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Marcus Eden
Artificial ash/snow
on Mar 7, 2012 at 3:10:42 am

Hello All!!

So I am shooting a music video at the end of the month, and for one of the scenes I am looking to create a slow falling "ash like" material. I am wondering what type of materials I should be camera testing with.

A few keep in minds... I will be shooting outdoors, so something that does not litter or pollute the earth, and needs to be slow falling...

Any recommendations would be awesome!!

Thank you!!


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Todd Terry
Re: Artificial ash/snow
on Mar 7, 2012 at 3:43:10 am

I'm not sure if this is the look you are going for, but on an occasion or two we have rented snow machines... we got them from the local lighting rental house. I didn't even know such a thing existed, but once when I was there picking up a couple of extra HMIs for a big shoot I saw them on their list, so we gave them a try when the need arose. Rental wasn't too bad, maybe a couple hundred bucks if I recall.

They have fans that shoot up a mixture of this foam like stuff that breaks up and drifts down in little crystalline chunks. It was surprising how well it worked, actually... out the mouth of these things shoot wads of what basically look like thick white soap suds, but when it drifts back down it really does look like snow. It melts away and disperses after a couple of minutes on the ground.

The only issue we had with it was once it was just a bit too windy for optimal use... so in order to keep all the snow from just blowing away (before it drifted down into frame) we pretty much had to use what I assume was the "blizzard" setting... haaa...which was a bit more of a snowstorm than I had in mind.

Fortunately these shoots were MOS, since the things are a bit noisy.

You might check to see if your local lighting or grip rental house has these machines in their inventory.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Marcus Eden
Re: Artificial ash/snow
on Mar 7, 2012 at 4:05:37 am

Thank you Todd... I think I might look further into the soap suds idea. I was just looking online at snow candles made by Thomas FX, which would ideally be the look I'm going for, but they only sell to "licensed movie professionals..." whatever that means.

But thank you again. Much appreciated


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Todd Terry
Re: Artificial ash/snow
on Mar 7, 2012 at 4:10:27 am

I'm betting you can talk Thomas FX into selling them to you, if have a legit production business.

If not, is there a pyro or fireworks display company in your city? I'm sure they could buy them for you... although they might require that they tag along as "operators."

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Todd Terry
Re: Artificial ash/snow
on Mar 7, 2012 at 4:15:27 am

I didn't go ALL the way through the order process (so there might be a snag at the end)... but I did, just for fun, go through the ordering process on their website.... I was able to add the candles to my cart and get all the way to the last step (where they would take my money) with no request for "credentials" or "licensing," so maybe you could just order them with no hassle.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: Artificial ash/snow
on Mar 7, 2012 at 8:06:13 pm

The candles make an actual ash. I hear there's also a shredded polyethelene "snow".


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Emre Tufekcioglu
Re: Artificial ash/snow
on Mar 10, 2012 at 2:47:52 pm

Aside from practical effects how about doing it in post? A talented compositor with AE+Particular 2 can create absolutely realistic snow or ash falling (with perceived depth of field). It would not be too expensive either.



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Marcus Eden
Re: Artificial ash/snow
on Jun 6, 2012 at 3:55:59 am

ended up using the snow machine effect.. looked pretty good.. thank you for your help and check out the video below







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