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Old June 10th, 2014, 07:56 AM   #1
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Need ideas- how to create a little smoke?

I've been thinking about trying a creative shot with some future couples. I want to do a shot that is backlit (i have a light that would work fine), but I want to add a liiiitle bit of smoke or mist in the back, behind their heads. Not like full-on fog machine smoke, but maybe something along the lines of hot breath on a winter morning. Anyone have any ideas how that could be pulled off easily?
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Old June 10th, 2014, 08:42 AM   #2
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Re: Need ideas- how to create a little smoke?

If all you need is a little then some dry ice and warm water would do it.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 08:51 AM   #3
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Re: Need ideas- how to create a little smoke?

Good idea- my buddy and I that I shoot with considered that, but I'm thinking that smoke from dry ice usually travels downward, doesn't it? I'd like to try something set behind a couple's torso, that travels up between their faces in the background. The shot would be a close-crop, maybe foreheads together.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 09:10 AM   #4
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Re: Need ideas- how to create a little smoke?

It will fall downwards but you can move it up with a bit of air movement.

Alternatively if you need "hot" smoke you can buy one of those propane fired insect foggers from your home store and instead of using the bug fog juice you can use the oil based theatrical fog juice (glycerine based will NOT work in these).

Since it has a manual pump trigger with a bit of practice you can create small puffs of smoke. The burner isn't silent so that may or may not work for you.

Be sure to label it accordingly and NEVER use one that has been used with the bug fog juice around people.

You can also fill a box with smoke from a party fogger and puff it through a tube leaving the box. You would use a pretty large cardboard box and when you were ready give the box a squeeze to force the smoke out the flexible tube you have leaving the box and going up where you need to see it.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 09:46 AM   #5
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Re: Need ideas- how to create a little smoke?

Though I haven't looked, there's probably a canned AE or Boris effect or two out there for doing it in post. There's a commercial on TV lately with a guy walking and mist coming up from between the bricks in a sidewalk. I'm sure that was done in post.

Just typed mist effects into google. More than 17 million hits...
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; June 10th, 2014 at 09:49 AM. Reason: added comment
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Old June 10th, 2014, 09:52 AM   #6
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Re: Need ideas- how to create a little smoke?

As a former regular user of a 55 gallon drum style dry ice machine as well as a chemical fog machine, I can heartily agree that you want to do this in post, not live.

Trying to get smoke or mist to go where you want is pretty much a pipe dream unless you have a crew devoted to it that knows what they are doing.

Riot Gear has ink flows that look very cool (looks like smoke) check them out.
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Old June 10th, 2014, 10:11 AM   #7
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Re: Need ideas- how to create a little smoke?

Unless I'm doing something wrong the inkflows are not transparent, just played with them. But I do recommend checking Riot Gear in case they have something transparent.
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