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How to Create and Light Heavy Smoke on Screen


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#1 Francisco Martins

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 02:23 PM

Hi there,

First time here, so I hope I posted this in the right place. I'm developing a 10-12 minute short and I need some advice about creating its look. The short intends to feature a lot of fog/smoke atmosphere for its environments and could include large stretches of area.

I would like to know what kind of machine I would need to create this kind of heavy smoke? Roughly how much does the amount of material needed to produce that much smoke cost? And recommended lighting plans for the smoke? As well as other advice on the nitty-gritty of filming with heavy smoke.

Also, if anyone knows how they lit City of Angels (kinds of lights, set up, achieving the sodium vapor look), and/or how to recreate the lighting for the FMV cut-scenes of Silent Hill 2 in real life, that'd be really helpful.

My references:

The Crow: City of Angels (1996)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46qco8ycx50
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Silent Hill 2 (2001)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60p0NMCBLw4
Particularly between 4:00 to 6:00. I realize its a video game but it depicts what I'm aiming for.

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Thank you all so much!!

Edited by Francisco Martins, 22 June 2012 - 02:24 PM.

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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 03:09 AM

Smoke in an interior is relatively simple, doing it on exteriors can be a nightmare. It disperses extremely quickly especially if there's any wind, so you need a large smoke generating capacity unless the area you're smoking is small and even then it won't last long. For large exteriors you really need the gear that the special effects guys use.

You could check out the Smoque filter http://www.tiffen.co...e/Smoque_SS.pdf They might also be worth testing in combination with a smaller smoke machine just doing the foreground.
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#3 Mei Lewis

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 12:43 PM

I haven't got anything useful to say, but it's great that people are referencing video games for looks.
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#4 thomas-english

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:09 PM

I have seen great stuff done on exteriors using Artem units

http://www.smokemach...msmokegun.shtml
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#5 Christopher Sheneman

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 05:53 PM

Diesel fuel soak old goodwill clothes packed in a 55- gallon drum, uses gas to start it. Have a fire extinguisher. It will produce killer smoke. Not for interiors, will actually produce "killer" smoke.
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#6 Francisco Martins

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 01:54 PM

So aside from using an Artem unit or a Pulse Jet Fogger, is there any other equipment I can use? And is there any large equipment that can create a large amount of smoke?

In The Crow, they were able to create huge thick clouds of it that seemed to remain somewhat stationary, or very slowly dissipating, and they did it right on the streets of Los Angeles.
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#7 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 12:16 PM

For creating a amount of smoke nothing I've seen beats a lawn fogger which is sort of a hybrid lawn mower/ fog machine.

Then you need to control the smoke, because if the wind is blowing the wrong way all that smoke is for nothing. A small efan probably won't do to much for you outside - you're better off with a couple of these

Ideally I would have several smoke stations, each consisting of 2 x lawn foggers and 1 x big fan.

Make sure you let the fire dept know what you're up to otherwise they will be there pretty quickly.
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#8 Oliver Walton

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Posted 01 August 2012 - 09:04 AM

Is it better to use Haze?
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#9 Amalia Charala

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 04:43 AM

You can also use a mix of Fog machine and Dry Ice.. The fog machine will make the atmosphere foggy and the dry ice will create a massive fog in the ground just like concerts .. !
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