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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » F/X » » Small Smoke Trail on Stage? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

GuySavoie
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Hi y'all.

I'm trying to evolve an idea for one of my stage effects. More ideas are welcome.

I perform a self levitation in an unwrapped christmas gift (I'll skip most of the story)

Anyway, the box transforms into a WW2 combat plane, and I get into a dogfight. I want to add a smoke trail from a bullet hit to the wing; I'm toying with a couple of ideas. The wing is 1/4" corrugated plastic, so there is not a lot to work with:

* use canned theatrical fog inside the main box, and tube it out to the wing. Spray to release the fog. I've never used this canned stuff, though, and don't know if it will be visible in a moderately lit theater setting.

* use some other fog/smoke composition, fill a regular balloon with it, have it pinched off, and again, tube it out to the wing.

* last choice: a chemical composition like those snake tablets we used as kids. Not planned due to mess, smell, etc.

If you'd like to put on yer thinkin' caps, I've got 50 brownie points if you have a novel idea!

--- Guy
HarbinJr.
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Guy,

Not sure so much bout the fog unless you widened the wing up a bit or you had some special hoses that would let it leak out as you mentioned. The only way that I can see in getting the smoke trail that you need is to have a small focused fan on the smoke. This would give you your trailing effect that your looking for. It would require that you spend a lot of time in proper setting up and all. Also if your going to have a trail you would want to have proper lighting and backdrops so that the smoke would look good in front of them and give the contrast. I would want to use a lot of black smoke to be realistic. Not much help I know but hey its a start!


Robert
mvmagic
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You could always use some small smoke stack, not sure what they´re called in English, but its a small tube, about the size of a cigarette and it is fired with electric spark. It produces a quite thin column of smoke and not of great volume. But it is pyro, and though it doesn´t get very hot, it does heat up. And I am not sure about the pyro lisence issues in the US, but Steve Zigmont has all the info on those matters.

Does it have to be real smoke? You could have a rubber bulb which is filled with powdered sugar or talcum powder. With testing, that could make a convincing trail.
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GuySavoie
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Thanks for the thoughts so far. Brownie points all around. Smile Smile

We perform in true theaters with good lighting (we carry our own lighting rigs) and in smaller venues, we set up our own backdrop.

I will probably go with white smoke for visibility. Entertainment value over realism and all...

No, it does not need to be real smoke. Ideally, I would like to rig up something that can create a streaming white "cloud" for 3 or 4 seconds, dense enough to be visible (there will be sound effects so the audience will know why the smoke is there.)

A rubber squeeze bulb was my first thought, but I'm forced to lean away from it; it probably would not provide a long enough stream of "smoke" for my needs, and I fear that two issues will make that a less than ideal approach: The quality of smoke might be a little hit or miss, depending on how dense the powder is inside the bulb, whether there is humidity and caking, etc. The second issue is that my hands are pretty busy already in the routine, and while I can activate something, manually dealing with a squeeze bulb would be nigh on impossible during the routine. If I add in a mechanical device to squeeze the bulb, I'm now in a complex apparatus that seems all too unnecessary when compared to the alternatives.

I will likely order a can of the aerosol fog and see if it is dense enough for my needs. I will report on my results. In the meantime, I've got more brownie points waiting...

--- Guy
daz222
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Well, if you can afford to spend some money on a mini smoke, it is a small smoke machine that could fit somewhere, I have bought those cans of smoke once, they are good for lighting but not for a dense cloud of smoke, more like haze, but I am not sure what they are like where get them from as I think that different makes give different results. cheers, daz
glodmagic
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The Tiny FG90 should do the trick.

http://www.theatrefx.com/moreinfo_fg90_t......ine.html

Non Pyro so less Fire marshall issues.

I also use fog-in-a-can for some effects and it works great but unsure how satisfied you would be with it so I am glad you are purchasing a tester. Apparently strong trail and quick dissapation is needed so I would stay away from true pyro which lingers longer if opacity is required.
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GuySavoie
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Alas, I'm not prepared to throw $1,275 at the problem Smile

I'd imagine the mini-fog machines may suffer from the inability to produce a dense enough smoke at a second's notice. I've used large fog machines, and they seem to cycle through puff/recover sequences, and that might bite me in actual use. I need the smoke trail to be immediate when I activate it. In the story, it's a bullet hit that causes the smoke, so it needs to be immediate.

Hmmm... I wonder if I could capture the smoke from a pyro device/smoke powder and insert it in a regular balloon with a pinched neck, and release it at the right moment.

I'll try it soon and post my results. I'm wondering if the smoke particles will settle in the balloon too quickly, but experiments will tell me soon enough.

Thanks again to all for brainstorming this with me.

--- Guy
Ms. Morgan
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I can understand not wanting to spend that kind of money on a mini-fogger. But, just because you asked ( sort of..)... The mini-fogger has no reheat time, it's ready when you need it and despite it's size it can fill a room with thick fog.
you might want to look into canned air. Go to a hobby shop and get a can of compressed air. It's sold for air brushes. Or you may have seen it as Dust-off.
Turn the can upside down and fire it. You will get cloud burst, even if you run a hose from the can. It may not be what you want, but it will cost you about $8.00 to take a look.

Ms.M
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glodmagic
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Ms.M said it all.

The other common solution is a C02 fire extinguisher. Powerful-opaque and ready in an instant.
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pbg739
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I'm looking for a smoke effect to. I have a roolerblind open a small box and a front door opens to reveal a robot. I need some smoke to fill the box (mybe 3 feet tall by 2 feet deep). Where can I get some aerosol smoke (aside from the air dust or fire extinguisher)
GuySavoie
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Thanks for the great ideas! Ms. M, you're absolutely right about compressed air sprayed upside-down. Brillant! (in my best "Guinness Commercial" voice)

A small CO2 extinguisher may also serve my needs.

Brownie points for all!

:applause:

--- Guy
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