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more help with gobo rotators

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by raeraeiam, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. raeraeiam

    raeraeiam Member

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    so the other day our two brand new dmx double gobo rotators arrived in the mail (YAHOO!!) assuming that i can figure out how to hook up and run these things in a week (which i must do -- there's a concert next thursday the 2nd), i also need to order gobos for them..

    what's the best kind? im not real sure what look they want, but just in case they ask me i'd like to have an answer...

    so if anyone's worked with them and has a comment or two that'd be awesome.

    also if anyone can offer some helpful advice on hooking them up...

    thanks bunches :)
  2. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    If they have the 4-pin cable (standard scroller cable), you have to have a power supply and the special cable for it.
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    as far as gobos go, what do you want the effect to look like? Some of my favorite gobos in the air (with haze) are arcadia by rosco and the construction gobos from GAM. Basicly anything that break up the light evenly.
  4. zac850

    zac850 Active Member

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    What type of show/concert is this?

    Classical music would be more organic, tree like breakups to just softly give texture and slight movement to the scene.

    Rock music would be more hard edged geometric patterns to shoot through haze. For that matter, will there be haze?


    A post of "what gobos should I get" is rather a difficult question to answer. For instance, last year I did Little Shop of Horrors which used vine gobos on the floor with the plant theme of the show. I also did a school tour In the Lions Den which I used some basic line gobos to create a feeling of shadow and forboding on the characters face. I then went on to do Grease which had happy 'summer leaves' gobos.

    As you can see, the question of "what gobo should I get" is rather difficult.

    Here are some links to online catalogues, perhaps you'll get some ideas:

    http://www.rosco.com/us/gobocatalog/contents.html

    http://www.gamonline.com/catalog/pattern_search.php

    There are countless places that you can buy gobos. Do a google search and see if there is anything that you like.

    Good luck,
    Zac
  5. jbeutt

    jbeutt Member

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    Just to top off zac's comments.

    Generally (almost always), classical music should be done without breakup or really any color on the performers. Of course, there is one pretty obvious example where this doesn't apply, but the standard is lots of white light. Especially on the musicians. If it is classical, you need to make absolutely sure the orchestra or musical director is alright with using gobos. This is mostly an issue of practicality, as the musicians need to see their sheet music clearly.

    If it's rock and roll, then it's just flash and trash. In this setting, though, gobos are really only useful if you're using volumetrics (fog or haze). They just don't show up all that well on the musicians who are moving all around the stage and are washed out anyway by pars and whatnot. The usefulness of gobos with rock lighting is in seeing the lines they make in fog, or even better, haze. That's why the best gobos for this are ones that are very geometric and have nice hard lines. That's why foliage breakups aren't good.

    Rosco has a category of gobos called "rotation". Not all of these are the best for rock, but they will lend themselves to being rotated as you can see by their shape.

    http://www.rosco.com/us/gobocatalog/rotation.html

    I'd also take a look at their windows and doors section for gobos that'll really give you good lines.

    http://www.rosco.com/us/gobocatalog/window.html

    If you aren't using fog of any kind and are really just concerned with the image being projected, well that's a design issue I can't help you with. It's going to depend on the type of music and your own design sense. Just scan through catalogs and find what you like.
  6. raeraeiam

    raeraeiam Member

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    ok so maybe i should have been more specific..
    this is for a high school vocal jazz concert (very good vocal jazz, tho)
    because of the singing and whatnot idk if fog or haze is such a good idea, but it would be cool, i think i'll bring it up and see what the directors think. knowing our auditorium, the times we've tried fog it never got that dense anyways because of air flow..

    im not sure what they want, which is part of the problem, so i was really just wondering if anyone had used something they really liked or anything.

    thanks, keep posting!
  7. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    If there is a vocal group on stage that is not used to haze, I wouldnt do it, enless you have a dedicated hazer, which I am going to assume you don't have. Simply blowing some fog fluid into the air or taking haze fluid through a fogger is not the same.
  8. zac850

    zac850 Active Member

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    Ok, questions:
    1. Vocal jazz. I'm not quite sure what you mean. Is it like an a cappella jazz group, or is it jazz musicians and singers together?

    2. What is the point of the production. You say its a high school production. Is this like a class performing and mommie and daddy in the audience have video cameras and want a beautiful shot of Johnny Boy singing? Or is it a show geared for entertainment and a nice night out?

    If its a class performing and geared to mommie and daddy videotaping and watching Johnny Boy, I would say turn the lights on nice and white, leave them on, and turn them off at the end of the night. Yea, it sucks and we all want to make the show look like a show, but there are times not to.

    For instance, my high school had two different music shows. They had the spring and winter concerts where the kids would make music on stage, class by class, for the night. We also had music nights in a small black box space where the idea was for the kids just to jam together and the audience to have a night in a "jazz club".

    In the first case, the lights went on, the lights went off. Yea, things may have gone slightly bluer or reder, but the stage was always mostly white. In the second case, I had fun turning the space into a jazz club. Lots of saturated lights from the sides, really give a nice jazz feeling.

    If its an event for mommie and daddy, maybe no gobos at all. The camera is a whore for lighting consistency, and your plot will look horrible if (through no fault of your own) a kid goes bright and dark and bright and dark across the stage.
  9. drawstuf99

    drawstuf99 Member

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    Just one small detail thing a professional mentioned to me once. If it's a "mommy and daddy" show and you expect to see 600 little video camera screens floating the audience, just stick with a boring PINK and BLUE wash. Neither of the two too saturated.

    Try to force some depth on the performers, maybe a wash of blue from the back (though if they're reading music onstage, careful with saturated back systems) if you really want to force a little depth. Try and stick away from ambers because it'll end up burning film and those cheap household cameras.
  10. raeraeiam

    raeraeiam Member

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    first of all, this is no mommy daddy thing. at all. end of story. period.

    forgive me if i sound offended but im in the top vocal jazz group here, i'll be performing in the concert, and i take both that and the lighting for these shows very seriously. these questions seem so strange to me, only because i know what we're about, you dont, and in fact the directors were the ones who came to me and said they wanted these (well they didnt know they did, but said "i want the lights to do this", and i said "well then i need that")

    anyways, we are very entertainment-based, we are i guess half and half, some songs are a cappella and some not, some are traditional, some definetly not, and the lights would be according to the mood of the song. i have two double rotators, so i should be able to get a lot of effects between the two. in the past we've just used the cyc, different colors for each song, and thats fine and all but im super pumped to be using something different.

    so. definetly NOT a mommy and daddy production. any more suggestions?
  11. zac850

    zac850 Active Member

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    We did not mean to offend you. You gave us very little information on the show you were doing, and we gave the advice that we thought would help you the most. As this board is geared to high school technical theater, there is more then just the aspect of really cool lighting, sometimes we all need to take a step back and just turn the lights on and stop being artistic and creative.

    That being said, my best suggestion would be to look at Apollo and Roscos catalogues. We do not know the feeling of the music you will be singing, nor do we know your space or any of the other variables in your performance. I would suggest looking through the catalogues and finding gobos that work for your show, and using those.

    No one will be able to say "buy Gam Gobo 1275" because it really doesn't work like that. Everything is show-unique.

    Also, make sure not to over-use the rotators. I find that sometimes people (I included) get excited about one effect and use it so often it just gets old and pointless. Use several stage wash colors. Some saturated side light always screams jazz.
  12. jbeutt

    jbeutt Member

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    You want to talk about being rubbed the wrong way?

    I think it's rather presumptuous to come here asking people to design your show for you. I realize this is just one small aspect and that your intentions aren't malicious annnd that this is a learning community, but I think you have less right to be irritated than everyone else here.

    As zac said, you can't ask others to know what you should use. This is lighting design and there is no right way. What you're talking about is totally aesthetic and totally based on the content which you totally failed to supply us with. Even with what we know now, nobody could tell you what gobo to use. That's how design works. You're the designer and in that role, you bring your own aesthetic taste to the look of the show. It really shouldn't be a big problem, either, as long as you have some sort of design motivation for the rest of the show. If you do, you just need to choose a gobo that fits in with that motivation.

    To get back on topic, though, I agree that you should use the rotators sparingly. Two of them won't make a very good foundation for a design and would definitely get boring fast. Use them less as the central element and more like an occasional "treat" throughout the show. Well, that's what I'd do.

    Annnnd, if none of this is getting through and you still just want a specific gobo, then here is my recommendation:
    Rosco 79145
    http://www.rosco.com/us/gobocatalog/gobos/pages/79145.html
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2006
  13. zac850

    zac850 Active Member

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    Ah, R79145 is a nice gobo. It would really only work from a FOH position shooting onto the cyc.

    There is no problem asking for pointers in a design. For instance, if you pose the question "which color works better for scene X Y or Z" that is an answerable question. This forum is to help people learn, and that applies to design aspects as well as technical aspects.
  14. raeraeiam

    raeraeiam Member

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    i wasnt attacking anyone. i do not expect anyone to "design my show for me"
    i merely wondered if anyone had ever worked with this equipment before, and had any suggestions. as in, "one time i used this gobo and it was really neat." i've never worked with these before. i have no clue what effect they give. so i dont know, when selecting gobos, which would be good. i could very well pick a nice one out, and it looks horrible in a rotator. i just wanted a starting point.
    im really sorry i gave everyone the wrong idea. im really kinda freaking out right now, because im always having to do this. i really have no idea what im doing here in the middle of all these lights, because i've had no training. and now im stuck with two gobo rotators, and i cant even figure out how to run them. and the show's next week. and im going to hyperventulate if i think of all the homework and rehearsals i have next week on top of getting these things to work.
    im sorry. im just stressing a lot right now. its nobody's fault but my own.

    incidentally, does anyone know how to patch gobo rotators into an ETC Express board? ive read the manual over and over and feel like im reading german or something. *sigh.. sorry, but i needed to unload a bit.
  15. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    if its a dmx based one, set the channel on the unit then patch it in like you work a normal light, just make sure it doesn't go on the same channel as a dimmer. If it is non dmx, just wire it into a circuit as a non-dim and use a channel on the board to control it. Or you could do the whole, leave it running the whole night and just bring the light on and off some, I had to do that for peter pan. Also gobos on cyc are an amazing thing. You can get a fun effect if you put a non moving on on the screen and have someone off stage gently move the screen, works better with scrims though.
  16. zac850

    zac850 Active Member

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    What model are the rotators, we can help you better with that info. Here is a general guide though
    For patching the rotator:

    If a DMX rotator:
    A. And you are taking the data cable out of your last dimmer and into your first rotator:
    Take the DMX cable out of the last dimmer and into your first rotator. Take the DMX cable out of your first rotator and put it into your second rotator. Go to the first rotator and set the DMX address. This is either by a set of dip switches or an LCD screen on the back with up/down buttons. Set the number to one number greater then your last dimmer. Go to the second rotator and set that number to one greater then the last number.
    Here is a little online guide to how to set the rotators dip switch

    Plug in the rotators of course.

    Go patch whatever numbers you set the rotators as into whatever channel you want. If you need help with this, just ask, well help with that as well.

    B. A dmx rotator with data coming out of port 2 of the console
    run data from the console to the first rotator, then to the second rotator. Same as above, set the dip switches to one greater then your last dimmer number for the first rotator, and two greater then the last dimmer number for the second rotator.

    turn on, of course.

    Go to the console and press [setup] then DMX settings, or DMX ports or something of that nature. I forget what its called and which option it is, and I don't have the offline editor on my new mac yet. Scroll to the second port and set the starting DMX channel to be whatever the last first rotator was set to. (by default this number will be 513).

    Go into your patch settings, and patch whatever number you set the rotators at into whatever channel you wish. Again, we can help if you need help with this step.

    If its not a dmx rotator
    Plug in. turn light on and off at leisure. There is no way to control it from far away, short of plugging it in and unplugging.

    DO NOT, do not, DO NOT try to control the speed by putting it on a dimmer and turn the dimmer up and down. That will fry the motor and do lots of bad things (such as causing zombies to walk free on their quest for brains).


    I assume you know how the rotator goes into the fixture and such, I assume they came with directions and such.


    Remember, they are an effect, and not at all necessary. If their stressing you out and you can't get them to work, don't use them. You can put them in the next show. I could give several good reasons to whoever is in charge on why they would not be right I could also give several good reasons why they should be used, but thats not the point. If they don't work, don't worry about it. No one in the audience will think "well, ya know, they should have had gobo rotators, the show is ruined for lack of a gobo rotator".

    They will however sit and say why the entire focus of the show is on two lights that can spin a piece of metal. So, don't do what we all do, get so worried about one tiny aspect we forget about the show as a whole.

    No worries my friend, and let us know if there's anything else we can do to help.


    Zac
  17. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    zac, there are some rotators you can dim and they work fine.
  18. raeraeiam

    raeraeiam Member

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    i feel like i must be missing something important, because it makes sense when it's explained to me, but not when i sit down and try to do it.
    it could be the way we've hooked them up, but im pretty sure we've got that down.
    our dimmer racks are far away from the lights in the catwalks, so we have an ETC DMX Node, which connects through an ethernet into something called the "lighting network" (i have no idea what it is, but its the ONLY way i could think of to get any DMX up in the walks) so then the ac-adapter that apollo sent is plugged into the wall, and the dmx at the other end is plugged into the node, and into the first rotator (the adapter had two male dmx at the other end, a five and four pin) then another dmx cable connects the two rotators.

    i think i've just confused myself. but anyways, we have an ETC Express board. am i supposed to use the "moving lights" feature? because that's where we get stuck (i think). we can go and try to set up a moving lights fixture, but then we have to choose a personality for the fixture, and we dont know what to do when we get there.

    i feel completely confused now.. does this sound right at all?
    on monday we are calling the guy who set up all this stuff in our auditorium, and hopefully he'll be able to help us out.
    i do agree with these things not being necessary, and im 99% sure they wont be used on every song, just the ones that are reallly big or funky or something. and i've always had the attitude with the music department that its not my place to design their show. they design it, and i execute.
    if we cant get the dmx thing worked out, i at least know we can use them, because they do work the way they are set up now, you'd just have to operate them manually.


    thanks for everyones help
  19. zac850

    zac850 Active Member

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    Do not use a moving light profile for them I mean, you could, but its kind of more work then they need.

    I don't know how your DMX node is configured, look into that. See what DMX universe that node is on. After that, patch that rotators into channels and run from there.

    Pie4weebl, really? I've never heard of them. I was under the impression that the chopped sin wave from a dimmer would destroy the motor. Do you know off the top of your head what models are dim-able?
  20. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Some earlier models depended in dimming for thier control voltage. Believe it or not there once was a time when DMX was only talk about in reference to radar control systems and telephone, and had nothing to do with control protocols for lights. <did I just show my age?> You are correct that most motors fire quiet quickly operating under the auspices of a traditional dimmer. One exception is the use of an IPS dimmer because it will auotmatically sense whether a load is inductive of conductive and just wave form for it. I used to really Hate the Early gobo rotators that required thier own seperate control box.

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