www.LaserFX.com Home Page - CLICK HERE

  Home Page >>> Backstage Area >> Newsletter > Special Reports - Stockholm Water Festival

Search LaserFX.com - CLICK HERE Site Map - CLICK HERE
LaserFX.com Home Page
Laser Safety
Laser Hobbyists
Laser Show Systems
Standards and Practrices
Laser F/X Newsletter


World Scan

What's New

Special Reports

Virtual Visits

General Articles


Unclassified Ads
Business Issues
Laser Show Discussions
Archives and Download
Laser Show Resources
Updates Page - CLICK HERE
Member Services - CLICK HERE
LaserFX.com Banner Ads - CLICK HERE
About Laser F/X - CLICK HERE
Contact Us - CLICK HERE

Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports

Newsletter logo

Urström at the 1999 Stockholm Water Festival



    Creating sufficient smoke for laser beam effects in an outdoor venue is always a challenge. Even more so when the venue is mostly comprised of water and the smoke is also used as an artistic effect for the opening of the show. On the first set-up evenings at the site, the most important factor was to observe the prevailing wind patterns so as to use these to aid in smoke distribution.
    The prevailing winds blew across the bridge and towards the Parliament buildings at the west end of the site. The winds seemed to die down to a gentle breeze at nightfall but could suddenly shift. The best initial strategy seemed to be to place smoke machines on either side of the laser positions so that no matter which way the wind blew, we would get smoke into the beam effects.

scene from the dramatic finale
A scene from the dramatic finale - note the large amount of smoke rising from the water.

    We also wanted to mount the smoke machines as low to the water as possible so that the smoke would blow across the water and seem to be rising out of it. This effect would open the show in the semi darkness as the wind sounds played on the PA system to help represent the "ice age" at the beginning of the show.
    In the final configuration, seven smoke machines in all were used each night as well as canisters of chemical smoke pellets. Chemical smoke was also used from a small boat so that the pyro guys could move into a downwind position to allow the smoke to drift through the beams of the "basket" laser. Later, cans holding chemical smoke pellets were also added below the basket so that it traveled with it's own smoke.

A MAX3000 mounted below the master control scaffold.

    An MDG MAX3000 and fan was mounted at the far end of the master control scaffold. This unit was rarely used as it was for back-up in case the winds shifted during the show. It was occasionally used to enhance the beam effects from the two fiber driven projectors in the master control scaffold and when the wind shifted.

MAX5000 and fan mounted under the bridge

The MAX5000 and fan mounted under the bridge just 2 meters above the water - the Opera and white tower are in the background.

    A MAX5000 and fan was mounted under the bridge on one of the abutments close to the Fire tower. Initially it was mounted at the base of the fire tower but was moved after two shows as the smoke proved too dense and overwhelmed the nearby YAG beam laser also at the base of the Fire tower. Mounted under the bridge, the breeze would pick up the smoke and spread it out into a finer haze before it entered the beam projection area.

    A large water-based smoke machine was mounted on a floating platform just above the water about half way under the bridge. The smoke from this machine was carried by the prevailing breeze across the centre of the water.

    A second MAX5000 and fan was mounted just above the water on the corner of the floating restaurant barge on the Opera side of the site. The prevailing breeze blew the smoke across the water and up into the beams from the main beam effect laser mounted on top of the container at the back of the floating restaurant barges.

    A third MAX5000 and fan was mounted in the white tower. Most nights the breeze blew the smoke across the water and towards the Parliament building so it acted as a bit of fill for the YAG beam laser located in the Fire tower but was mostly an artistic effect. On a few occasions when the wind changed, this machine provided smoke for the main beam laser on the Opera side of the site.

    Another large water-based smoke machine was mounted on one corner between the two floating barges used for the "Konsum" restaurant located in the water in front of the Parliament buildings. This machine was used briefly as an artistic effect at the beginning of the show but the prevailing breeze blew the smoke away from most of the laser beampaths. On a few occasions when the wind changed, this machine provided smoke down the centre of the water.

Boat mounted smoke machine and fan
Boat mounted smoke machine and fan ready to go out before the show.

    A DigiFogger and fan was mounted in a small rubber boat with electric motor each evening an hour before the show. The boat mounted machine meant that we could move the machine if the wind changed so as to be ideally located for providing the best smoke coverage. The electric motor insured that the boat could move silently and the audience would not be aware of it moving due to motor noise. There were only two nights when we had to relocate the boat due to changes in wind and we never had to re-locate it during a show.
    The DigiFogger was chosen because it had the lowest power consumption as we planned to run it from an inverter or UPS. When the festival organisers were unable to come up with a suitable power supply, we arranged to have AC power cables placed in two locations under the bridge just a meter above the water as well as on either end of the barges that formed the floating restaurants at the Parliament building end of the site. This allowed us the flexibility to move the machine to the most favorable site on the water that would allow the breeze to carry the smoke into the laser beams.


Quick Links to Report Pages

Stockholm Water Festival Report - Introduction
Sweden and Stockholm - Background and general information
The Site - Orientation to the show area and the challenges it presented
The Crew - The people who put it all together
Tech Specs - The equipment used in the presentation
The Music - An interview with the composer and MP3 file of the soundtrack
Smoke on the water - Covering a lake with smoke for beam effects
The Show - A description with many pictures
Animated Gifs - Gifs showing Palace projections and climatic beam effects
Stadshuset - Stockholm City Hall tour (very large page)
Show Diary - Day-to-day coverage of the trials and triumphs


DISCLAIMER: Some of the information in the Backstage area is provided by the persons or companies named on the relevant page(s). Laser F/X does NOT endorse or recommend any products/services and is NOT responsible for the technical accuracy of the information provided.  We provide this information as a service to laserists using the Backstage area. 

[ Introduction | World ScanWhat's New | Special Reports | Virtual Visits | General Articles | Digest ]


© 1996-2008 Laser F/X International and LaserFX.com - All rights reserved.
Logos and trademarks are the property of their respective owners - used by permission.