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Topic: Camoflague On Water
Message: Posted by: DerekMerdinyan (Jan 29, 2007 12:31PM)
Anyone have any experience consealing objects in water? Taking one of those large inflatable basketballs and covering it with paint or other material to cause it to blend in with the surrounding water.

Derek Merdinyan
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Jan 29, 2007 01:21PM)
What exactly are you trying to do? Are you talking about using reflection/refraction to conceal, or something else?
Message: Posted by: DerekMerdinyan (Jan 29, 2007 07:18PM)
Reflection/refraction is one possibility - but I am guessing a second method (blending in) would be much easier.

Derke Merdinyan
Message: Posted by: Robert Kohler (Jan 29, 2007 08:17PM)
I guess your first challenge would be to get the inflatable ball to stay underwater and only then................
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Jan 29, 2007 08:41PM)
Can you tell us what you're trying to conceal? I would think that painting something to blend in with the water would be terribly difficult. You would paint it for one condition, and if you had clouds, or the sun was in a different location, or the wind was rippling the water, etc. it wouldn't "match". Maybe I'm not understanding exactly what you are trying to do.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 29, 2007 10:13PM)
On 2007-01-29 21:17, Robert Kohler wrote:
I guess your first challenge would be to get the inflatable ball to stay underwater and only then................

Yeah, no kidding.

If you wanted it to be on the surface, you could paint it razzle dazzle, as they did war ships in WW1. At least your basketball would be safer from torpedos.
Message: Posted by: montemagic (Jan 29, 2007 10:39PM)
It is not camoflauged by looking like water. It is camoflauged by looking like the waters' container, water should be clear. So if you are in a pool, it needs to match the lining on the bottom etc...

Message: Posted by: BSutter (Jan 30, 2007 02:23PM)
Dump ink in the water, works every time.
Message: Posted by: BSutter (Jan 30, 2007 02:29PM)
On a more serious note. If you can perfect this illusion I think the Department of the Navy will be very interested.

Bill Sutter
Message: Posted by: DerekMerdinyan (Jan 30, 2007 06:21PM)
On 2007-01-29 23:39, montemagic wrote:
It is not camoflauged by looking like water. It is camoflauged by looking like the waters' container, water should be clear. So if you are in a pool, it needs to match the lining on the bottom etc...

Any suggestions for the ocean?

The ball like object would remain on the surface of the water.

Derek Merdinyan
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Jan 30, 2007 06:27PM)
What are you trying to do?
Message: Posted by: zawert (Jan 30, 2007 08:38PM)
I think we could help better if we knew what effect you where trying to archive. we could get more ideas or perhaps recommend a better way.
Message: Posted by: montemagic (Jan 30, 2007 09:30PM)
That would definitely depend on where you are. I will assume you are talking about the Northern Pacific being that you're in WA. I am just trying to visualize, and don't know if these things would work, but you would have a few areas of "misdirection". The first would be its location. Either mostly on the surface, or mostly below the surface (assuming itís a floating ball). I think your only real chances for on the surface would be a clear ball. The biggest challenge is the movement, and a painted ball would stick out when it moved. A clear ball would still stand out, unless it was darker out. Then there is your audiences perspective, are they in the water or on a boat? A lot of it comes down to what you are doing with the ball. Can it be a beach ball material, or is it a thick rubber material like a basketball? You can always consider having only a small portion of the ball sticking out of the surface, then you have less to conceal. Also what direction will your spectators be viewing it from? Straight down or from an angle? An angled view would be easier to conceal. So from an angle what I might try is:

1. Determine the color that you most see when viewing from the angle you have your spectators at. Hopefully it is some kind of deep blue color. If you have a good digital camera, you might be able to take a picture, print it out and use it in the Color-Matcher at Home Depot. When you go to home depot, look at the color strips and determine the best one. You may want to get a few shades of it, a lighter and darker shade. Also consider getting some clear shiny acrylic paint.

2. Determine how the ball has to lay in the water. Again, I don't know what you are planning on doing. There are two ways to set the ball at a depth you want. One is to weigh the ball down, either by attaching weight directly to it, or hang weight from it (weight on a line, depending on the weight needed, you can use a fairly small magnet glued to the ball (or if possible just loose inside the ball) and another magnet on the end of the line (this way you can ditch the weights, and if the water is deep just attach a slacked line from the boat to the weights). This would also keep the ball oriented with a definite top and bottom, which could help with painting.

Or you could just fill the ball with water until it was at the needed depth. If it is a translucent ball, like a light blue, the water could create the perfect camouflage. It would darken the ball, and the water inside would match the water on the surface with somewhat similar movement.

3. Now you paint the ball. If you are at any distance, I would think that a ball painted closely to the oceans color would blend in real well. Especially the submerged portion. Remember that this will not just be one color, and is where the weighted version would be beneficial. You could paint the submerged portion the darker blue fading lighter towards the surface, and match whatever is above the surface with the color of the horizon. The clear acrylic will help give the reflective impression that water has.

Another thing to consider is covering the ball with something. If you were to drape it in a thinner material, the material would spread out over the surface of the water. Then you again just need to play with color and creating the reflection with paint.

You have to consider first of all what you are doing with the ball. How it lies on the surface and where your spectators will view it from. This then gives you a basic viewing angle which allows you to see colors of water, horizon, and reflections. Because water reflects light, it halos you conceal it a bit. The fact that with the ocean you have a constant color (in deeper water anyway) and constant horizon (especially considering the small area under attention) you have something easier to match. The deeper you go in water, the faster you lose light. If you sank it to 1 foot down it would be practically invisible.
I don't know how filling the ball with water will effect the movement. There may be enough friction between the ball and water on both sides to keep the ball in a constant orientation, which helps with coloring the ball.
A Glass ball would be invisible.
A clear beech ball, or a light blue, filled with some water would probably hide well.
The less light you have the easier it is to conceal, can it be done in the evening?

If you can be more specific, that may help in visualizing.

Hope this helps,

Message: Posted by: DerekMerdinyan (Jan 31, 2007 12:45PM)
The goal is to vanish a bouy. And, because of a bit of miscommunication, the bouy shape is not circular. The bouy is a tube shape with a wider base that helps keep it upright in the water. I found that I can redistribute the weight inside the bouy and get it to tip over almost on command - that way, the once former heavy base is now upright; about a foot remains above the water.

The audience will be positioned on a dock elevated aprox 10 feet above the water surface - the bouy will be positioned about 20 feet out. A small curtain will be raised - the bouy will flip over (concealed) and the curtain dropped. Kind of like a poor man's vanishing car/stealth jet.

I am under the impression that this will be performed at sundown for a crowd of 20-30 people.

Derek Merdinyan
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jan 31, 2007 01:24PM)
You are talking about it going completely upside down?
I would say that a dark mirrored coating might do it. But if it is a very calm stretch of water, I don't think it is workable with just camoflage.
You are going to have to submerge it.
Do you have to make it reappear?

I was watching some show (Non magical-some series or other) where they had a magician make a 100 ft, 10 million dollar yacht disappear in the middle of a lake. He raised a curtain in front of the seated crowd, the magic words were spoken, the curtain fell. The yacht was gone.
His method...
He blew up the yacht.

Not practical with a 100 foot yacht...but wouldn't it be easier just to sink the thing? All it would take is a flapper valve at the top and some holes in the bottom. One flip and it goes down with barely a ripple.
Just my thoughts...
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Jan 31, 2007 01:40PM)
I believe that Franz Harary once vanished the space shuttle in one of the World's Greatest Magic programs. Although I'm not privy to his method, you might be able to use a smaller version of this, assuming it can be done with a live audience. Surely someone on this board can lead you in the right direction.