August 14, 2017 at 11:12PM


Using Fog or Haze on location in forest.

I have just been given a film project and I am wanting to add haze or fog to the scene. It is set in a forest with a guy running through the trees. I know that if I'm using normal haze or fog machines it will dissipate very quickly and we wont be able to get anything done.
This video has similar elements of what i want to achieve.
I am under no illusion that some of, or maybe all, of this was stuff was filmed in a studio and had access to digital effects, which as this is a uni film I have no access to.
Does anyone have any ideas on how I can get this kind of effect and aesthetic, we have to film on location and we will figure out how to run power.
Thanks everyone


It's pretty hard to achieve what you have in mind... If I was trying to get that effect again today, I would probably use a digital/compositing effect (by creating a "z depth channel") or I would simply try to shoot the real thing, by shooting very early in the morning on a cold/wet october/november day :)

However, I have had some success in the past by hacking a "two pounds smoke bomb" (cfr. Youtube "how to make a smoke bomb") and/or, much safer, a smoke machine (not a hazer!) with a DIY "cooling box". Basically, I attached a hose onto the smoke machine's exhaust and the box (styrofoam) cooled the smoke with dry ice. I used a simple 12V bathroom air extractor to suck the air through the whole system. That way, the smoke could stick to the ground for a while...

The main issue, as you probably guessed is ... the wind conditions. You really have to shoot on a windless day!

Other issues include the lack of smoke dispersion... So for a wide shot, you really have to have several of these machines/hacks, which is quite a budget... Or you could try something I also had in mind: use some kind of very long perforated hose to disperse the smoke over a large area. Still, it is very difficult to achieve a "good enough" result. You really have to be lucky...

Speaking of luck... By pure chance, when I was fine tuning my machine, one of my trial attempts created something truly spectacular: as I first didn't put enough dry ice in the cooler, the smoke was slightly to hot to sick to the ground. Instead, it floated 3 meters above the ground, creating kind of a white "ceiling of smoke" for quite a large area in the forest. It was totally dreamlike, surreal, unreal... Unfortunately, I didn't have any camera with me that day (for I simply was supposed to test my hack)...

August 16, 2017 at 11:33PM, Edited August 16, 11:39PM

Emmanuel Decarpentrie
Director of Photography

Cool thanks for that. I can get access to at least 3 machines and I was thinking of doing some piping tests to see if I could get more coverage like you suggested and I will look at creating a cooling system. Thanks :)

Nathaniel Moody

August 17, 2017 at 6:36PM

Get an Artem smoke machine - you attach a smoke canister and a canister of gas and then you're good to go, without the need for electricity. They're insanely powerful.

August 17, 2017 at 7:41AM

Alex Richardson

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