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Posted by Svaroh, on 2005-11-23 11:52:27

ice storm special effect

Hi friends! Would anyone have any experience in icing up a whole set? We're building a small set of a forrested area with a log cabin and adjacent small buildings, miniature ATV, camping gears, etc. When our puppets wake up in the morning an ice storm has ice up everything. Would you know of any products that we could experiment with to get a realistic effect? Any suggestions? Thanks. JM from Saskatoon Canada

Posted by Nick H, on 2005-11-23 17:19:42

The snow here is salt over plaster. You can spray some water on the salt and get a slight crusting. The icicles are made from perspex, cut and sanded, then with a gas torch run over them to make the surface glossy. You could cast lots more icicles in resin in a silicone mould. http://pic5.picturetrail.com/VOL65/42706/59496/91032228.jpg But you are probably thinking of things like tree branches with a coating of clear ice. All I can think of would be several coats of clear casting resin to build it up over the twigs and other objects. If there is a thickener that doesn't make it cloudy you'd get a thicker buildup. I think there may also be something made for water in model railway setups that is more like Friendly Plastic, only transparent, somebody posted something a few weeks ago. Worth looking into.

Posted by GStacy, on 2005-11-23 17:34:11

For a cheap,low-tech approach, you could try making icicles out of hot glue. You could also make snow by carving blocks of styrofoam.

Posted by Lego Ninja, on 2005-11-23 23:09:05

You could try Silicone caulk. Its pretty cheap and has that icicle look to it.

Posted by Toggo, on 2005-11-24 10:07:52

Well as some have mentioned you can use resin over the branches to give and icey look. My question is, are these trees planned to be int he film without ice as well? And I have not tried nor checked but doesn't White glue dry pretty clear? maybe a small degree of discoloaration but most icicles have some whitish in them well..Hmm..well thinking more for the layer of ice on the threes as opposed to icicles. Or if you use a resin for the crystal clear look..film the other stuff first and after shooting that do the ice sequence. I am assuming the ice is early on and not the end..if its the end..well go for resin I would think. Good luck let us knowhow it comes out.

Posted by Svaroh, on 2005-11-24 13:14:47

Hi guys! Thanks for the replies! We will indeed shoot our set un-touched, the day before the "ice storm", and add the ice afterwards. We'll experiment with clear resin, white glue and silicone and also spraying water over salt. We'll let you how it turns out. I am not familiar with "perspex". Can you please provide more info on this product? By the way, the visuals posted is stunning. Thanx. JM

Posted by Nick H, on 2005-11-24 16:50:06

Sorry, "Perspex" is plexiglas, or clear acrylic plastic usually in sheet form, used as a substitute for glass in film sets. My icicles were made from perspex rod, tapered and given some ridges on the belt sander. The hot glue I use is possibly too milky for ice. The silicone sealer is better but still not quite clear. But they might read well on camera, especially in the background.

Posted by Svaroh, on 2005-11-25 14:01:04

thanx for your reply. Silicone icicles will work great for the background. Plexi rod using the technique you're sugesting will allow us to make a cool insert sequence of icicle forming; something we had not though off. thanx. JM

Posted by Nick H, on 2005-11-27 19:54:08

I used replacement animation for icicles forming on the mammal's nose and tail - a set starting with a very small one, about 7 stages up to the biggest one. Once the first icicle got past the smallest one, I could use it again for the second icicle, then use no.2 once the first one was onto no 3 and so on - as long as I had a final one for each icicle I wanted.

Posted by jamesride101, on 2005-11-29 18:59:36

The model railroad stuff that Nick mentioned, can be found online at Micro-Mark. I think it's made by "scenic woodlands" and it's water based. They have a still water effect product and another for water "special FX". Never tryed these, but they sound like fun. I try and avoid super chemical/toxic stuff whenever I can.

Posted by darcy_p, on 2005-11-30 00:34:26

If you were to take it out of the stop motion realm...... And if you wanted the storm to still be in progress..... #d animation program Maya has some built in visual animation effects Now many are very tacky, but the snow storm animated effect Can be exported with an alpha channel, and looks very good. I dont know if you know maya at all..... doesnt take too long to find your way around the set up, especially if thats all your wanting to do. and in terms of avoiding 'super chemcial/toxic stuff' whenever you can..... Its a very smart move if you prefer only one head. Darcy