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Design Issues and Solutions Water effect with lights

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Flarkington, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Flarkington

    Flarkington Member

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    Hello all!

    I am trying to make a water effect with water, and I'm leaning towards water in a pan with lights pointed at the pan and the waters reflection used for the effect.

    The problem is that generally a fan is required for this to create the moving water look, and the TD has decided that would be too loud during performance.

    Buying a special water effect instrument is not an option, so does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can make water move in a pan with out a fan?
  2. CBR372

    CBR372 Active Member

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    Corpus Christi, TX
    I believe Rosco makes a really nice aqua dichroic pattern. If you put that into a rotator it should look great!
  3. lighthouse

    lighthouse Member

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    Northeast MA
    Add Ducklings? :lol:

    Seriously - We've picked up mini fans about 3" diameter that are super quiet. I'm a little uneasy about electricity & water, though...
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Seattle, Washington
    I've done gobo rotators and you can get a nice look but it's not realistic. The Rosco X-effects does an awesome job but it's really expensive.

    This is what I did on the cheap and it looked great!

    1) Find a nurse.
    2) Have the nurse steal you an IV drip tube.
    3) Get a 2 liter bottle and fill it with water. Install the IV drip line into the 2 liter water bottle (I put mine in the cap and hung it upside down.
    4) Set up the rig up so that the water drips in the pan. You have adjustable drip flow with the little roller thing. Mess around with the level of drip and location of drip that looks best for you.

    I have a large disposable aluminum turkey pan. I have experimented with a variety of reflective surfaces in the water. I've used mirrors (12x12 ceiling tile mirrors from Home Depot), the pan itself, small mirror chunks scatter in the bottom of the pan (some light hits mirror some hits pan), and aluminum foil shiny side, kept nice and smooth. you can aim the reflection by how you position the mirror. Lot's of different looks are possible. Experiment.
    Flarkington and (deleted member) like this.
  5. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    DFW, Tx.
    I would almost recommend trying out a small aquarium air pump but the bubbling sound might be worse than a running fan.

    I've also heard of people getting a small hobby motor and mounting it on the side of the pan. I think they used some kind of paddle attachment on the motor to ripple the water. You could probably run it off of an old cell phone charger plugged into a wall outlet.

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