Category Archives: Warm-up task

1st test for smoke costume

We made a small test with the Tiny FX Fog Machine in order to see if a skeleton out of pipes could lead the smoke to specific points around the body. The pipes tested had a diameter between 6, 10, & 19 mm. The length used were 13 & 25 cm (for the last sections of a forked path – see end of video) and 50 or 100 cm (for a path before distributing the smoke to several sections).

As the video shows, the test was successfull & promises that a smoke costume for King Ubu for the open air theatre in July 2014 could become reality.


Next step is to figure out how the final costume looks like & imagine where the character shall smoke out of. Then we have to build a pipe skeleton for the actor that can be worn underneath the costume & find a way to hide the fog machine.


Costume Ideas for King Ubu


What is royalty all about? Usually they crave for power and riches and are kind of terrible people. King Ubu is exactly one of them. He finds pleasure in the suffering of others.How can such a person look like on stage? The image above is the first I came up with.

He looks like a typical king and is quite fat. On stage I imagine him making this specific body movement when becoming angry- throwing his arms back vigorously, which will make his sleeves excerpt smoke. Basically shaking out the smoke.

My second idea is based on a modern society fashion statement – the classic suit and tie look.The created moodboard for this costume is showing several men in suits, and other details, props etc. If you want to see it, please contact me directly (I won´t post it here, due to image copyright laws). King Ubu in this idea is wearing a very sharp looking suit. It fits well, looks expensive and shows his status in society. But some details are just wrong! He is not used to that kind of power and looks: for example is he wearing worn out sneakers and tennis socks with his suit; instead of a nice leather briefcase he is carrying a golden toilet seat.


Sketches and Ideas for King Ubú


Sketch of King Ubú

  • sketches are orientated on the sketch from Alfred Jarry
  • he wrote the theater play

Sketch for the Pipes:



Fogmachine: Scotty II




  • akku fogmachine
  • no heat Time
  • can be operated with one hand
  • has a digital button
  • just 6 kg
  • just 223x 100x 210 mm high


  • fog 10 minutes permanently or 150 fog violations á 5 seconds
  •                it´s not enough for a complete theater play
  • cost 709,00 €
  • weight´s 6kg
  • has a hot output

potential solutions for the smoking costume

  • Tiny FX fog maschine

“The smallest fog machine of the world!” (L = 9,8 cm, B = 4,4 cm, H = 3,4 cm), but is very expensiv (819,-€) and doesn’t produce enough smoke-pressure.


  • ‘Smoke EL’

That is something from a modell airplane. It produces 1,5 minutes of constant smoke, uses 1600mAh batteries, 150mL of RedOil smoke liquid and is it a other option next to normal fog maschines, with a higher pressure.


  • ‘Norbert Klima Rakentenmodellbau’

That are very cheap Smoke Pellets, but they need to be set on fire.
Because they are get really hot, you need for example a large tin with another smaller one in it for the insulated. To distribute the smoke, a ventilator would be good.

picture: Susann Luge
picture: Susann Luge
picture: Susann Luge
picture: Susann Luge



For the pipe you can use tube from the building supplies store, but it must be heat-resistent and the tube should not sit directly on the fog mashine so that the machine gets air.
The smoke can flow well, when the tube has a diameter of 4 cm and more.

Idea Smoke Costume King Ubu

Idea 1:

  • Fog produced by an ultra sound fog machine
  • Fog gets then distributed via tubes
  • an advantage is that those devices are very cheap
  • the disadvantage is that they only create a myst like fog



Idea 2:

  • Fog created by dry ice
  • also fairly cheap
  • without a pressure driven distribution system fog would also be myst like


Distributed Fog-Machines

Instead of distributing smoke through tubes and pipes through a costume, one could distribute the fog machines. So the smoke/fog is where it is needed.

Since E-Cigarettes work with the same principle as fog machines, they are an option for small, low-cost and low-power-consuming fog machines. Furthermore E-Cigarettes are small enough to put them nearly everywhere inside (and outside) of a costume.

In contrast to fog machines, E-Cigarettes have the advantage that they are cheap. Simple versions start at 20€; therefore, plenty of them could take placed instead of one fog machine

Functionality of an E-Cigarette

To spread the smoke small pumps can be used (something like this).

If it is needed to transport the fog over small distances, shrinkable sleeves may be a good possibility. They are flexible and sew-able. And since they are shrinkable they can easily be used to drain off the transition from the pump.

Shrinkable sleeves sewed to a cloth
Shrinkable sleeves sewed to a cloth

Smoke-Costume for KönigUbu

My recherche was more technical and include two versions for the smoke costume.

Option 1 – Long tube
– Connect a drain tube (diameter 40 -50cm ) to a normal fog machine
– Tube holds a certain amount of time the heat when fog ejection from
– From a long tube transparent tube up under the dress (back)
– On the back of a distributor with several small tubes that go into all the regions of the costume
– From the tubes then the smoke comes out distributed

Option 2 – small fog machine
– Set includes 12-volt battery, charging adapter , Nebelfulid and Transport Case
– The battery is charged via the included charging adapter ( charge indicator )
– Suitable for all water-based fog liquid
Discharge volume : 8,5 m³ / min.
Fuel tank capacity: 0.11 l
Dimensions ( WxDxH): 227 x 66 x 81 mm
Weight: 2.7 kg
Fog Duration: 60 s
Output distance : 2.5 m
Reheating time : 120 s
Warm-up Time : 7 min

– Fog machine needs warm up time
– Strong heat development
– Large current: 230V, 700Watt ( a very small ) = 4.34 A
– Heating elements need a lot of power ( battery would be after a short time (10 – 20min) empty.
– Fog transformer required for the AC voltage supplied from battery comes only DC
– Tiny Fogger costs from € 700 upwards

Introduction to Smoke and Fog Machines

Different Kinds of Smoke:

1: Fog:

Composed of Glycol/ Water Mixtures (Flog Fluid) into a heat exchanger, Is heated until the fluid is vaporized.
Fog Machine

2: Carbon Dioxide and Dry Ice:

This is used with the combination with Fog Machine. CO2 will dense the fog.

Dry Ice can also produce Fog, by adding Hot water on to Dry Ice. Dry Ice can be used with Fog Machine too.
Fog Machine + Dry Ice Container = Output.

3: Nitrogen:

Machine Heating water in container + pure Nitrogen = Output it.

Fog Machines: 

1: Tiny Fog Machine:

This tiny fogger can be used in different parts of body without actor being annoyed with.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 06.25.28


Video Here.

2: Micro Fog machine:

Micro Fogger
Micro Fogger

See Video

3: Other Solutions:

Mobile Fogger
Mobile Fogger


Tiny Fogger can be placed in different parts of the King Ubu and later can be controlled by remote control to produce fogs.

Mobile Fogger which is a big fogger machine can be fixed at one central location of the body and then distribute the fog to different regions of body by pipes (flexible and light) and it can be controlled by remote control.