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Smoke on damage via DMX?

posted Mar 20, 2013 22:58:32 by toumaltheorca
Heya, has anyone tried hooking up a smoke machine and fill the room with smoke as the ship gets damaged? If so, what are your experiences with this?
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19 replies
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Charlie said Mar 20, 2013 23:10:51
I was considering this and to implement I would have to have a filtering system too clear the smoke after an attack. I might pursue this but I have an idea that I'd like to try where cylinders spray out bursts of air during certain circumstances and a couple panels might pop open with strobe and wires hanging. Just enough to startle people but without needing to filter the bridge. If you get something workable on a smoke type effect let me know as I will be venturing down this road very soon.
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toumaltheorca said Mar 21, 2013 19:38:19
My fear is that the trigger for damage etc. might be running permanently once that damage level is reached. However, reading trough the DMXCommands.xml file I see that each event has an attribute named "continuous", so it seems one can make the smoke activate only briefly, which is what I want :)

As for filtering... what you want is a flexible air duct (you can get these on ebay for about $50 for 10 meters) and a fitting blower. That way you can suck the smoke outside once the simulation is over.
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Charlie said Mar 21, 2013 23:01:16
what you want is a flexible air duct (you can get these on ebay for about $50 for 10 meters) and a fitting blower.

Definitely a great idea. Let me know if you work out details.
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DavidTaylor said Mar 22, 2013 04:33:32
Charlie: This is all your fault. You cannot post that kind of stuff on my b-day and expect that I, already having a DMX setup and having not one but two smoke machines for our annual Halloween party, simply must do this.

My smoke machine has some control settings to set length of burst; so I simply must see if I can trigger than with DMX. :) I smell smoke coming off my next paycheck as I must buy a DMX device to trigger my smoke machines. :)
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MichaelMesich said Mar 22, 2013 05:00:48
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-1500W-Vertical-Fogger-UpSpray-Smoke-Fog-Machine-with-Remote-Control-DMX-AA-/321067240823?pt=US_Atmospheric_Effect_Machines&hash=item4ac1194d77

I'm soooo tempted. But it's coming from Hong Kong and I'm already strained from spending close to $3K on Samsung Slates to run Artemis on...

Maybe someone else is feeling reckless right now. :)
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Charlie said Mar 22, 2013 07:55:03
happy b-day David. Go for smoke!
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toumaltheorca said Mar 22, 2013 12:23:28
Fyi, i got my dmx-enabled smoke machine for $70 on ebay. I heard it's not difficult to build your own DMX controls either, but at $70 it simply wasnt worth doing that myself for me ;)

I'll try this out this weekend!
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JamesDunnem said Mar 23, 2013 01:35:44
I had pondered using a smoke machine sparingly up by the mainscreen and instead of the lights for shields, have 2 lasers with beam-splitters throw into the fog from each side and widen their beams floor to ceiling similar to the DMX light fade in as shields raise.
A jitter to the splitters on <event type="SOMETHING_HITS_PLAYER"> could simulate the screens taking the impact and recovering.

Unfortunately, my ideas and paycheck rarely see eye-to-eye, but I'll keep looking for a good deal on either part.
"There is an old Celtic saying: "Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde."
-Beware of the anger of a patient man.
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toumaltheorca said Mar 23, 2013 14:47:02
Ok I did some experiments and this actually works perfectly with the current version of Artemis. All you need to do is to add something like this below your existing SHIP_DAMAGE_XX section:

(Note that my smoke machine is on channel 1, hence index=0 here)

<!-- Smoke! -->
<event type="SHIP_DAMAGE_20">
<timeblock mseconds="1000">
<setvalue index="0" value="255" change="0"/> <!-- Launch smoke for one second-->
</timeblock>
<timeblock mseconds="1000">
<setvalue index="0" value="0" change="0"/> <!-- Smoke off-->
</timeblock>
</event>

This will only trigger if your ship goes from healthy to damaged, and it will only trigger ONCE (until you repair over the threshold again). If you repair your ship and then get damaged again, you'll get another blast of smoke - just as it should be.

I'm sending a 0-value at the end just to make sure the machine shuts off.
I found that if you add such a section for SHIP_DAMAGE_20, 40 and 60, you get a nice thickening haze of smoke the more your ship takes damage. You might need to tweak this depending on your smoke fluid thickness. If you want to go nuts, increasing the timeblock length for SHIP_DAMAGE_60 is a cool way to make everyone feel like the ship is really going down :)

BTW if you use smoke in your bridge setup, I'd actually advise against using a video projector. Once the smoke starts you see the projector beams and that kinda kills the suspension of disbelief. Using a large flatscreen TV is definitely the better way to emulate the viewscreen when the battle damage smoke thickens ^_^
[Last edited Mar 23, 2013 19:58:40]
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toumaltheorca said Mar 24, 2013 22:10:31
A little video of smoke in action. This was just a first test, with a very thin fluid. Didn't want to risk flooding my room with smoke if anything didn't work out as planned. Next time I'm gonna give it a thicker fluid and make a video with more lights, then it'll be much easier to see.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96uX62NBPTQ

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JamesDunnem said Mar 24, 2013 23:43:36
I really like the idea of using the smoke to indicate some serious damage, even toyed with the idea of some silk flame torches to simulate extreme damage.

Just ran across the FauxFire® effect, wondering if an ultrasonic misting unit, a fan, and sealed leds could replicate the look.

I'll have to experiment with trying <event type="SHIP_DAMAGE_80" continuous="no"> to just kick a light for a moment to see if the command is sent.

[Last edited Mar 25, 2013 00:07:06]
"There is an old Celtic saying: "Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde."
-Beware of the anger of a patient man.
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Charlie said Mar 25, 2013 05:12:01
I like
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toumaltheorca said Mar 25, 2013 09:20:45
@james yup that works, that's how i do the single blast of smoke. I just had a 1-second timeblock, but you can any sequence you like and trigger it one-shot.
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MarkBell said Mar 25, 2013 12:22:41
Ooooooh..... That's pretty sweet, man. I can see multiple smoke emitters kicking around the bridge, coming out of panels with a sparking LED effect that are triggered at the same time. I'm torn as to using a DMX signal to turn on an electrical relay with a dumb emitter vs a DMX enabled one. I totally see your point of cost v effort.
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toumaltheorca said Mar 25, 2013 14:27:44
@MarkBell: Just look around. I guess the benefit of taking a dumb smoke machine and adding DMX onto it is that you can get really small and cheap smoke machines. Mine is HUGE, and I'd love to have a smaller one just for the sake of convenience in my room :)
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