Smoke machines are used in everything from parties
. They work by heating up an element, and then spraying
a specific liquid past it. This vaporises
the liquid, creating a fine, harmless mist
. This is often used in plays to give the effect of a misty
day, and is regularly used in concerts
to create visible beams coming from the lights.
Smoke machines are not to be confused with dry ice machines, which are something else altogether. As far as usage goes, smoke machines should be used when a general mist is required, or a jet coming out from a specific point. Dry ice machines create a low-lying fog which will roll across the floor, rather than filling the entire space.
If you're after any other theatre tech information, then do take a look at 'Everything you ever wanted to know about theatre tech, but were afraid to ask'