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Water / Caustics Lighting FXs Suggestions

Adrian Sierkowski

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Hey All.

I'm working on a spot sometime next week which is doing an "under the sea" look with beams of light through haze for the caustic/water FX. I"m trying to get an idea of the best sources to make such an effect. Shooting on Alexa, we have a head-to-toe wide of talent in a Botticelli venus pose.

I will want to control the heads via DMX  via Blackout and ideally have dim-abilities. The best I'm coming up with currently are Elation Artiste Monets, as they seem to be a good output for the wattage/LED (so I can dim as need be) but as I'm very unfamiliar with moving heads / concert style lighting I wanted to see if anyone had any advice.

My other option would be a Clay Paky Scenius but I worry that it might be too bright (can they be dimmed? the spec sheet says it's an HMI so I'm not sure?)

I also keep seeing American DJ IRPro Water Projectors, but I am aware this is more a consumer brand, so I also worry about output as 80W LED.

I wish I could show you the brief, but NDA and all that.

Any advice would be much welcome.

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Big video projector?

Use something fairly mundane with a tray of water and bounce it with a big mirror?

Depending how realistic you want it, one of those cheesy old rotating glass effects on more or less any profile, with the wibbly glass disc? I have one of those somewhere.

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I think projector would be out of budget for anything large enough /bright enough. We need the rays of light to come from top as a backlight. 

Something like this.


That's the America dj version but when we add in the 40' translite bg and 12x20 softbox for key I think the poor little American DJ light will be washed to nothing lol 


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Better safety nets and cheeses. Very important.

Looks like we are going with Elation Monets for the FX. I messed around in Capture (not that I know what I'm doing) and the highers liked the look.


And this is the very prelim lighting plot:

(some things will probably change). Like loosing the Dynos for a 1200D through a 20x20 top that stills is providing for their work/ budget.



Edited by Adrian Sierkowski
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  • 2 months later...


I hesitate to offer this as a possible solution, because it is not in any way computer controlled, (and it's after the fact).  But, if you need intensity, it is hard to beat a theatrical "Super Trouper" or (less powerful), "Trouper" spotlight. 

Logistically it's not easy to place where you need it sometimes, and carbon arc rods may be problematic but it does have adjustable beam and throw.

A ring gear such as gotten off of a truck flywheel (or something similar), and a complementary gear and small motor setup could be set up in front and varied in speed for effect.  (Stationary effect; Instrument not moving).

It is not computer driven, (convenient), but it is do-able and has intensity to spare.

Just a thought, for an alternative method in the future.


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