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boulder
10-19-2011, 06:52 PM
I'm building a military command center set. In every military command center scene ever shot they have a huge transparent Plexiglas or glass panel standing in the middle with coordinates/movements/maps drawn on it in fluorescent markers. Someone is always writing on it during the shot. Does anyone know what this is called and where could I get a panel large enough to replicate?

Doc Bernard
10-19-2011, 07:17 PM
It will be a grid/plot map. Plexi can be purchased just about anywhere. You will need to put the map on it.

41927

These are for Naval CIC but is this like what you want?

Sad Max
10-21-2011, 09:31 AM
There's a bit more to it, than that, if'n you're after verisimilitude...the real glass boards are, well, glass - surrounded by a steel frame that is fitted with low-wattage illuminating bulbs: the light from the bulbs washes the glass and makes the grease-pencil marks seem to glow and really stand out.

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The box attached to the lower right corner of the frame is the power/control module for the lights. These are Navy-style but ought to get the basic idea across.

Good luck with your project!

boulder
10-21-2011, 09:43 AM
Thanks! I'm going more for the Hollywood interpretation but I think these help me in the illumination of it. I located some local Plexiglas panels 4' x 8' which should be good. I will build a woden frame with lights in them and paint the frame silver. Somehow mount it so it is free standing. Unless someone has better thoughts.

Illuminate with these embedded in the side frames:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/5050-SMD-RGB-5M-150-LED-Strip-Light-Remote-Controller-/290622523817?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43aa73c9a9

clang
10-21-2011, 01:36 PM
If you want any writing to be visible, then definitely do some tests with grease pencil / flourescent markers / whatever and side lighting. This especially matters if actors will be writing stuff on them during scenes - you need to be absolutely confident that the writing will immediately be visible on-camera. And watch your overall scene lighting too, or you could accidentally overpower the map's illumination.

Doc Bernard
10-22-2011, 02:47 AM
If you do use plexi, make sure to clean up the edges with some 400 grit sandpaper. That is if it is has a cut edge that is opaque. Try to make the edges as clean and clear as you can prior to mounting it with the lights. This will allow more light to travel through the plexi. I don't know how thick you will be getting (1/4" would be the minimum I would use), so I will just say........make the framework strong! Plexi gets heavy.

Sad Max, you just had to use a word I had to go look up, didn't you? LOL! "verisimilitude" Of course it's after 2 am.............

EDIT: Curious thought: Black light may be something I would experiment with on this (at least I would). It really makes those markers stand out if they are the right color...... but may need a black background to work. Just thinking of those restaurant signs where the put the "specials" on the board.

And to throw a monkey wrench in, most personnel that write on these boards, at least in the Navy, write on them from the back side of the board and write in reverse, so that they never block the board from those that need to see the information. LOL, not many people know that so, it shouldn't be that much of an issue. Hollywood almost always gets it wrong when they show one of these boards.

boulder
10-22-2011, 08:21 AM
Thanks guys, I'll try some of these suggestions. I imagine I will be building something simular to an LED writing board only larger:

42040

clang
10-22-2011, 11:22 AM
Good point re "black" (i.e. ultraviolet) light, Doc, that may be the best way to make flourescent marker ink glow as brightly as possible - depending on the ink ingredients, of course, as I'm sure not all "flourescent" markers really are...

tom_wise
11-03-2011, 07:38 AM
And to throw a monkey wrench in, most personnel that write on these boards, at least in the Navy, write on them from the back side of the board and write in reverse, so that they never block the board from those that need to see the information.

Nice one!