View Full Version : Simulating Water?

01-28-2007, 10:17 PM
Has anyone ever effectively created a scene that had the look of real water flowing or even still. For example water on both sides of a bridge that the customers walk over.

I know there are some DJ lights that create a rippling effect but they cost around $600.00 bucks.

I was thinking of just using a fog chiller for a low lying fog, along with blue or green flood lights. But I am not sure if it will create the look I'm going for.

Any ideas on how to pull this off??????


Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Deadly Intentions Haunted House

Jim Warfield
01-28-2007, 11:32 PM
I don't think showing the average person water is going to impress them to much. Most people I know have seen it before...someplace or anuther?
Now showing them blue colored air would be different, as long as it wasn't coming from the back of my pants.

01-29-2007, 05:20 AM
We've used Real water a few times. The problem is that you have to keep it chlorinated or it starts to STINK after just a couple of weeks.

01-29-2007, 08:21 AM
Thanks guys.

ScarlettP, I have done the real water thing before as well. I have 2 problems with that this year. First, the part of the building we are located in does not have a close water source. Second, is the room design requires an actor to perform from the "water" area and I would rather not have them trenching through actual water.

So that is why I am trying to come up with an alternative that will work for the illusion of having real water.


01-29-2007, 09:54 AM
we have this one light which produces a wripple effect and it wasnt too costly. I'll find out what type of light it is and let ya know. We used it in conjuntion with real water, but fog worked just as well...


01-29-2007, 11:25 AM
Thanks Sean,

I would love to know what type it is.


01-29-2007, 06:38 PM
I think you can acheive the effect of water and not have to deal with water if you make the floor below the bridge dark enough that guests cant see it when they walk by, then you just hook up several speakers with the sounds of water ( maybe even add a swamp scent set up from sinister scents ). Have some reeds or waterlike foilage coming up from the ground and add a fan to get some general movement and guests wouldn't think twice about whether or not water is really there.

01-29-2007, 10:35 PM

We recently did a scene where people were inside of a well similar to the one in the ring movie and I used water lights (about $179) and reflected the light off of a crinkled piece of aluminum foil/mylar type of material. It took some patients but it worked out great. It left a shimmering effect on the walls of the well.

Good luck.



01-30-2007, 05:59 AM
Thanks for all the input. I am going to experiment this weekend and see what I can come up with. I will let you know how it turns out.


01-30-2007, 05:59 AM
Now, there IS some stuff that model builders use to make 'water'... you melt it, pour it in and it sets up clear and shiny. But for a large area, it would be VERY pricy. I'm liking the water sounds, smells and lights... perhaps shining on a thin sheet of clear acrylic to make it look even 'sparkle-y-er'.

John Coen
01-30-2007, 09:06 AM
My swamp consisted of black plastic and some irridescent easter grass around the rocks and such, simulating foam or whatever, add fog and swamp sounds and it works! For more shine you could overlay a clear plastic drop cloth over the black.

Jim Warfield
01-30-2007, 09:12 AM
I have seen some people simulate "Water" but it's really urine staining their pants, no matter what they say.

01-30-2007, 09:15 AM
Years ago I saw a haunt that used thin mylar sheeting stretched loosely a bit above the floor, close to the bridge. It was lit with blue and green lights. They must've had a fan or air source blowing on it. It was pretty resourceful. They even had bits of seaweed, etc. scattered over it.

I think the lights and fog would still probably look better than that did, though. It would also allow an actor to be in that area without disturbing the illusion.

02-01-2007, 01:12 AM

Im new here and thought I would put my input on this subject since I went through a similar situation for a party idea I had and felt I succeeded in doing/creating. My introduction will come soon. For me when I was building my castle, I also built a drawbridge and a moat surrounding the castle. What I did was elevate the landing zone with some totes, got some clear plactic from my local dollar store, stretched it out over the totes, added blue flood lights underneath it with a fan or two. And wahla moving water in my moat surrounding my castle. If these pics come through you can see what I am talking about.

The first pic is during setup for the party and shows the black totes surrounding the castle.


In this pic I put a skeleton under the paastic to make it look like it has been in the moat for a very long time.


3rd pic was with the lights off and of course the flash on the camera takes most of the blue lighting away. but it the dark it looked AWESOME!!!!


I do hope this helps create the look or feel that you need. Keep us posted.

aka TheNightMare

02-01-2007, 06:08 AM
That looks pretty damn cool Nightmare! I could imagine what this looked like, very nice! -Tyler

Jim Warfield
02-01-2007, 07:41 AM
It all looks VERY GOOD!
So real it makes me thirsty
Skeleton soup! Yum!
That one scene of the skeleton under "water" might be enough by itself to perminently stick within the memorys of the people who had seen it. (In my opinion)
Very Well Done!
I have never had any water or moat under my drawbridge, so I sucker people into standing infront of the door when it begins to fall down!
When people remark that they wish they had one I tell them they are real hard to install on a mobile home! (As if I know what kind of structure they live in?)

02-01-2007, 02:37 PM
Very cool pics Walter.

That might work for the one side of the bridge that does not have the actor. I will keep it in mind if some of my other ideas don't work out.



02-17-2007, 06:54 AM
theNightMare, that looks awesome, you gave me some ideas for next year! How does it look like moving water? Just the green and blue lights? Where do you place the fans? blowing at the guests or blowing at the weeds? Thanks!

02-17-2007, 11:33 AM
Hey Slash, bridge was put in the middle of the castle. Under the bridge we put 2 blue flood lights in the form of a "V" pointing to the right tower and left tower. Then did the same in the middlle of the moat cause it was so big the blue light didnt travel that far. Then near the blue lights we put a samll fan blowing air to the right and left tower. Once the fan was going it made the clear plastic ripple making it look like waves of water. Very cool effect and I couldn't of been prouder of how it came out. Good Luck on your design.

Raycliff Manor
02-17-2007, 12:22 PM
Very nice Walter! I can imagine it in the actual lighting, without the camera flash, and I'll bet it looks awesome! Great job!!!


02-17-2007, 05:08 PM
Very cool, I am going to have to try this out, thats what I love about this form you can always learn something new.

02-21-2007, 05:14 AM