December 8, 2015

Spice Up Your Lighting with This Handy 'Fog Machine in an Aerosol Spray Can'

Atmosphere Aerosol
If you've been wanting to get started with fog and haze in your cinematography, you're going to love the debut product from Atmosphere Aerosol.

In essence, it's a fog machine in a spray can. Just spray some "atmosphere" into your scene, waft it around to make sure it's evenly dispersed, and voila, you've got dramatic shafts of light and that lovely aesthetic that can only be produced by haze. While cheap fog machines start at roughly $50 and the hazers that are used on professional sets start in the neighborhood of $500, a can of Atmosphere Aerosol comes in at $12, which makes it one of the most cost-effective ways to add that look to your shots.

Here's a quick intro video that shows how Atmosphere Aerosol can spice up a wedding shoot:

Here's a video showing how long a single can lasts, including how long the atmosphere sticks around in your scene:

Last, but certainly not least, here's a great Film Riot episode that should give you some great ideas for how to incorporate fog into your lighting plans:

When I first came across this product the other day, my first reaction was, "There's no way that this could be safe to breathe." Here's what the FAQ on Atmosphere's site says about the ingredients and whether they're safe.

  • It is ozone safe and does not contain any CFC's or ozone depleting chemicals.
    Atmosphere Aerosol
  • The ingredients are propane (45%), butane (45%), and mineral oil (10%). Propane and butane are used as non-toxic propellants. Propane is a safe and environmentally friendly fuel, as well as non-toxic, colorless, and odorless. It is a great source of clean fuel and it’s used by millions of Americans each day. Hair spray cans, aerosol shaving cream cans, and other pressurized canned products such as PAM cooking spray use propane and butane as a propellant. When Atmosphere Aerosol is sprayed, a small, non-harmful amount of gas propels the spray and quickly dissipates, leaving the mineral oil in the air.
  • This product is not known to contain any chemicals currently listed as carcinogens or reproductive toxins.
  • This product’s ingredients are not found in the following lists: Federal, OSHA, NTP, IARC. 
  • Breathing small amounts of this material during normal handling is not likely to cause harmful effects.

All in all, Atmosphere Aerosol strikes me as a good way to get started with using haze and fog in your cinematography, and as a neat portable option for when you're shooting on location and don't want to lug a fog machine along with you. If you're interested in grabbing a can, head over to the Atmosphere Aerosol website.      

Your Comment

17 Comments

NICE! I'm sold!

December 8, 2015 at 4:10PM

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Jordan Ray Allen
Writer-Director-Producer
84

This is perfect. I sometimes use remote locations and need some atmosphere. Gonna grab a can and test this out. Thanks for posting it!

December 8, 2015 at 4:14PM

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RJ Ortiz
Cinematographer
226

Is this a joke? I was pretty excited about this, until I went to order... A $12 can cost $15 to ship to Los Angeles via USPS, with no other options?? I'll pass.

December 8, 2015 at 5:55PM, Edited December 8, 5:58PM

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Buying just 1 can is inefficient. I tried putting 4 in my cart and the shipping was still $15, so not as bad.

December 8, 2015 at 6:38PM

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Tim Milgram
Director / Cinematographer
296

To smokey, need haze, not smoke.

December 8, 2015 at 8:06PM, Edited December 8, 8:06PM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1171

YES! I was looking everywhere for something like this about a month ago. Just purchased two cans. Also to those concerned about shipping prices, when I checked out it was only $8.95. Either they just lowered the price or it's cheaper to ship to Michigan.

December 8, 2015 at 9:08PM

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Alex Bolen
Cinematographer
78

Hahaha, 'contains no CFKs'.
That should be logical, since the use of CFKs is prohibited since 2000. (Since 1987 the production of most CFKs is prohibited).

Looks like a cool, simple solution.

December 9, 2015 at 6:04AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8626

Any idea on any UK based sellers?

December 9, 2015 at 7:23AM

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Only shipment to USA :/ I would love to order it to Poland :/

December 9, 2015 at 8:16AM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1212

This is bad ass and I want it.

December 9, 2015 at 9:53AM, Edited December 9, 9:53AM

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Ian Cessna
Videographer
213

Get me on the list when you will sell this in Europe. Really useful. I´m living in Austria. Thanks

December 9, 2015 at 10:45AM

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Pedro Hofmann
my own boss
104

BTW, naming propane a clean fuel is really open for debate, but it is a pretty simple molecule that creates water and CO2 when burnt. (At the moment reducing CO2 emissions is being discussed in Paris.)
And that is the part I'm missing here: propane and butane are flammable gasses. (I use it to cook on when I'm camping.)
So, I could be wrong, but I would strongly recommonment NO SMOKING, NO FIRE and NO SPARKS on set when using this.

December 9, 2015 at 11:29AM

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WalterBrokx
Director, DOP, Writer, Editor, Producer
8626

You can also use talc

December 9, 2015 at 4:46PM

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George Marlow
Actor, Director, Homosapien
81

Guys, this has been around for a while. Go to Filmtools, they have fog-in-a-can there. Even have one with an 'auto' mode so you don't need to hold your finger on it.

http://www.filmtools.com/fantasy-fx-auto-spray-professional-haze-spray-f...

December 9, 2015 at 11:33PM

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i was just looking at this too

January 6, 2016 at 2:27AM

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Maybe I just miss this detail somewhere in the post, but: do you guys think this will play well with smoke detectors?

December 10, 2015 at 10:20AM

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Luke Covert
Director/Editor
86

For most kinds of shots, our After Effects plugin might be useful for realistically emulating a fogged set, but without the z-axis compounded density of the fog, nor the "god rays" created via hard light sources. An example here:
http://invisiblechainsaw.com/variablediffusion/sampledepot/?p=558

December 11, 2015 at 4:15AM, Edited December 11, 4:28AM

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I was sold at the $12 sign. But god damn i was cut when it doesn't allow shipping to anywhere else but US, anyone know of any product the same in Australia??

December 12, 2015 at 6:03AM

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Ben Thompson
DoP / Indie Film maker / Editor
74

$11.25 shipping to NH business address. Not bad as long as I order more than one can.

Very excited to try this out.

December 14, 2015 at 12:47PM, Edited December 14, 12:47PM

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Ethan
Producer/Writer/Director/Prop Maker
152