I've heard of adding milk to water to make the raindrops show up better on film. Does anybody know the best ratio?
I've heard of adding milk to water to make the raindrops show up better on film. Does anybody know the best ratio?

It's mostly trial-and-error, but don't use milk. Use white poster paint instead, or something similar, as milk will start to stink very, very quickly. You're going to end up either soaking the ground or the floor, depending on whether you're indoors or out, and it's a smell that doesn't come out easily. The water needs to be cloudy, but not opaque - if that helps.An easier way to make rain show up on film is with the addition of a bit of side light, but remember, you rarely need much in the way of rain to sell a convincing rain effect. Wet down the location, maybe make some puddles, and set up your rain tower between the camera and the action, and then side-light just the chunk of set where the rain is actually falling. An additional rain tower, set back far enough to rain on the actors, will make it clearer that they're in the rain and getting wet but you rarely need to worry about side-lighting that one.

In fact, that can work against you unless you're investing in a full set-up of rain towers and dousing the entire set - better to let the rain trail off (visually speaking) that to highlight exactly where it is (and so also where it isn't).
Framing is also very important when doing a rain gag. You want your wide shot(s) to be wide, but not too deep. If someone's (say) standing on the corner, you can frame the shot to see the entire street, extending miles into the distance, or frame it to show mostly the building they're standing in front of. Pretty obvious which one's easier to sell as raining.
Puddles can be your friend or your enemy; if they're in the frame and there's no rain falling on them, they can kill the effect. If there is rain falling on them, it can help to sell it or it can look obvious that there's only rain falling directly above the puddle.
Shoot your wide shots first (think of them as money shots) and then go in close, where it's a LOT easier to sell the gag. Also keep in mind that most people don't stand out in the rain for no reason - people will duck under pretty much anything, or hold pretty much anything over their heads to keep the rain off. Give the actors an awning to duck under, and do all of your close shots facing the building, and you can sell a perfectly credible rain effect with a garden hose pointed straight up, so the water falls on the top of the awning and drips down off the edges.

I had to do a show where the director wanted rain but couldn't afford to do it properly; we created a convincing effect with nothing more than 4-5 garden hoses, spraying straight up into the air. Careful framing allowed us to create layers of rain for the wide shots, and once we were inside, it was just a matter of aiming the water so that it would fall realistically on the windows. Outside but in close, we created a curtain of water to shoot through as they huddled in a doorway.

Cut together, it looks like we shot the whole thing in the middle of a thunderstorm.

Also, depending on your budget and time, think about adding a rain effect in post for the long shot(s). There's a simple digital rain loop in iMovie that looks surprisingly good, and of course they're available for most other post production applications as well. So long as you set up the set to look right - overcast, dim light, wet everything down,etc. - you can get a fairly credible rain effect with just the loop. Add some practical water effects and you can get a good-looking wide shot for not a lot of money. Just try not to cover too much of the scene wide - like any effect, practical or post, it looks worse the longer the audience has to examine it.

Life Continues, Despite
Evidence to the Contrary
Steven
I've heard of adding milk to water to make the raindrops show up better on film. Does anybody know the best ratio?

It's mostly trial-and-error, but don't use milk. Use white poster paint instead, or something similar, as milk will start to stink very, very quickly. You're going to end up either soaking the ground or the floor, depending on whether you're indoors or out, and it's a smell that doesn't come out easily. The water needs to be cloudy, but not opaque - if that helps.An easier way to make rain show up on film is with the addition of a bit of side light, but remember, you rarely need much in the way of rain to sell a convincing rain effect. Wet down the location, maybe make some puddles, and set up your rain tower between the camera and the action, and then side-light just the chunk of set where the rain is actually falling. An additional rain tower, set back far enough to rain on the actors, will make it clearer that they're in the rain and getting wet but you rarely need to worry about side-lighting that one.

In fact, that can work against you unless you're investing in a full set-up of rain towers and dousing the entire set - better to let the rain trail off (visually speaking) that to highlight exactly where it is (and so also where it isn't).
Framing is also very important when doing a rain gag. You want your wide shot(s) to be wide, but not too deep. If someone's (say) standing on the corner, you can frame the shot to see the entire street, extending miles into the distance, or frame it to show mostly the building they're standing in front of. Pretty obvious which one's easier to sell as raining.
Puddles can be your friend or your enemy; if they're in the frame and there's no rain falling on them, they can kill the effect. If there is rain falling on them, it can help to sell it or it can look obvious that there's only rain falling directly above the puddle.
Shoot your wide shots first (think of them as money shots) and then go in close, where it's a LOT easier to sell the gag. Also keep in mind that most people don't stand out in the rain for no reason - people will duck under pretty much anything, or hold pretty much anything over their heads to keep the rain off. Give the actors an awning to duck under, and do all of your close shots facing the building, and you can sell a perfectly credible rain effect with a garden hose pointed straight up, so the water falls on the top of the awning and drips down off the edges.

I had to do a show where the director wanted rain but couldn't afford to do it properly; we created a convincing effect with nothing more than 4-5 garden hoses, spraying straight up into the air. Careful framing allowed us to create layers of rain for the wide shots, and once we were inside, it was just a matter of aiming the water so that it would fall realistically on the windows. Outside but in close, we created a curtain of water to shoot through as they huddled in a doorway.

Cut together, it looks like we shot the whole thing in the middle of a thunderstorm.

Also, depending on your budget and time, think about adding a rain effect in post for the long shot(s). There's a simple digital rain loop in iMovie that looks surprisingly good, and of course they're available for most other post production applications as well. So long as you set up the set to look right - overcast, dim light, wet everything down,etc. - you can get a fairly credible rain effect with just the loop. Add some practical water effects and you can get a good-looking wide shot for not a lot of money. Just try not to cover too much of the scene wide - like any effect, practical or post, it looks worse the longer the audience has to examine it.

Life Continues, Despite
Evidence to the Contrary
Steven
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I've heard of adding milk to water to make the raindrops show up better on film. Does anybody know the best ratio?

It's mostly trial-and-error, but don't use milk. Use white poster paint instead, or something similar, as milk will start to stink very, very quickly. You're going to end up either soaking the ground or the floor, depending on whether you're indoors or out, and it's a smell that doesn't come out easily. The water needs to be cloudy, but not opaque - if that helps.An easier way to make rain show up on film is with the addition of a bit of side light, but remember, you rarely need much in the way of rain to sell a convincing rain effect. Wet down the location, maybe make some puddles, and set up your rain tower between the camera and the action, and then side-light just the chunk of set where the rain is actually falling. An additional rain tower, set back far enough to rain on the actors, will make it clearer that they're in the rain and getting wet but you rarely need to worry about side-lighting that one.

In fact, that can work against you unless you're investing in a full set-up of rain towers and dousing the entire set - better to let the rain trail off (visually speaking) that to highlight exactly where it is (and so also where it isn't).
Framing is also very important when doing a rain gag. You want your wide shot(s) to be wide, but not too deep. If someone's (say) standing on the corner, you can frame the shot to see the entire street, extending miles into the distance, or frame it to show mostly the building they're standing in front of. Pretty obvious which one's easier to sell as raining.
Puddles can be your friend or your enemy; if they're in the frame and there's no rain falling on them, they can kill the effect. If there is rain falling on them, it can help to sell it or it can look obvious that there's only rain falling directly above the puddle.
Shoot your wide shots first (think of them as money shots) and then go in close, where it's a LOT easier to sell the gag. Also keep in mind that most people don't stand out in the rain for no reason - people will duck under pretty much anything, or hold pretty much anything over their heads to keep the rain off. Give the actors an awning to duck under, and do all of your close shots facing the building, and you can sell a perfectly credible rain effect with a garden hose pointed straight up, so the water falls on the top of the awning and drips down off the edges.

I had to do a show where the director wanted rain but couldn't afford to do it properly; we created a convincing effect with nothing more than 4-5 garden hoses, spraying straight up into the air. Careful framing allowed us to create layers of rain for the wide shots, and once we were inside, it was just a matter of aiming the water so that it would fall realistically on the windows. Outside but in close, we created a curtain of water to shoot through as they huddled in a doorway.

Cut together, it looks like we shot the whole thing in the middle of a thunderstorm.

Also, depending on your budget and time, think about adding a rain effect in post for the long shot(s). There's a simple digital rain loop in iMovie that looks surprisingly good, and of course they're available for most other post production applications as well. So long as you set up the set to look right - overcast, dim light, wet everything down,etc. - you can get a fairly credible rain effect with just the loop. Add some practical water effects and you can get a good-looking wide shot for not a lot of money. Just try not to cover too much of the scene wide - like any effect, practical or post, it looks worse the longer the audience has to examine it.

Life Continues, Despite
Evidence to the Contrary
Steven
I've heard of adding milk to water to make the raindrops show up better on film. Does anybody know the best ratio?

It's mostly trial-and-error, but don't use milk. Use white poster paint instead, or something similar, as milk will start to stink very, very quickly. You're going to end up either soaking the ground or the floor, depending on whether you're indoors or out, and it's a smell that doesn't come out easily. The water needs to be cloudy, but not opaque - if that helps.An easier way to make rain show up on film is with the addition of a bit of side light, but remember, you rarely need much in the way of rain to sell a convincing rain effect. Wet down the location, maybe make some puddles, and set up your rain tower between the camera and the action, and then side-light just the chunk of set where the rain is actually falling. An additional rain tower, set back far enough to rain on the actors, will make it clearer that they're in the rain and getting wet but you rarely need to worry about side-lighting that one.

In fact, that can work against you unless you're investing in a full set-up of rain towers and dousing the entire set - better to let the rain trail off (visually speaking) that to highlight exactly where it is (and so also where it isn't).
Framing is also very important when doing a rain gag. You want your wide shot(s) to be wide, but not too deep. If someone's (say) standing on the corner, you can frame the shot to see the entire street, extending miles into the distance, or frame it to show mostly the building they're standing in front of. Pretty obvious which one's easier to sell as raining.
Puddles can be your friend or your enemy; if they're in the frame and there's no rain falling on them, they can kill the effect. If there is rain falling on them, it can help to sell it or it can look obvious that there's only rain falling directly above the puddle.
Shoot your wide shots first (think of them as money shots) and then go in close, where it's a LOT easier to sell the gag. Also keep in mind that most people don't stand out in the rain for no reason - people will duck under pretty much anything, or hold pretty much anything over their heads to keep the rain off. Give the actors an awning to duck under, and do all of your close shots facing the building, and you can sell a perfectly credible rain effect with a garden hose pointed straight up, so the water falls on the top of the awning and drips down off the edges.

I had to do a show where the director wanted rain but couldn't afford to do it properly; we created a convincing effect with nothing more than 4-5 garden hoses, spraying straight up into the air. Careful framing allowed us to create layers of rain for the wide shots, and once we were inside, it was just a matter of aiming the water so that it would fall realistically on the windows. Outside but in close, we created a curtain of water to shoot through as they huddled in a doorway.

Cut together, it looks like we shot the whole thing in the middle of a thunderstorm.

Also, depending on your budget and time, think about adding a rain effect in post for the long shot(s). There's a simple digital rain loop in iMovie that looks surprisingly good, and of course they're available for most other post production applications as well. So long as you set up the set to look right - overcast, dim light, wet everything down,etc. - you can get a fairly credible rain effect with just the loop. Add some practical water effects and you can get a good-looking wide shot for not a lot of money. Just try not to cover too much of the scene wide - like any effect, practical or post, it looks worse the longer the audience has to examine it.

Life Continues, Despite
Evidence to the Contrary
Steven
I've heard of adding milk to water to make the raindrops show up better on film. Does anybody know the best ratio?

It's mostly trial-and-error, but don't use milk. Use white poster paint instead, or something similar, as milk will start to stink very, very quickly. You're going to end up either soaking the ground or the floor, depending on whether you're indoors or out, and it's a smell that doesn't come out easily. The water needs to be cloudy, but not opaque - if that helps.An easier way to make rain show up on film is with the addition of a bit of side light, but remember, you rarely need much in the way of rain to sell a convincing rain effect. Wet down the location, maybe make some puddles, and set up your rain tower between the camera and the action, and then side-light just the chunk of set where the rain is actually falling. An additional rain tower, set back far enough to rain on the actors, will make it clearer that they're in the rain and getting wet but you rarely need to worry about side-lighting that one.

In fact, that can work against you unless you're investing in a full set-up of rain towers and dousing the entire set - better to let the rain trail off (visually speaking) that to highlight exactly where it is (and so also where it isn't).
Framing is also very important when doing a rain gag. You want your wide shot(s) to be wide, but not too deep. If someone's (say) standing on the corner, you can frame the shot to see the entire street, extending miles into the distance, or frame it to show mostly the building they're standing in front of. Pretty obvious which one's easier to sell as raining.
Puddles can be your friend or your enemy; if they're in the frame and there's no rain falling on them, they can kill the effect. If there is rain falling on them, it can help to sell it or it can look obvious that there's only rain falling directly above the puddle.
Shoot your wide shots first (think of them as money shots) and then go in close, where it's a LOT easier to sell the gag. Also keep in mind that most people don't stand out in the rain for no reason - people will duck under pretty much anything, or hold pretty much anything over their heads to keep the rain off. Give the actors an awning to duck under, and do all of your close shots facing the building, and you can sell a perfectly credible rain effect with a garden hose pointed straight up, so the water falls on the top of the awning and drips down off the edges.

I had to do a show where the director wanted rain but couldn't afford to do it properly; we created a convincing effect with nothing more than 4-5 garden hoses, spraying straight up into the air. Careful framing allowed us to create layers of rain for the wide shots, and once we were inside, it was just a matter of aiming the water so that it would fall realistically on the windows. Outside but in close, we created a curtain of water to shoot through as they huddled in a doorway.

Cut together, it looks like we shot the whole thing in the middle of a thunderstorm.

Also, depending on your budget and time, think about adding a rain effect in post for the long shot(s). There's a simple digital rain loop in iMovie that looks surprisingly good, and of course they're available for most other post production applications as well. So long as you set up the set to look right - overcast, dim light, wet everything down,etc. - you can get a fairly credible rain effect with just the loop. Add some practical water effects and you can get a good-looking wide shot for not a lot of money. Just try not to cover too much of the scene wide - like any effect, practical or post, it looks worse the longer the audience has to examine it.

Life Continues, Despite
Evidence to the Contrary
Steven
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I've heard of adding milk to water to make the raindrops show up better on film. Does anybody know the best ratio?

So, is this for "Chubby Rain II: Got Milk"??
...Steven J. Weller already handled the serious answer...

Alan Brooks

A with an Underwood
The star wants all
the fat molecules
picked out...
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So, is this for "Chubby Rain II: Got Milk"?? ...Steven J. Weller already handled the serious answer...

It's an idea for medium shot in a commercial, a little kid in a rain slicker, twirling and jumpy and happy. I think we're good with just the garden hose.