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Gelling Windows


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#1 Kurt Wooden

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Posted 08 July 2008 - 09:26 PM

Hi all,

Recently tried to Gel large wall to ceiling windows with ND. Was very difficult. Alot of bumps and buckles, tape marks etc... The experience was exasperating. :unsure:

Anybody have any experience in applying these without being visible?

Thanks in advance.
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#2 David Auner aac

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 01:43 AM

Hi Kurt,

have you tried water and a squeegee? You might need to redo it a couple of times, but it should work better than snot tape most of the time!

Cheers, Dave
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#3 Jonathan Bruno

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 02:31 AM

I wish there was more to add. David has got it. I would add that you should thoroughly clean the window before applying the gel. I made that mistake once, and it was definitely noticable compared to the other well-cleaned windows.

Good Luck.

-Jon
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#4 Frank Barrera

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Posted 09 July 2008 - 11:53 AM

It's simply the only thing I try to avoid on set. When I used to grip I hated getting stuck with that detail. Not only does it take a certain skill/talent to do it correctly but it usually needs maintenance through out the day as the gel will start to peel off. You may have more luck with responses concerning technique over at the GRIP FORUM as this would be the grip department's responsibility.

good luck.
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#5 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 12:35 PM

See my response in the Gripping section (as this is really a grip department duty):

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=32209
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#6 timHealy

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 07:05 PM

Hard gels work well. No messy fuss.

best

Tim
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#7 John Brawley

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 09:07 PM

Hard gels work well. No messy fuss.

best

Tim



I agree.

This is something I learned from Dante Spinotti. If you look at most of his films (Heat, Bandits) especially when he does day for night on prac location interiors, it's often hard perspex mounted on the outside of the window. If you leave it uncorrected it can be a great night look.

I've done the same thing for day and night interiors (all day shooting.)

You don't have to use hard GEL either, because it's expensive and just plain hard to get here in Australia. I've used tinted perspex cut to shape from a local wholesaler. I took my colour temp and spot meter to the showroom and find what I need. I found one thats almost colour neutral and is 4 stops of ND... works a treat...and can be easily cut to shape on location and hard mounted to the windows...

jb
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#8 Darryl Richard Humber

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 09:58 PM

This is slightly off topic, but I just did a movie with Oliver Stapleton where we used the new polarizing gels on all the windows. Once the window is gelled, you set your polarizer on the lens and it takes down the windows without affecting the quality or amount of light coming through. It was really cool to see but they were very expensive. The main problem was that the manufacturer forgot to mention that the gels have to be on the inside because if you gel the outside the window glass affects the polarizer and no one thought of it for one particular shot. Otherwise, they worked great.
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#9 Lindsay Mann

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 04:46 PM

I've used tinted perspex cut to shape from a local wholesaler. I took my colour temp and spot meter to the showroom and find what I need. I found one thats almost colour neutral and is 4 stops of ND... works a treat...and can be easily cut to shape on location and hard mounted to the windows...


So this actually works? That would be a great solution if it's cheap and doesn't go purple on screen or anything. What are the other differences between the perspex and true ND? You don't get any ghosting effects or double images or anything? Do you notice a difference between hanging them on the inside as opposed to the outside of the window?
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#10 John Brawley

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 05:08 PM

So this actually works? That would be a great solution if it's cheap and doesn't go purple on screen or anything. What are the other differences between the perspex and true ND? You don't get any ghosting effects or double images or anything? Do you notice a difference between hanging them on the inside as opposed to the outside of the window?


Well as I mentioned.

I took a colour temp meter and a spot meter to the perspex wholesaler to test what i was getting. I found a combination that only changed the colour temp by a couple of hundred degrees K.

There are lot's of different thickness' available, and I used 5mm as it was rigid enough to not warp in wind, but still be light enough to be held in place by clamps and gaffer tape.

I had my gaffer measure up the external dimensions of all the window's for all the locations for a feature film I was shooting. We ended up with 37 sheets cut to size for about $600. It was very quick to apply them as each sheet covered the entire window rather than the pain of cutting gel for each pane and then the ongoing maintenance.

It wouldn't be worth doing it inside because of the time required and I don't think it would be as invisible as Gel.

jb
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#11 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 02:58 AM

I worked on a shoot once where they used soapy water, and it actually helped the gel stay on the glass for up to 3 days without peeling. Also, at first when they applied it to the window it was rippely, bubbily and did not look good at all. But the 2nd day you could hardly tell it was even gelled (besides the obvious light loss). The ripples & bubbles had all gone away.
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#12 Hampus Bystrom

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 03:58 PM

I worked on a shoot once where they used soapy water, and it actually helped the gel stay on the glass for up to 3 days without peeling. Also, at first when they applied it to the window it was rippely, bubbily and did not look good at all. But the 2nd day you could hardly tell it was even gelled (besides the obvious light loss). The ripples & bubbles had all gone away.


Sounds amazing, so if I understand you correctly, you just 'soak' the gel in soapy-water (and that's ALL) and sort of slime it to the window? Would've never thought it could work.
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#13 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 04:20 PM

o if I understand you correctly, you just 'soak' the gel in soapy-water (and that's ALL) and sort of slime it to the window?


Not exactly. This is a pretty common technique, similar in principle to the Sprite method I talked about in the Gripping section (see my post in that forum). You should just apply the water solution to one side of the gel, or the window itself, whichever is easier for you (most find squeegee-ing it onto the window first is easier, I've noticed). After one surface has a good coating, you can stick the gel up there, and then squeegee out the bubbles, etc. An important note: make sure your gel is cut exactly to size -- if it overlaps onto the frame, the surface won't be flush, and ripples/bubbles will much harder to get out, and may even appear hours.
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