Halloween Forum banner

1 - 20 of 59 Posts

·
Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
Joined
·
6,359 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I want to produce a knee-high ocean of ground fog - how can I do it?

I have three small 400 watt fog machines and I have just purchased a Chauvet 1750 fogger which should be arriving tomorrow.

For the past two years, I have tried to build a ground fog cooler, but neither one has worked very well. I recently got a suggestion from another hautner to take a section of perforated drain pipe , fill it with ice, and send the fog through that. Haven't tried it yet, but I'm willing to give it a go.

I have also heard there can be a big difference in output depending on the type of juice you use. I honestly don't even know what kind of juice I have right now, a couple of quart containers from Target last year - I think.

So please, please give me all your suggestions on how I can produce creepy, heavy ground fog that will sit with impudence in my graveyard.
 

·
Bête noire
Joined
·
2,631 Posts
First, get yourself some Froggy's Swamp Juice fog fluid. I started using it last year - way better than the Spirit/Target/Party City junk. Second, there's a ton of designs for fog chillers out there. I use a modifed Vortex-design chiller made from a 52-qt ice chest, but there are many ways to chill fog. Haunt Forum is currently having some technical difficulties, but when it comes back, go there and search for "Vortex" - there's a veeerrrry long thread on chiller design. Pack a lunch, you'll need it. I also tried the perf pipe last year. I filled the 10' long, 4" pipe with frozen water bottles and pumped the fog in from one end. I was pretty happy with the results. Here's a video using a Chauvet F-1250:

Fog test with 4" pipe video by Otaku1031 - Photobucket

FWIW, your F-1700 fogger does NOT have a 1700W heater, as Chauvet used to advertise. It's actually a 1200W, but that's another story.
 

·
Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
Joined
·
6,359 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well, that sucks! :confused:

I got it for a really good price, so I don't feel too bad. I might have a friend of mine take a look and see what he and do with the heating element and output. He's sort of an electrical savant. :p

As for the Froggies Swamp Juice, is that only available online? Do any regional stores carry something like that? We've got one Costume and Supply shop in the area. I'll have to give them a call when they open.
 

·
Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
Joined
·
6,359 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Dang! It costs more to ship a gallon of swamp juice than it does to buy a gallon. I'll have to see if some other local haunters will go in on an order.
 

·
Bête noire
Joined
·
2,631 Posts
Dang! It costs more to ship a gallon of swamp juice than it does to buy a gallon. I'll have to see if some other local haunters will go in on an order.
Yeah, I got the same problem - I live in CA, and Froggy's ships out of TN, I think. Check with Halloween Prop Building Supplies For The Home Haunter - Monster Guts or Frightener's Entertainment. Might be able to get a better price from one of them.

I wouldn't be too quick to open your fogger and mess with the heater - you'll kill your 1-year warranty if you do. It's a long story, but there's really nothing you can do without doing a complete overhaul of the fogger; heater, wiring, pump etc - you get the idea.
 

·
Insane Genius
Joined
·
1,251 Posts
best advice is.. forget it and spend your time on something that is effective like better lighting.

The whole concept of ground fog in an outdoor environment is a complete waste of time and effort, and despite the number of effective pictures you see taken over the summer in someone's garage, I've never seen a picture or video worth a damn of ground fog in an outdoor graveyard at Halloween.

Ground fog depends on two environmental factors, its basic physics.

Firstly you need absolutely perfectly still air, no wind breeze and preferably nobody walking through it. ANY local air movement is going to whip your ground fog up into a general mist.

Secondly and more importantly the fog needs to be colder than the ambient air, and this is where the myth of fog chillers enters into the fray.

A fog chiller will cool your fog, but unless you live somewhere where the ambient air temperature at Halloween is verging on the tropical you stand no chance of getting the fog cool enough to hug the ground for any period of time... and then if you do live in an area of high temperature then your ice will melt faster... notice the thermodynamic balance here... cold ambient air, fog needs to be a lot colder, but ice will last a lot longer and warm ambient air, fog doesn't need to be so cold and ice melts faster....... this is the laws of physics kicking your butt!

And even if you do build a super chiller.... you have no way of accounting for the wind.

When you do see ground hugging fog then its nearly always dry ice, dry ice is Co2 frozen to a point where it becomes solid, so as it melts it becomes a dense visible vapour which is well below the ambient air temperature so it naturally clings to the ground
 

·
Insert Witty Comment Here
Joined
·
4,484 Posts
I also tried the perf pipe last year. I filled the 10' long, 4" pipe with frozen water bottles and pumped the fog in from one end. I was pretty happy with the results.
great idea on the frozen water bottles....I had zilch for luck on my fog chillers last year too.

I taped a couple peices of that 10' french drain pipe together and got great results as far as dispersing the fog. The only issue I had was that the wind blew 180 degrees different than my tests, so I had to move all the pipe around on Halloween eve....not that big a deal though.

I used a VEI 950 Superfogger.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,801 Posts
Made using the same method as Otaku, minus the ice filled bottles. (no need here, it's below freezing anyway in October)





My experience with ground fog for the last 3 years using this method.

Much as Phoenix says, It's not worth it on Halloween.

Between the people that walk through, and the wind, 90% of the time, you will NOT get the effect you're looking for.

I use it to take pictures, where I can patiently wait, pick a calm night, and wait for the fog to drift the right direction to get photos.

That said, FROGGY's SWAMP JUICE kicks major butt!

It DOES hang around a tad longer, and does get a LOT denser than other juice. In fact, the side of our house where no wind hits was getting down right THICK with fog before the rain started last year...

For reference, same lighting, same foggers, same 'chiller' method from 2007, using Spirit brand fog juice, produced a bit of a thin mist across the yard, not really a nice fog:

 

·
Insert Witty Comment Here
Joined
·
4,484 Posts
You can see the drain pipe in this picture. That's the second 10 ft piece.



It sucked that the wind changed and blew toward the house instead of the street.


I used Visual Effects fog juice that I ordered from CoolStuffCheap when I ordered my machine last year...shipping is the same as Froggy's but it only cost $60.00 for a case.
 

·
The Minister of Macabre
Joined
·
954 Posts
Use Dry Ice, you could try building a chiller that can hold Dry Ice. The extream cold works very effectively when cooling the fog. Last year I placed some infront of my fog machine, and it owrked great! But like Phoenix_UK said, it all about the environment and weather. I also agree that lighting can make all the diffrerance in an outdoor display.
 

·
Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
Joined
·
6,359 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Ok, thanks for the word of warning. The first thing I want to do is just get it out and test it. Then, test it again when I can get some swamp juice.

Yeah, I got the same problem - I live in CA, and Froggy's ships out of TN, I think. Check with Halloween Prop Building Supplies For The Home Haunter - Monster Guts or Frightener's Entertainment. Might be able to get a better price from one of them.

I wouldn't be too quick to open your fogger and mess with the heater - you'll kill your 1-year warranty if you do. It's a long story, but there's really nothing you can do without doing a complete overhaul of the fogger; heater, wiring, pump etc - you get the idea.
 

·
Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
Joined
·
6,359 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
best advice is.. forget it and spend your time on something that is effective like better lighting.
Ok, I appreciate the advice, honestly.

I've got red and green floodlights as my main lighting source. I usually just stake them in the yard and point them at various props. This gives a lot of colored light at ground level, angled up.

What can I be doing with my lighting to produce a better visual effect?
 

·
Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
Joined
·
6,359 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
This is the basic layout of my yard haunt from last year -- jsut to give an idea of where things are.



I alternate greena nd red floods in the graveyard, green on the mausoleum and witches, and red on the roof. I have one yellow that I use to backlight the pumpkin patch.

Previously, my foggers have been by the front porch and near trees in the graveyard.
 

·
Insane Genius
Joined
·
1,251 Posts
Ok, I appreciate the advice, honestly.

I've got red and green floodlights as my main lighting source. I usually just stake them in the yard and point them at various props. This gives a lot of colored light at ground level, angled up.

What can I be doing with my lighting to produce a better visual effect?

Create shadows.

For my main graveyard lighting I have a loop of red/green and blue spots on garden spikes which I string along the fence line and then strategically place tomb stones and props such that they cast shadows on the backdrop (house)

Then make sure you paint your props to make best use of the lighting, I find that dry brushing everything white gives the props highlights that are picked out by the spots.

Lots of ambient fog works very well with lighting, it diffuses it and the shadow caster objects case shadows on the fog that add to the effect.
 

·
Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
Joined
·
6,359 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Also, this is the plan I have in my head for what I want to do this year. I want to build some larger props and a boardwalk. Beneath the boardwalk I will run a 150ft orange ropelight I rebuild my back deck and have tons of cedar decking to use for the boardwalk.

I am still trying to figure out what to do with the driveway. Hence the highlight in the pic.

 

·
Insane Genius
Joined
·
1,251 Posts
This is the basic layout of my yard haunt from last year -- jsut to give an idea of where things are.



I alternate greena nd red floods in the graveyard, green on the mausoleum and witches, and red on the roof. I have one yellow that I use to backlight the pumpkin patch.

Previously, my foggers have been by the front porch and near trees in the graveyard.
Id move the lights to the outside of the picket fence on the ground and shining towards the house

My foggers are placed in the centre of the graveyard hidden inside a table tomb which is the main focus of the graveyard, the tomb has a skeleton on the top which is lit to cast shadows on the house

Try and avoid 'floodlighting' such that you get too much light on the backdrop that washes out any shadows, place your lights in a manner where there beams are controlled, maybe even baffled.

Back lighting the pumpkin patch sounds great, but honestly I find the best lighting for pumpkins are the humble tea light candles.
 
1 - 20 of 59 Posts
Top