Harry Potter Crystal Ball

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juno

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I REALLY REALLY REALLY want one of these.

I believe this unit is movable -- I've read that in one of the scenes in PoA it can be seen when the crystal ball rolls off the table.

I've done a pretty extensive search of haunted house stuff and have found nothing. Any of your prop / effects master's have any ideas where I could either a.) pick one up or b.) make one myself?


 

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Hez

Well-Known Member
Have you tried any kind of new age shops, places that might stock tarot cards and all that kind of thing? I'm sure I've seen stuff like this in those places.
 

juno

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Thanks Oppi -- I've seen that one -- I'd like to get one like the pic: hollow and with a smoke attachment.
 

RedTwoX

Sr Member
Looks like a large, spherical light fixture to me. You might try a Lowe's or Home Depot to see what they have.

I'm not sure about the smoke effect. You might try one of the "smoke machines" that are in all the novelty shops around Halloween. However, it's my understanding that they leave a residue and that would cloud the glass. It would require constant cleaning to keep it looking good. Then again, I can't think of anyway to make smoke, or a smokey effect, that wouldn't leave deposits on the glass. Smoke is just particles suspended in the air, and those particles are eventually going to come to rest inside the glass bubble.
 

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mtsbspidey

Well-Known Member
"That's movie magic huh ... they don't have to worry about that."

or maybe...it's not movie magic....oooooooooooooooooo...skott (sorry i'm really tired and kinda out of it)
 

TimDrakeRobin

Sr Member
it is likley that it is either a light fixture of some sort or custom blown glass. As for the smoke. It could be filled with water and a cloudy material or powder, with a small fan blade of sorts mixing/moving it around.
 

Reaper57

Well-Known Member
Originally posted by Great_Bizarro@Feb 20 2006, 01:26 AM
CO2 gas?
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to get vapors you would have to use liquid co2 or freon.

that would cause a very low temp. that would probley crack or spiderweb glass or acrylic.

john :cool
 

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juno

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The pic is from an exhibit that was in Toronto called "The Secret Life of Sets," so I relatively sure that it would run continuously. I thought at first that maybe the ball was already filled with liquid and something was being injected into it to look foggy, but then I couldn't think of anything that would do such a thing.

*sigh* why do I always pick the unrealistic props?
 

ThePatriot29

New Member
what about dry ice and water, with a hose or tube to lead the fog to the ball. May still be cold and crack the glass, dunno. But it shouldn't leave residue.
 

Darth Cross

Well-Known Member
An idea to try (and I'll see if it works on a 4" ball that I have) is to project an image onto the back side of the crystal ball. These balls behave like a lens and will magnify an image that is placed directly on the rear of them. I know this because it's used in some magic effects (I'm a practicing magician ;) ).

Richard
 

Ivanhotep

Well-Known Member
The cloud effect was achieved by suspending a wad of cotton in a water-filled sphere. Movement is achieved by inserting through the base opening a motor that moves a couple of transparent rods to slowly rotate the cotton. You can see one of the rods in this pic:


With the right lighting, it's a great effect.

When the motor isn't running, I suppose the cotton settles to the bottom, as it does in the picture that kicked off the thread.
 

juno

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Ivanhotep, I love you. :love (in a non-committal-kind-of-prop-geek way) (now if you could post some good pics of the sorcerer's stone stone...)
 

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RedTwoX

Sr Member
Originally posted by Ivanhotep@Feb 25 2006, 07:43 PM
The cloud effect was achieved by suspending a wad of cotton in a water-filled sphere. Movement is achieved by inserting through the base opening a motor that moves a couple of transparent rods to slowly rotate the cotton. You can see one of the rods in this pic:

With the right lighting, it's a great effect.

When the motor isn't running, I suppose the cotton settles to the bottom, as it does in the picture that kicked off the thread.
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WOW. Fanstatic information Ivanhotep. :thumbsup That makes this a very doable prop replica, and a relatively inexpensive at that. A "wad of cotton in water" is going to be lot less pricey than some of the suggestions in this thread.
 

Ivanhotep

Well-Known Member
Glad the info helped. Yes, it's a good and low-tech solution, but one better suited to a couple of days in front of the camera than to long-term display. That's the downside.

By the way, the crystal balls used in the film are made of handblown glass; there are no seams.
 

SurferGeek

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Originally posted by Ivanhotep@Feb 26 2006, 11:06 AM
Glad the info helped. Yes, it's a good and low-tech solution, but one better suited to a couple of days in front of the camera than to long-term display. That's the downside.

By the way, the crystal balls used in the film are made of handblown glass; there are no seams.
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I would think that over time the cotton would become matted and sag downward. What about using polyester fiber fill like that used to stuff pillows and such?
 

RedTwoX

Sr Member
Originally posted by SurferGeek@Feb 26 2006, 01:44 PM
I would think that over time the cotton would become matted and sag downward.  What about using polyester fiber fill like that used to stuff pillows and such?
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It's worth experimentation. I would expect there's a chance, and probably a good one, that any material will eventually get tangled around the stirring rods. It's just a matter of time. As Ivanhotep pointed out, this prop does have the potential for disaster. A leaky seal could mean bad news for other props near the display. Periodic maintainence would be a good idea just to make sure the seal stays intact, reguardless of the condition of the fiber used.

Getting this put together with out any air bubbgles will take some care. There will need to be a water proof seal between the globe filled with water and the motor used to move the stirring sticks. For the best effect, it will require a very quite motor as well.

There are some challenges to address, but I still think it's doable. I still think a globe from a lighting fixture could be used in place of the hand blown glass, and I would imagine it would be considerably less expensive.
 

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