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Smoke effects


Natural, interior, heavy, colored and other types of smokes. Smoke is an aerosol. Aerosol is an dispersed system consisting of suspended in the gas medium (in our case, most often in the air) tiny particles (dispersed phase). Aerosols come from liquid particles (fogs) and from solid particles (fumes or dust). Liquid and solid aerosols have great differences in their properties and behavior, which is very important in the cinematography.

Liquid smoke is created by hardware - smoke machines, generators of various designs and chasers (diffusion and evaporation), creating a thin haze of translucent liquid droplets.

The main advantage of liquid smoke is:

  • low toxicity;
  • low cost price.
The main disadvantages are:
  • increased requirements for the number and quality of personnel serving the equipment, as the consequence - a limited number of sources per frame;
  • low mobility of moving sources by the wind and frame;
  • low resistance to dispersion (evaporation) and low density of fumes.
Solid fumes are most often created by pyrotechnic tools (condensation aerosols) - smoke bombs of various capacities and chemical composition that sublimate natural waxes or rosin into steam during combustion, followed by the condensation of vapors to the smallest particles of a solid.

The main advantages of solid fumes:
  •  almost unlimited mobility in placing sources of smoke in the wind and frame.
  • almost unlimited number of smoke sources per frame.
  • high resistance to dispersion and high density of fumes.
The main disadvantages are:
  • a relatively high cost in comparing to liquid fumes.
  • strictly regulated time of burning.
In terms of application in the frame, fumes can be subdivided into thematic (denoting the essence of what is happening in the frame) and camera (when the smoke is used as an element of the light solution of the frame).

Thematic fumes are active participants in the frame and dynamic and vivid sensations of the ongoing catastrophes and military operations. In these cases, the smoke spreads along the frame of the club in the natural direction of the wind through the frame and the appearance of a source of smoke in the frame (fires, explosions, burning) is permissible. It is the smoke and foci of combustion that are the main dynamic instrument of presence on the battlefield and creating the effect of war or catastrophe.

Operator's smoke is used to soften the light in the frame, reduce the contrast and sharpness of the frame. Create readability (glow) of light rays. Making the frame "academic" pastel. In these cases, it is unacceptable to detect or guess the location of the source of smoke and necessarily uniform filling of the frame with fumes.
Despite all the variety of modern smoke sources, the simplest, most reliable and mobile source of smoke in the foreground and in the scenery is still the Pavilion Smoke Composition on the basis of rosin, which burns pyrotechnics on a tray and smashes the smoke with a dummy. It is the rosy scent of the Pavilion Smoke Composition that has been an integral part of the cinema since ancient times.