Watch these kabuki sniffers, a type of thin curtain rapidly dropped and extracted

In recent years, the state of the art in highspeed reveals has gone high tech. So-called sniffer effects where a curtain quickly disappears used to be done with ropes, pulleys, and sandbags. Now it's done with programmable mechanics and high-power engines.

A kabuki effect is where a curtain is released from the top and drops to the floor instead of pulled to the wings or raised. A kabuki sniffer is the combination of the two. It gets used a lot at trade shows and other kinds of unveilings in addition to live performances.

And for those wondering, all the complex moving parts of a kabuki sniffer can fail at an inopportune time. Just ask Foo Fighters.

Image: YouTube