  2. josh88

    josh88 Remarkably Tired. Fight Leukemia

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    It may be out of the realm of possibility for what you have, but thats the perfect scenario for actual video projection.
     
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  3. Nic

    Nic Member

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    The thought had crossed my mind. Video projection is definitely not an area of particular expertise for me so maybe this is a silly concern but what do you do about the not-quite-black portions of the projection? Would I be best off if I can get my hands on a projector with the resolution and power required for covering the entire drop?
     
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  4. josh88

    josh88 Remarkably Tired. Fight Leukemia

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    I'm not sure what you mean by not quite black portion, do you mean when its showing video black and showing the line of where you are projecting vs where you aren't? Ideally you find a way to either mask to the size you can project, or you find a projector (or projectors) that can overshoot and be sized to the "screen" you want to fill at the intensity you want.
     
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  5. DrewE

    DrewE Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps take some inspiration from here: Popular Mechanic's The Boy Mechanic, Vol 3, "Fireside Dissolving Views". While the application is a bit different and theater lighting technology has changed a wee bit in the intervening century, using several layers of very, very thin cloth moving independently between the moon light/projector and the scrim/screen presumably could still work. In this particular case they suggest black mosquito netting. Needless to say, cloud shapes would be more appropriate for this scene than fireplace shapes.
     
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  6. Nic

    Nic Member

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    Yes, I think you understood my meaning and your explanation makes perfect sense. I think I actually can get a fairly high-end projector for this purpose and I think I'll suggest that to the director.

    This is an interesting thought and I'd definitely tried to figure out how I could use scrims or similar material to achieve this effect. It's the horizontal movement that would be a bit difficult but maybe we could move a traveler to the appropriate location, I'll have to go back and look.

    The help is much appreciated!
     
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  7. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    I believe he's asking "what do you do about the fact that black background raster on projectors leaks light, so you'll see the rectangular edge of the raster?"

    You cheat; you leak a little fill on the surface to cover it. :)
     
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  8. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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