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Discussion Starter #1
Best inexpensive scrim for a "reveal" effect? Will something at JoAnn's Fabrics do?

What style / color of fabric works best, at a reasonably low cost, for a "reveal" effect. Like in some many places where scrim is used throughout, say, the Magic Kingdom--heavy use of scrim at the Carousel of Progress. Then there's of course the ceiling in stretch room of the Haunted Mansion--another classic Reveal effect.

I've heard Chameleon Scrim mentioned here on the forums. But I'm suspicious of any expensive special purpose material. Like "rear projection screen" sold at a premium, when a $1 thin white plastic tablecloth, or shower curtain liner, from Dollar Tree works just fine for most people.

What characteristics in fabric make a good "reveal" scrim; where lit from the front, it's opaque; and when lit from the rear, it's transparent. Would like to use my new 2 channel fader to create a reveal effect:


... but don't want to spend a lot of $$$ on pro material when an inexpensive fabric might do.

What fabric characteristics make for a good "reveal" scrim? Is it really that unusual of a weave / material?
 

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I would love to hear the answer to this too. I thought to do a pepper's ghost effect with the phantom appearing besides the ghost bride in our bedroom. A scrim reveal would be easier to pull off I think (as well as easier storage!) I was looking for the wording to even search for a switch that turns a light on and off at shorter timed intervals than a timer. Thanks for posting that video because now I have the link to purchase the 'two channel fader'!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I would love to hear the answer to this too. I thought to do a pepper's ghost effect with the phantom appearing besides the ghost bride in our bedroom. A scrim reveal would be easier to pull off I think (as well as easier storage!) I was looking for the wording to even search for a switch that turns a light on and off at shorter timed intervals than a timer. Thanks for posting that video because now I have the link to purchase the 'two channel fader'!
Cool, glad it helped! I've tried to write these posts, and tag the video, so they are very easily discoverable through Google searches for people looking to do similar things like a Pepper's Ghost or a Scrim Reveal for a Halloween Haunt. :)

Also check-out the following thread--I didn't start it, just Bumped It Up:

http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/113542-plug-light-fader-thingy-2.html

If you didn't read it already, or for those who are interested, here is the description I included with my YT video:
"Test of automated pepper's ghost fader / two channel cross fader for Halloween Yard Haunt. Purchased from ActionLighting online--they call it a two channel alternating fader--but available from other sources. Just google for 204CH/FADER. The unit I have says "Lamplighter" on it. But the better / more generic search for this thing, if you want one, is "204CH/FADER".

Intended use is for either #1: a Pepper's Ghost effect, like the Pepper's Ghost illusion in Disney's Haunted Mansion Ballroom scene; #2: a "morph" effect, e.g. classic sideshow Girl-to-Gorilla / man to Werewolf, etc. Or #3: a simple "reveal" Halloween special effect using two-way glass or two way plexiglass--where you see your own reflection in a mirror until a light source fades in to reveal something creepy behind the mirror. May also work nicely for a reveal using scrim--that's something I'd like to test.

Video goes through different test cycles; one cycle uses two lamps cross-fading between each other--what you'd use for effect #2--a morphing effect. Another cycle uses only one lamp plugged into the unit at a time--what you'd use for a Haunted Mansion Ballroom style Pepper's Ghost effect (#1) or a two-way mirror "reveal" Halloween special effect (#3).

Each lamp has a 75 watt incandescent bulb. May not work with fluorescent or LED lighting, evidently. The unit itself claims to be rated for 2.5 amps on each side, 300 watts on each side. There are two polarized, but ungrounded, power plugs on the unit. Looking forward to trying it out using run of the mill colored yard flood lights--the kind you'd find in a Walmart, Lowes, or Home Depot.

Hope this helps others looking for an automated pepper's ghost light fader without having to go a more expensive route to achieve this effect, e.g. a Light-O-Rama (LOR) or other similarly high cost controller. Or having a build a potentially dangerous homebrew solution that uses a motor to alternate between lights. At a rough cost of around $30 including shipping, I feel the purchase I made was money well spent."
 

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I got a good chuckle over 'plug-in light fader thingy'. I know I was really struggling to come up with different phrases to google in order to find what I wanted!

BUMPING, in hopes that someone in here will have an answer about scrim material...?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I got a good chuckle over 'plug-in light fader thingy'. I know I was really struggling to come up with different phrases to google in order to find what I wanted!

BUMPING, in hopes that someone in here will have an answer about scrim material...?
Bumping also. Still want to know what the "secret" is behind scrim for a Reveal effect. If Chameleon Scrim is so special, what are its physical characteristics that make it so, for example?
 

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I didn't find out about the Chameleon Scrim weave, but I was reading up on theater sites about sharkstooth weave and I think bobbinette' weave? Bobbinette weave is hexagonal like tulle and doesn't really become opaque-looking when the light is on it the way the other weaves do.

Wait, here's one of the links I was looking at yesterday:

http://www.studio-productions-inc.com/white_papers/wp_types_scrim_main.html

I re-read this thread on how to make a holographic ghost effect with AtmosFEARfx Ghostly Apparitions, and there was an ebay link for a fabric they used. I'm thinking it might be too sheer? But it can't be, otherwise the projection wouldn't be so clear. I was wondering if this fabric would work for a reveal.

http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/138162-atmosfearfx-ghostly-apparitions-hologram.html

My husband ordered the fader switch thingie for me yesterday. :D
 

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Stopped at Joann's today. I found tulle in varying weaves. I didn't see anything like the sharkstooth weave nor gossamer. I think even the tighter woven tulle would not work for the conceal part.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
"Gauze" may be best for a reveal effect? Specific kind and least expensive source?

Thanks everyone. Taut clear plastic does sound like it would be good for a Pepper's Ghost. But not for a Reveal like you see on the ceiling of the stretching room in Disney's Haunted Mansion. Where the scrim is painted and looks like a ceiling; the Reveal of the attic only occurs when the "house lights" go out and the scrim becomes transparent, "revealing" the hidden ghastly scene.

Some theatre books say to use "gauze" for a reveal effect; to light the "gauze" in the front, from a high angle, while simultaneously fading the front light out, and fading the rear light in to complete the reveal.

What type of "gauze" might be sold at Jo-Ann's or some other source? Preferably one not intended for pro use--since often material that may be very similar in characteristics, sold at a premium to one market segment (e.g. TV, Film, Broadway, Theme Parks) might be sold, for some other use, at a pittance--that may be used by home haunters.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Reveal Scrim test fabrics bought @ JoAnn's: Muslin, Gauze, and Buckram Utility Fabric

Bought three different kinds of white fabrics for trying to achieve a Reveal Scrim effect.

1) Sewe Bleached Muslin (muslin was mentioned as a potential Reveal scrim material); $2/yard, and so cheap to give it a try

2) Zhan Papyrus Gauze - Around $5/yard

3) And something called UTILITY FABRIC BRND UNICORN BUCKRAM - Around $4/yard.

But there were sales going on and was able to use a coupon to knock the price down. Bought 3 yards of each.

Adding to my fabric collection. Not sure when I'll get to test. But I've got the rest of Fall, Winter, and the whole Summer...

The "BUCKRAM" was rather stiff and in the Utility Fabric section. Got a good feeling about that one as potentially working well as a Reveal Scrim, based on looking at the weave, holding up to the light, etc. Only testing will tell.

Tried to take photos of the exact codes / labels on the cardboard spindles, but my cell phone camera doesn't have auto-focus. Believe a lady told me there's an 8 digit code you want to grab off each fabric label--and that's how you can look it up, and purchase, online. Hope this helps others out there interested in the same reveal scrim effect and not wanting to pay for, presumably very expensive, Chameleon Scrim, or some other purpose-made scrim that only Broadway Productions, TV / Film / Museums, Theme Parks, and pro haunts can afford.

I mean really. I'm so happy with my $1 thin white plastic tablecloth from Party City that I used as a rear projection surface for Rona the Ghost Maid and AtmosFearFX's Ghostly Apparitions "Head of the House" loop. Expensive rear projection material is sold. But it seems like overkill and absurdly priced for my needs--at least at this point in time.
 

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Mike, thanks so much for following through on this. Next time I'm at Joann's, I'll look at the fabrics you listed and see if I can find other fabrics that might work. There's got to be something comparable we can use that is an inexpensive option.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Mike, thanks so much for following through on this. Next time I'm at Joann's, I'll look at the fabrics you listed and see if I can find other fabrics that might work. There's got to be something comparable we can use that is an inexpensive option.
You're very welcome. That would be great if you could explore more materials. I'm pretty confident some combination of us here on HalloweenForum.com can solve this one. Probably not very difficult. Also, must be some theatre people out there who could advise on substitute materials, with the huge level of creativity on the forums. Re: the gauze, I didn't think Jo-Anns had any until I mentioned it to the fabric cutting lady. She grabbed some from the very front of the store in a different area of aisles than I was looking. So there could have been more types / brands / weaves of gauze. Long line, and Jo-Ann's is like a Deli--choose a paper tag number and wait--so I just added 3 yards of what she brought me to my purchase. Was on a lunch break and had to leave fast, so I didn't get a chance to see if there are other kinds of gauze sold there. The book I reference below mentioned the word gauze in relation to scrim more than anything else, I think.

Muslin was mentioned in an older, circa 1999, book I have called Create Your Own Stage Effects. Funny how much the technology has changed. But regarding a reveal effect, they also emphasized the importance of the angle of the front and rear lighting during fades---something about a high angle and/or calculating the appropriate height and angle of the light sources. Not a huge amount of detail. Trying to find a better, more comprehensive and recent book on Stagecraft, specifically regarding Special Effects--or Practical Effects if that's the more correct technical term (effects you can see in person / more physical implementation / real-time operation vs. Special Effects as trick photography or CG / film editing created in advance).

Anyway, would be interested in seeing what you come up with. When I get the time and the Spirit Moves Me, so to speak, I'll run my tests and post video results.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Purchased a little over a yard of "Zhan Natural Solid Gauze" at JoAnns for scrim

Purchase a little over a yard of "Zhan Natural Solid Gauze" at JoAnn's yesterday. Believe I've got as much as I could possibly need to test both a Reveal Scrim effect, and the Transparent rear projection effect people have been trying to reproduce. Sorry for the blurry image of the "bolt" box:

IMG_1399_Joanns_Receipt.jpg

IMG_20141122_115933.jpg

IMG_20141122_115925.jpg

No experiments yet, but I've got all I need. Hopefully will come up with something that works well, for cheap, in the next few months. If anyone beats me to it, please share your results.

Hope this thread will be helpful to others trying to do a Disney Scrim Reveal effect like on the ceiling of the Stretching Room of Disney's Haunted Mansion. Or at Disney's Carousel of Progress -- many scenes there use scrim reveals.

I've read that multiple layers of sheer scrim are used in the graveyard scene of Disney's Haunted Mansion to create a feeling of depth; not for any particular effect other than adding more depth.
 

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I'm going to do a reveal effect for Halloween 2015. Would you mind updating us on how well the scrim you bought worked? I'm going to make a scrim fake black 'wall', that I will be standing behind and hit a strobe light which should light me up. Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm going to do a reveal effect for Halloween 2015. Would you mind updating us on how well the scrim you bought worked? I'm going to make a scrim fake black 'wall', that I will be standing behind and hit a strobe light which should light me up. Thoughts?
Hi Ice. Sorry, haven't gotten round to any experiments yet. But will post results when I do--hopefully some time this summer; or it could be Fall Crunch Time. No guarantees. The only advice I can offer at this point with for a reveal effect is from what I've observed in theme park attractions--the scrim wall needs to be illuminated from the front to provide cover; with that light cut off and an interior light turned on, aimed at you / illuminating the space where you are, when its time for the Reveal. You can check out videos for Disney's Carousel of Progress attraction for ideas. It uses many reveal scrims to the left and right side of its various stages. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hm, just saw this.

The 2 fabrics I always see touted as good scrim are the weed barrier cloth and black speaker cloth. Unfortunately, I have no real experience with either.
Thanks UnOrthodOx. Don't recall if I already mentioned it, but I have two brands of black weed barrier fabric in my collection to be tested--got 'em at a chain we have in North Carolina called Ollie's Good Stuff Cheap; which looks a heck of a lot like the "Building 19 1/x Good Stuff Cheap" chain of stores I grew up with in Massachusetts.
 

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I have been doing a reveal effect the last couple of years during our show and got my fabric at Joanns. I don't know the exact name/number but it is very stretchy synthetic almost spandex like material. I took a high lumen flashlight into the store and played with all the black fabrics until I found one that performed best/cost. I used left over fabric to project the atmospherefx ghost onto this last year and it worked great. When lights behind it were on it was see-through. The fabric is fine enough to allow the video to have good resolution and it just blended into the yard at night so it really looked like the ghost was just floating.

Here is the effect from last year 8:06 on the timeline. http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cxdhvjdfpIhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cxdhvjdfpI

Year prior at 6:23 gives a better view of the reveal effect. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixMWoH44Eog

I'll take some pics of the fabric during lunch and post.
 

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:) I just purchased this from OnlineFabricstore.net, I'll let you know how it does. It's sold mostly for theatrical applications.:D I'm hoping it works wonderfully well, I bought the white and the natural just to be safe. Says you can paint on the fabric as well which would be really cool because you could paint branches reaching across the fabric.....I'll show you...:D
https://www.onlinefabricstore.net/white-cotton-scrim-fabric-.htm
 
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