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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm mostly a make-up person, and this is my first time prop building. The goal is an empty but molded figure which I attempted which some called Arlene's Fabric Stiffening Spray. It smelled like eggs and my dog tried to eat the ghost. Worse, the telescoping curtain rod that was inside supposed to be forming an outstretched arm collapsed in the middle of the night to waist-level and that HAPPENED to be the ONLY part where the spray actually held...something forming a bit stiff looking if you get my drift. :eek: And I'm not looking to make a pòrn ghost, just something cool.
The goal? Something like the first photo.
So would be sufficient to harden the fabric? And any suggestions on anchoring it after that?
P.S. I was able to smooth out the stiffie with some water. the fabric is eight yards of muslin.

Atmospheric phenomenon Lady Beauty Sky Pink


White Yellow Clothing Dress Textile
 

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First of all, well done for giving it a go. Trying something away from your speciality is always hard. Secondly, well done on making a porn ghost. I am sure many have tried and failed!

The first picture you posted I think is the work of photoshop and not a real prop, so could be hard to fake.

I would have said that 8 yards of fabric is pretty heavy, so could be a challenge to support with a spray. You mentioned a curtain rod, what else are you using as a support underneath the fabric? My thoughts would be to get a good solid frame to drape the fabric onto, without really using the spray, to allow the fabric to move in the wind to be more realistic.

The only time (and I havent looked) I have seen the stiffening spray work is on cheesecloth and on smaller sizes so the weight does not affect it as much.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for your very kind words and encouragement :) Yep, I checked, and that particular spray refers to little crafy things like bows. As for a frame, I have a large wooden hanger with a styrofoam mannequin head attached to the top. To add some mass tere are rolled towels stuffed in the hanger for shoulders, with two curtain rods in a bucket of sand - one supporting the hanger-head and the other angled out for the intended arm. Since then, I've watched a tutorial on making DIY mannequins, so I'll probably go that route. :)
The muslin is a bit heavy, but as you mention, I did plan on leaving some untouched....to move by the wind. There is a long trail of extra fabric that I will have to cut away because I just didn't know how much I would need, but 8 yards draped really, really long.
Also, others mentioned that the first pic was likely photoshop. BUT--inspiration for reality, yes?! Surely there is a way to get some rebar welded to a heavy plate or something and attach it to the hardened fabric? That's what I was thinking with monster mud. Thanks again!
 

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Frame, something like this, I'm going to say rigid pipe and/or EMT conduit are your best bets. Rebar can be driven into the ground and then the conduit slipped up over the rebar, OR you can push the conduit right into the ground if it's soft enough.

http://www.homedepot.com/b/Electrical-Electrical-Boxes-Conduit-Fittings-Conduit/N-5yc1vZbohl?cm_mmc=SEM|THD|google|D27E+Electrical&mid=sxsUyb61n|dc_mtid_8903o6225187_pcrid_70374294397_pkw_emt%20conduit_pmt_e_product_{product_id}_slid_&gclid=CKP5vf2CtscCFZCCaQod13YLjg

My waving skeleton here is just supported by such a bent EMT conduit and rebar system.



OR, if you are putting this near a wall or something you can put a pole into it's back from BEHIND. Which, if it's not shopped, is how the pic would have been done, hiding a stand behind it with the support coming from behind..

Stiffening fabric, I'm afraid I won't be of much help. I would actually suggest using glues and/or paint rather than actual stiffener products.
 

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Monster mud might be a little heavy for what you're trying to do here, look into fiber glass resin, painted onto fabric, it'll do what you're trying to do, and no be effected by moisture. Put your fabric over a support structure, paint on the resin, and let dry. The support structure anchors to the ground on the left side in the first photo you posted, and is a permanent part of your ghost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Change in Fabric?

Do you guys think I should swtich from musin cloth to a sheer transuclent chiffon-type cloth for the sake of weight? Or will Monster Mud [ that''s what I'll try first] just weigh it down the same anyhow? I plan on leaving some parts undipped so they can flow in the breeze, and then spray the whole thing with reflective spray, which is invisible but reflective to light. [ I'm not fond of glow in the dark sprays because they don''t seem to hold the glow long and it looks artificial if it turns up neon.] Cool product because you can spray it on your dog's fur if you're walking him at night for Halloween: https://albedo100us.com/shop/horse-and-pets/
P.S.
They mention that the "Invisible Bright"can also be used on fur, so I'm not sure what the difference is. :)
 

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Either way, monster mud is the majority of the weight on anything you build with it, fabric type won't make a huge difference in that respect.
 
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I once sawed out a plywood ghost, maybe 6ft tall, ,attached a 1" steel pipe to the wood,running the pipe from the neck down into a slightly large diameter pipe I had pounded into the ground.
I was given some plastic that was made to be a little rubbery and it had a fogged look to it. It was used to cover pallets of Ammunition for years at a time, keeping the ammo dry. It was like a vynl shower curtain, i guess?
So the whole creature was only maybe 1 1/2 inches thick, and it would swivel in the breeze. I lived on Rt.78 a main road around here,many people saw this, then couldn't see it as it would sometimes give them it's 1 1/2 inch skinny side,which might have had some of them wondering??
The whole thing was "tough" took much abuse.. and kept on Not ticking!
When i was a teenager the "Ghost Story" in the Rockford, Ill.newspaper that got everyone;s attention told about a naked, female "Ghost" who could be seen running down a blacktop road very early in the morning.
Of course it turned out to Not be a ghost,just a naked woman. Drat!
 

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My first thought when I saw the thread was "You don't have to solve his problems, just be a good listener."

I'll shut up now.
Sadly, it was a "dad" thought that came to my mind; "With another bite out of my wallet, I suppose..."
 

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I have been following this thread, and would like to suggest a different approach. I build a lot of ghosts, and I build forms for what ever 'body' there is to the ghost. The ghost can be hung up, or supported by a single pole, and you can paint the pole flat black if you want to ghost to appear to hover over the ground. The form will provide the shape, so there is no need to rely on fabric stiffener or monster mud. The final form is painted flat black, and/or covered with black cloth. The final step is to cover with the outer fabric, I favor cheese cloth but you should be able to use anything. I have included some pictures to try and demonstrate the progression from form to final product. Hope it helps.





 

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Definitely check out HeresJohnny's blog at the bottom of his post too. I know this thread isn't about animation but nobody animates ghosts quite like him - they really do seem otherworldly. Might not be in your skill set at the moment but great inspiration regardless (If nothing else it'll probably sell you on the cheesecloth.)
 

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Here'sJohnny is most definitely the ghost King. There's no one better! It will totally be worth your while to check out his albums and blogs. He has been an inspiration to me for many years. I have used various products for stiffening, all for different purposes with various results. For a hard coat I like monster mud. But I have also used Mod Podge "stiffy" with decent results. However For the armature I tend to use inner supports similar to those I learned from Johnny and have had brilliant results!
 
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