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Rain shadow effect on walls


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Hey guys: I was wondering if anyone can tip me on how to create a rain shadow effect, on walls. I have a shoot coming up in Dec where the director wants a scene of a couple sleeping in bed, with the rain shadow over them, on the wall. I'm sure this is simple cinematography 101 stuff but I've never done it before.

 

Thanks, a lot!

 

D.S :ph34r:

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Basically it's like projecting any sharp shadow pattern -- you need a very sharp point-source light from far back, and the rain running down the glass up close to the actors. An HMI PAR from far away is good, probably an ellipsoidal like a Source-4 would be good too, or a 2K or 5K Fresnel with the fresnel removed.

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Source-4's are great in that they have a focusing lens on the front. The drawback is that the beam has a pretty narrow spread. Open face lights (or swinging the fresnel door open, as David suggests) put out a nice hard beam.

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Hi,

 

I've often thought about using the shadow of the rain trickling down the window effect, but overlooked it because of the complexity, and the necessity to have someone to pretty much just sit there pouring water. I can't think of any other solution that wouldn't make too much noise, either with a pump or trickling sounds.

 

Phil

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How about those water sculpture rain window things? (I've no idea what they're called, and can't seem to find a picture of one).

 

It's a tabletop decoration consisting of two panes of glass, in between which many small streams of water trickle down, simulating a window on a rainy day.

 

(Joey had one in Friends.)

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I did a nighttime rainy window some years ago. I used flat soaker hoses that emit tiny streams of water all along their length. I cut it down into lengths for my windows, added new nipples to the cut ends and gaffed them over the window. After some adjustment, my open-face Baby 1K through the window did the trick.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Phil Rhodes wrote:

 

> I can't think of any other solution that wouldn't make too much noise, either with a pump or

> trickling sounds.

 

Video projector? : )

 

 

cheers,

 

Kim Sargenius

cinematographer

sydney

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A trick is to spray the window lightly with WD-40 or 5-56 oil to make the trickles more intricate and separated. If not, water has a tendency to pool into big floods that aren't as interesting visually. Nice trick I learned from a set decorator. Or if it's a car window, you can use regular car wax on it - that'll bring the same effect.

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"How about those water sculpture rain window things? (I've no idea what they're called, and can't seem to find a picture of one).

 

It's a tabletop decoration consisting of two panes of glass, in between which many small streams of water trickle down, simulating a window on a rainy day. "

 

 

If anyone does know what these things are called let me know (I seem to have spent half my life going to stores saying "do you have one of those 'water sculpture rain window things?'"

 

When I was in Saigon there was a Bank that had a whole window like that maybe 5' X 4',

very cool.

 

ps thanks for heads up on WD-40. There's a windshield product they sell in Auto Supply stores too (maybe it's just WD-40 or 5-56 ?)

 

-Sam

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ps thanks for heads up on WD-40. There's a windshield product they sell in Auto Supply stores too (maybe it's just WD-40 or 5-56 ?)

 

-Sam

 

 

 

Yup, that's "Rain-Ex." It'll do the trick, makes water bead right up on glass. B)

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  • 10 years later...

To continue this topic: I'd like to create a rain effect for a night interior, but my equipment is limited. My strongest light is an Arri M18 with a 1200w bulb.

 

Because I'm doubtful that the M18 is direct enough, I was considering placing it a few feet from the outside window and bouncing it into a mirror, which would then direct the light into the home.

 

Maybe play around with spot/flood? I do have lenses, including a narrow I believe.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks guys

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The mirror trick is just used to double the distance, if you can actually just back up the light further then the mirror is less necessary though it can allow the light to come from an even greater height if that's important.

 

I once got a sharper but much dimmer light from the edge spill coming from the side of the lens in the HMI, so I once lit a scene that way, but I think that may have been unique to the design of that light.

 

Using a narrow lens or spotting in the light isn't going to help unless you back the light really far away and then the spottier light gets you enough exposure.

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Small/narrow source is key. The open face Goya lights are good. You can order them with a black reflector, so that it's only the very bright and very small arc in the bulb is your source. But a normal open source light a Blondie could also work.

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Small/narrow source is key.

It also helps to mix the water with Glycerine (also calledGlycerol.) Glycerine is a colorless, odorless, viscous liquid that is widely used in pharmaceutical formulations. Mixing it with the water will cause the water to bead more readily and run more slowly so that the effect is more noticeable on camera. Glycerine can be picked up at most pharmacies under the brand names of Pedia-Lax, Minica-s, or Derm-apply.
Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting Rental & Sales in Boston.
Edited by Guy Holt
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