Notions FOG 01!

At present, the smoke machines are perhaps the generating devices used in Special Effects more live show, scenarios, TV productions and movies, theater, and entertainment. Advances in technology in recent years have developed from older devices that emit a lot of noise and smoke stench to become very quiet and capable of producing large amounts of smoke smell almost free devices. The smoke machines also dropped in price considerably in recent years so that today, a smoke machine is within the budget of any illuminator.

But how do they work? Details of the operation of any smoke machine may vary between manufacturers, but the fundamentals are the same. The fluid pressure for smoke is introduced by a pump into a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is a metal block with a heating element inserted therein. The controlled by a thermostat element keeps the heat exchanger to a high temperature. The exchanger has a capillary which is used for the passage of liquid therethrough. As the liquid is pumped in the heat exchanger, the high temperature makes it vaporize rapidly and expand. The rapid expansion of steam is to be forced out by a nozzle or series of nozzles on the front of the machine. As the steam is mixed with cold air out of the machine at the moment forms an opaque aerosol effect, in other words, the haze.

If you plan to use a fog next production will be several factors that should be considered, as the volume (amount of mist that will be required), source (where the fog will come), and health and safety (smoke detectors and other considerations). As with any aspect of the production, it is also necessary that you pay attention to all aspects of a fog effect. By doing so produce a much better effect and avoid many potential problems.

The volume of smoke needed for the effect is governed by where the effect is used. Most smoke machines that are on the market has its production volume expressed in cubic feet per minute. This measure is not regulated, but deserves the following clarification: These measurements are approximate, if we have a machine whose specifications say it has a volume of production “the maximum yield of 10,000 cubic feet per minute means you can fill up a scenario of 20 m. x 30 m. with a roof 10 m. in approximately 1 minute. “Note that we said “the maximum return.” This is because some atomisers have a variable output smoke. The variable output is achieved by controlling the amount of fluid introduced into the heat exchanger. This lets you adjust the volume of smoke for small or larger places and also to create different volumes of smoke in the same space.

The source of the smoke is not always a concern. Often, just the smoke pumped into the scenario during a blackout lighting is all you need. Will occasions, however, in that the smoke has to appear to come from a particular source. This is applicable to different scenes when creating effects in film production or television or theater. Whichever the case, it is often not possible to rely on the smoke machine near where the effect has to occur. In these cases, the conduits can be used to direct the smoke. Most of smoke ducts are constructed with any hose or rigid PVC pipes. Any conduit used to smoke should be at least four inches in diameter, any pipe of smaller diameter can constrain smoke and do you have to compensate by injecting more smoke, with the result of higher net spending. Furthermore, recall that the smoke is not created until steam machine is mixed with the fresh air. Therefore, an “airspace” of a few inches should be left between the machine and ducts. If the smoke has to travel a long distance, a fan can be added to the system via a star connection. The smoke should not be pumped directly on the quotes of the fan, as this will break the fog leaving residues on the fan and will lead to a reduction in overall production.

The item health and safety should always be considered when adding a special effect to a spectacle. When using a smoke show, can be a good idea to warn your audience. While the smoke machines and fluids evolved to the point that they are completely non-toxic and safe for use around most people, asthmatics and others with respiratory distress may not want to submit to your lungs any additional stress . In any case, must always use the lowest possible amount of smoke to create the desired effect.

Another issue to consider is if the smoke activates the smoke detectors in place of mounting the show. The sensitivity of smoke detection systems varies widely, so it is important to start with the evidence only after notifying the supervisor of the site and, if necessary, the local fire department. The early involvement of these people in the evidence of smoke machines process will help to prevent possible problems that may arise during reach the show.
With these tips and a little common sense should be the correct path for the effective use of smoke in your next production. More information about the smoke machines and the use of smoke in the scenario can be found in the following sources, which were instrumental in writing the article.

“Introduction to modern effects Atmospeheric” – Posted by ESTA, this article provides general information about the smoke machines and suggestions for its use.

“The landscape lighting design and scene,” Parker y Wolf – One of the “bibles” of the scenes technology. The effects section of fog and smoke is short, but useful.

“ TSP / fogdocs.html” has sufficient technical data on the smoke for reading a full day!

Notions Fog 02! _ The Single

For the newly initiated in the design of lighting, the words “smoke” and “fog” can become a bit confusing terms. Adding to this confusion the fact that technicians, salespeople and others use the terms “smoke machine”, “fog machine”, and “snow machine” interchangeably for any of the technologies available to make smoke effects or fog. Demos a look at how the fog machines differ from their counterparts in the smoke scenario.

A smoke machine heats a fluid-based water / glycol, white clouds to create mist. This mist rises in the air and generally disperse in a few minutes. The fog is a great effect to suggest smoke, obscuring an appearance or disappearance, or in other situations where you need an opaque cloud in the scenario.

Most of smoke or heat a fluid fogger machines based water / glycol, but rather scatter it to produce dense clouds of mist opaque, the hazer produces a fine mist in the air. The mist extends to fill the air and lasts longer than the mist produced by a fogger. It is useful when you search for this fog is not seen by the public without darkening opacar or without obstructing the action on the stage.

So why use a fogger in place of a hazer? A smoke machine is best used when you want to show lighting, or do a light effect that is larger or more dramatic. The droplets of fog hazer machine that puts in the air disperse nearly enough as to pass unnoticed by the public, until a ray of light shines through the fog and reflected in them. You probably saw a similar effect when the sun shines through a window in a house and reflects the dust particles.

An example: if we have a PAR64, this can gel with a deep amber color produce a nice strong island light around the artist. In air with mist, however, the character seems to be involved within golden light. The PAR not only illuminate the artist, the landscape and the soil of the scenario, but it will light the same air. Similarly, if using moving lights in a production a hazer can mean the difference between drawings in motion on the stage, walls and beams of light dancing through the air dramatically.

The best way found to use a hazer in production is that the smoke is in the air constantly from the time that the public enters. This way the fog is only detectable within the framework of “atmosphere” inside the performance space. Depending on the size of your space, it is usually a good idea to start the preliminary thirty minutes before the scheduled arrival time of the hearing to the place. Most hazers provides control over the amount of mist produced, and it is a good idea to run the engine at full power during the initial haze. Once an adequate amount of smoke in the air, the machine may be configured to run constantly at a lower volume, or at intervals during the run. The DMX or analog lighting control and special machines can help in this task, it is often convenient to inject a pumping mist into the air a few seconds before any effect you will generate. A hazer machine can be a really powerful tool for adding suitable for your production environment. The one that gives you total control of the fog, allowing you to make your presentation “THE BEST”.

Notions Fog 03! TIPS

Transform yourself into a true Technician Stage!

One thing I learned while working on scenarios is that sometimes a difficult problem, you can solve the existing teams looking in a new way. It is in this spirit that we are writing this edition of useful data. We want to make reference to two issues of special effects and offer our suggestions for their solution through the use of fog.

Problem # 1! Do haze appears on the scene while the smoke machine keeps offstage.

The solution to this problem is commonly the use of conduits, and is useful at any time you need to display fog somewhere, but can not have a smoke machine in place. Many types of materials, both rigid and flexible, can be used to construct conduits for haze. The minimum diameter of the conduits should be 4 “with smaller diameters can cause the fog recondense liquid. Prefer flexible hose 4″ since it is easy to achieve and are economical, though not enough for your needs as enduring . The rigid PVC pipe can also be used, and the many accessories available (connectors “E”, 90 degree elbows, etc.) are a great option for complex systems of conduits.

One important thing to remember is that the steam coming out of the machine need to mix with the air to create a mist. Therefore, you must have an air gap of 3-4 inches between the front of the smoke machine and its conduits. If using a hose as a conduit, you can create a frame of wires to connect the hose to the Fogger keeping the airspace. With rigid PVC, can simply put the smoke machine to a few centimeters forward by the conduit.

If the fog has to travel a long distance, we recommend adding a fan to the system. You should never blow the fog through the fan, as this will break through the fog and can also damage the fan. Instead, add an “E” connection to the pipe and connect the fan to a leg of the “E”.


Problem # 2! Bring up a black smoke of an artist, performer or performer.

The first time I saw this particular problem – and its solution – was a scenic set of a music video. In this, one of the characters had to fire smoke inside the clothes, as if he’d get out of hell. The technical director was puzzled and did not understand how the smoke had to appear to come from the actor’s body, and not an area of ​​your costume. The solution was simple, cheap and ingenious.
To display smoke a costume of an artist, performer or performer, you need a little cooperation from the clothing department. If possible, the actor should be dressed in loose clothing and you can keep it a bit closed. A good example would be a business suit for a man, one size too big for the actor. Just before leaving the scene, we have a helper who will direct the output nebulizer in a small suit jacket (and maybe even the legs). We should be careful when doing this, since the steam in front of the machine is hot enough as to cause burns. Allow a little space of a few inches that will protect the actor and give airspace to the machine needed to create the fog.

As the actor walks on stage, their movements make the exhaust haze of dress, and that’s what makes it seem like you out smoke. The effect can be improved by actor giving small strokes to suit, pushing more fog at the seams. This effect also works very well to make it look like the characters emerging from an explosion or a fire.

These two tricks are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using the fog. One of the joys of working in special effects is the solution of old problems with new and original ideas. If you have a “trick of fog” favorite you’d like to share, or a “problem of fog” or he could not solve, please send it to our email.