Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports
Urström at the 1999 Stockholm Water Festival
SMOKE ON THE WATER
smoke for laser beam effects in an outdoor venue is always a challenge. Even
more so when the venue is mostly comprised of water and the smoke is also
used as an artistic effect for the opening of the show. On the first set-up
evenings at the site, the most important factor was to observe the
prevailing wind patterns so as to use these to aid in smoke distribution.
We also wanted to mount
the smoke machines as low to the water as possible so that the smoke would
blow across the water and seem to be rising out of it. This effect would
open the show in the semi darkness as the wind sounds played on the PA
system to help represent the "ice age" at the beginning of the
An MDG MAX3000 and fan was mounted at the far end of the master control scaffold. This unit was rarely used as it was for back-up in case the winds shifted during the show. It was occasionally used to enhance the beam effects from the two fiber driven projectors in the master control scaffold and when the wind shifted.
A MAX5000 and fan was mounted under the bridge on one of the abutments close to the Fire tower. Initially it was mounted at the base of the fire tower but was moved after two shows as the smoke proved too dense and overwhelmed the nearby YAG beam laser also at the base of the Fire tower. Mounted under the bridge, the breeze would pick up the smoke and spread it out into a finer haze before it entered the beam projection area.
A large water-based smoke machine was mounted on a floating platform just above the water about half way under the bridge. The smoke from this machine was carried by the prevailing breeze across the centre of the water.
A second MAX5000 and fan was mounted just above the water on the corner of the floating restaurant barge on the Opera side of the site. The prevailing breeze blew the smoke across the water and up into the beams from the main beam effect laser mounted on top of the container at the back of the floating restaurant barges.
A third MAX5000 and fan was mounted in the white tower. Most nights the breeze blew the smoke across the water and towards the Parliament building so it acted as a bit of fill for the YAG beam laser located in the Fire tower but was mostly an artistic effect. On a few occasions when the wind changed, this machine provided smoke for the main beam laser on the Opera side of the site.
Another large water-based smoke machine was mounted on one corner between the two floating barges used for the "Konsum" restaurant located in the water in front of the Parliament buildings. This machine was used briefly as an artistic effect at the beginning of the show but the prevailing breeze blew the smoke away from most of the laser beampaths. On a few occasions when the wind changed, this machine provided smoke down the centre of the water.
A DigiFogger and fan was
mounted in a small rubber boat with electric motor each evening an hour
before the show. The boat mounted machine meant that we could move the
machine if the wind changed so as to be ideally located for providing the
best smoke coverage. The electric motor insured that the boat could move
silently and the audience would not be aware of it moving due to motor
noise. There were only two nights when we had to relocate the boat due to
changes in wind and we never had to re-locate it during a show.
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