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Thread: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

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    Member Array spicy's Avatar
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    Default Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    I did some searching, didn't find quite the answer I was looking for. I am curious as to how to position multiples of the same z cakes to go off at the same time for the best looking balance? Both 200/500G, but not mixed. Would it be best to have one left, center, and then one right? Or just two - one left, and one right. Or perhaps for 200G maybe make some sort of V formation, audience facing open end of the V. I am not sure of that though, because of overlapping etc. Just going through some ideas in my head. Any ideas/suggestions are greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    It really boils down to space and personal preference. Helping a friends show last year we shot on the bank of a lake that was 100 yds long. We fired 4 zippers spaced 20 yds apart that looked really good

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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    You should try to space them so that the outer tips just touch without much overlap, most people don't have the space for this. For example one of the most popular Z cakes, Amazing Ballet / Rip Rock N Roll and it's many other names needs to be about 130' apart to avoid a lot of overlap so for a front of 3 including the outside angles you would need a good 350'...unless overlap doesn't bother you, to me the look isn't nearly as clean or intentional.
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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by shrapnel View Post
    You should try to space them so that the outer tips just touch without much overlap, most people don't have the space for this. For example one of the most popular Z cakes, Amazing Ballet / Rip Rock N Roll and it's many other names needs to be about 130' apart to avoid a lot of overlap so for a front of 3 including the outside angles you would need a good 350'...unless overlap doesn't bother you, to me the look isn't nearly as clean or intentional.
    ^great post

    in the past i've seen people do big V shaped layouts, it just winds up looking like a hot mess.

    the most i'll ever do in one area is if i'm doing a mirrored block of the same zipper...

    otherwise you just loose the effect you payed all that money for.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Also, the timing isn't always perfect from cake to cake. I love having two zippers synchronized, but all too often they get out of synch -- even if the first few shots were perfectly in synch -- and it looks crappy.

    Anymore, I usually only shoot one zipper at a time.
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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Unless I had a very wide front, I would shoot them from a single point for the reasons already mentioned. For some effects, I do like them paired front to back, so that one starts from the left and the other from the right so they criss-cross in the sky. Then you still run the risk of the timing ruining the effect, like Russell mentioned.
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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    As echoed above I just don't have the space so I just do one.
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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    I have done the V formation I formation and left/right spaced about 75' apart my personal favorite was the same cake spaced left to right even though the V formation was insane alot of the effect was lost.
    also from personal experience make sure your slats or firing system is a good distance from the cake because they do tend to catch fire..
    about the 3:45 mark 2 multiplicities 70' apart
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwTe9...IrsAl-c6wcIr0=

    about 2:10 mark 2 brothers close combat left/right and smaller 200g center after that platinum pro series 1-5 lined up i formation left ctr right
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu3Hn...BKfYizh3KDOOE=
    Last edited by JD; April 12th, 2012 at 01:33 PM.
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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Very good ideas and facts here, thanks everyone.

    Great videos JD, thanks for providing the links so I could check it out.

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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    My brain hurts from trying to figure out what is going to with what...how long this burns...how to time that........! This is my first time using firing system.

    //end rant //

  11. #11

    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by spicy View Post
    My brain hurts from trying to figure out what is going to with what...how long this burns...how to time that........! This is my first time using firing system.

    //end rant //
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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by spicy View Post
    My brain hurts from trying to figure out what is going to with what...how long this burns...how to time that........! This is my first time using firing system.

    //end rant //
    The benefit of the firing system is you get to watch the show also where as if you dont have a firing system. Your neck starts hurting!!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Great post. The mirrored look turns out sweet with some cakes.
    Quote Originally Posted by St1dinoh View Post
    ^great post

    in the past i've seen people do big V shaped layouts, it just winds up looking like a hot mess.

    the most i'll ever do in one area is if i'm doing a mirrored block of the same zipper...

    otherwise you just loose the effect you payed all that money for.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    The best part about this is there is no right or wrong answer only options. You have to go with what appeals to you at the time. I find that it makes more of an impact if you mix up your fronts and appearances.

    Keep your audience guessing. Since you have 4 possible shooting positions with 72 cues, have some fun with it. Maybe you can have a left / center / right positions with the extra mod in the middle. Shoot some smaller product (200 gram) from all three positions maybe 2 of each. Then maybe zippers in pairs L/R or just center. Mirror cakes or shells from L/R. Special product from the center and finale from maybe all three positions again.

    No matter how you put it together your audience will love it. Relay and ave some fun. The next show will be bigger and better. They always are.

    Oh by the way, you call that a "Rant"? That was nothing like a rant.
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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Sky View Post

    Oh by the way, you call that a "Rant"? That was nothing like a rant.
    That's a rant for me.

    Great suggestions, thanks Northern. I already have a Visio diagram started to help me plan placement. I have as you mentioned above one firing station left, two center, and one right. I figure that if certain things don't look good, I am hopefully going to notice and make notes for next time, but perhaps the audience wont notice or care. Last year all I did was fuse up four 4'x4' boards with one long fuse on each, hooking all the product together. It was my first time fusing, gluing anything down, etc. Everyone loved it and spoke about it for weeks after and said they were coming back this year. That is a great feeling. So this year I got a little more in-depth and I can't wait to see it all work together.

    Woohoo.
    Last edited by spicy; April 13th, 2012 at 05:09 AM.

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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by tradami View Post
    The benefit of the firing system is you get to watch the show also where as if you dont have a firing system. Your neck starts hurting!!
    The problem with having a firing system is you get to watch the show and cringe in agony every time you see something 'go wrong'. You won't even hear the screams of enjoyment from the people around you. You'll be planning the next shoot before the last button is pushed.

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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Yes, I either like Z, V and fan cakes spread far apart, or if close together, put them in a line such that they appear to be one big cake (not side by side like this WWW. When they are just 10 or 20 feet apart, they don't look as good, to me. Just don't have them side by side and close together, as then they can have shells each each other when firing, I think I have seen this happen once or twice. Also make sure that you don't put them too close to a taller cake, such the the shells hit it on the way out, I HAVE seen that, not so good. Give each Z cake a little space around it if at all possible.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    For those who have used WC Peacock, how would you use them? One by one? Side by side?

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Peacock is nice all by itself but only lasts about 17 seconds so I don't how the timing could get that far off if you shoot more than one. My audience loved it by itself.

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    KCAP Charter Member Array mattrod's Avatar
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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    as has been mentioned above, I usally mirror my zippers (fireworks fiesta, just shoot it for example) make sure you rotate one cake 180* - you'll get a nice effect as the spray comes together, then separates- when I'm setting up my boards I draw an arrow facing audience on top of the cake so it gets oriented right-
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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by tradami View Post
    The benefit of the firing system is you get to watch the show also where as if you dont have a firing system......
    That's not necessarily true. If you're shooting a somewhat complex show, you could be spending substantial time looking at your cue sheet, timer, and buttons on the firing panel.

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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by lava top View Post
    That's not necessarily true. If you're shooting a somewhat complex show, you could be spending substantial time looking at your cue sheet, timer, and buttons on the firing panel.
    Exactly. If you're manually firing your show with your system, your eyes will still be fixated on your cues and cue sheet.

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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dude View Post
    Exactly. If you're manually firing your show with your system, your eyes will still be fixated on your cues and cue sheet.
    not my experience at all...

    finger on cue 1
    look at show
    fire cue 1
    quickly glance down to make sure my finger is on cue 2
    watch show
    wait for cue 1 to finish
    press cue 2

    rinse repeat...

    as long as you set your show up in the order you want to fire it, there's no reason you can't watch %90 of your show as it's going off from the perspective of the audience.

    makes things nice and easy.
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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by troy4ford View Post
    Peacock is nice all by itself but only lasts about 17 seconds so I don't how the timing could get that far off if you shoot more than one. My audience loved it by itself.
    I would have to agree here. My audience loved it too. I don't think I would shoot anything other than some mines beside it. It's an awesome effect all by itself.
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by ziptie2k2 View Post
    I would have to agree here. My audience loved it too. I don't think I would shoot anything other than some mines beside it. It's an awesome effect all by itself.
    I planned on shooting it by itself, but I have 2 of them to work with. Just trying to figure out if it will look better shot in a pair.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    I can see if you are doing a musical where you need to watch a cue sheet. If that isn't the case sometimes it is nice to let the segment finish before starting the next cue.
    A pause in between gives the audience time to appreciate what was shot and get ready for what you throw at them next. It builds the anticipation. Some times I watch a seamless show bordering on sky puke "not timed" to music, and get tires of it. Kind of like sensory overload. Small breaks here and there are nice get your audience going.

    Given that I/you have a firing system, Try having guests draw numbers to press firing cues. In backyard shoots it gives people a sense of ownership or involvement. Watch and see your friends banter back and forth about how their shot will be or was better. Save the finale and special sequences for your spouse or kid for a little added treat.
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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    What was the opener on this video?

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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by lava top View Post
    That's not necessarily true. If you're shooting a somewhat complex show, you could be spending substantial time looking at your cue sheet, timer, and buttons on the firing panel.
    Or you can always beg and borrow something like a Fireone or Starfire. Set up show, push the go button, and make sure you hit the kill switch in time if something goes wrong.
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  29. #29
    Moderator Array lava's Avatar
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    Default Re: Placement for multiple Z cakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by St1dinoh View Post
    ...as long as you set your show up in the order you want to fire it, there's no reason you can't watch %90 of your show as it's going off from the perspective of the audience......
    I understand what you're saying, but if you're doing certain complex things with tightly timed & synched launches, and watching a timer to make sure your "hits" are on the mark to the music, you can't watch but so much of the show. That's primarily why I don't do those type of shows anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Sky View Post
    ...I can see if you are doing a musical where you need to watch a cue sheet. If that isn't the case sometimes it is nice to let the segment finish before starting the next cue....
    That's my point. I tend to do my shows in segments these days, more so than I use to. I have done about 3 manually fired pyromusicals with tightly timed and synced comet launches, mine launches, timed shell breaks, etc. I don't do that anymore because of all the prep and setup time involved. Trust me, when you employ that type of timing manually you have limited time to "watch" your show, or you will certainly miss many of your cues.
    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Sky View Post
    ...Some times I watch a seamless show bordering on sky puke "not timed" to music, and get tires of it....
    To each his own, but I personally am not into shows that look like one continuous and ongoing sky puke. I prefer thoughful presentation and artistry. Not that I'm any good at doing it myself, but that's what I prefer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Sky View Post
    ....Given that I/you have a firing system, Try having guests draw numbers to press firing cues. In backyard shoots it gives people a sense of..involvement....
    When I'm playing around sometimes I will allow people to light things here and there, for the exact reason(s) that you mentioned. But when I'm doing a serious show, the audience has to sit back and watch, because I'm all about business and am trying to put the "wow factor" to work.
    Quote Originally Posted by nater219 View Post
    Or you can always beg and borrow something like a Fireone or Starfire. Set up show, push the go button, and make sure you hit the kill switch in time if something goes wrong.
    I can't do that. None of my personal acquaintances own one.
    Last edited by lava; April 14th, 2012 at 10:19 AM.

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