We are working on a new puppet, a bird covered which will be covered in synthetic fur. The problem is when the synthetic fur is under the camera it shines too much. Which wouldn´t be too much of a big deal but if there is even a little bit of boiling it starts to sparkle like a fury disco ball because each individual fibre is reflecting light in a different direction. I´m trying to find a way to reduce the shine. 

So far the information I have found has related more to artificial wigs with suggestions such as use talc powder or soak in shampoo or fabric softeners, I´m guessing these techniques will also work on fabric. Any other thoughts for reducing shine in synthetic fibers? Has anyone else faced the same problem? 

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Hmm. Maybe colouring the fur using acrylic paint and PVA brushed through. That would also stiffen it a bit to reduce boiling.

Certainly powdering will reduce shine, but it's a matter of how to make it stick. Hair spray may help, or a Matt varnish spray as sold for artists to fix e.g. charcoal drawings.

I definitely think the washing would be good as there might be shiny residues.

And then there's the option of using diffused lighting, which might also reduce reflections.

I did a couple of tests with the PVA and paints a few weeks ago, I found the result to be a little bit too solid looking. I´ve found using the powder and spray fixative to be a good solution, thank you for your suggestions. 

I spray the fake fur with a flat acrylic paint, usually to modify the colour, but it also gets rid of that shine.  It's actually a matte acrylic Accent Base wall paint which I tint up to get the colours I want.  I had some black fur with longer white hairs where the white would glow purple under the lights, so I sprayed a brown colour on it - fixed the problem.  I do a combination of spraying with an airbrush and then brushing it in with a stiff brush, like a toothbrush, so it doesn't glug up and look matted.

Not positive about this, but would a UV filter on your lens help? Don Carlson was telling me that he could take the shine off of his clay by using a filter on the lens.  It could be worth a try.

You can reduce a lot of shine by using a circular polarizing filter on your lens (not UV, as far as I know). I don't know the specifics of how the polarizing works, but it basically filters out reflected light from certain directions, depending on how the filter is rotated. Just put the filter on your lens, and rotate it until you see the shine reduced the most. Probably will work the best if the shine is coming from a single light source. You'll need to adjust the filter rotation every time you move the camera or lights.

Hope that works for you!

That's what it is, a polarizing filter. My bad. Thanks for the clarification.


Evan DeRushie said:

You can reduce a lot of shine by using a circular polarizing filter on your lens (not UV, as far as I know). I don't know the specifics of how the polarizing works, but it basically filters out reflected light from certain directions, depending on how the filter is rotated. Just put the filter on your lens, and rotate it until you see the shine reduced the most. Probably will work the best if the shine is coming from a single light source. You'll need to adjust the filter rotation every time you move the camera or lights.

Hope that works for you!

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