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Design Issues and Solutions Color changing wall with conventional fixtures

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by erico3456, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. erico3456

    erico3456 Member

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    Hey, I'm helping my friend out with the design for Pippin at a local high school and one of the things that the director wants is a color changing wall in the back of the theater. The wall is going to be back lit with fresnels and will consist of a 2 by 4 structure creating 2 ft wide columns going across the back of the stage. The 2 by 4 structure will have screens from ceiling fluorescent lights to create the lit portion of the wall. I'm not sure yet wether the fresnels will be hung from the grid, floor mounted, or on pipes yet, but they will backlight the panels. We do not have a large enough budget to rent color scrollers or LED fixtures for the show, (only 1,000 for set and lights) however we do have enough fresnel fixtures to light the wall. This means though that each portion of the wall will only be one color right now, which will work if it must but we would like to be able to have more colors. If you had any suggestions that we could use of something cheap we could use or something we could build to get a color changing effect that would be great. We don't really need for the color changes to happen fast or extremely often, but we want the effect of the wall changing colors every once in a while without actually replacing gel frames from behind. Thanks.
     
  2. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Uhmmm cyc lights? Strip lights? Put multiple Fresnels with diffent gels in each panel?
     
  3. erico3456

    erico3456 Member

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    And Here lies the problem with those, easy suggestions, adding the fersnels goes above and beyond our dimmer capabillity, to have one in each of the columns we are already going to have to run power from the dimmers in the black box theater located behind the mainstage and run DMX back there from the booth to control it all, and we do not have enough money to rent a dimmer to add more fixtures. So even though it would be a easy solution to just add more fixtures we cannot.
     
  4. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Then you are pretty much stuck with LEDs.

    Mike
     
  5. erico3456

    erico3456 Member

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    We do not have enough money to get LEDs even though they would be great, I was wondering if anyone has ever built some type of contraption to change to get or something like that.
     
  6. Clifford

    Clifford Active Member

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    LEDs aren't an option.
     
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Something like this (from 1913)?
    [​IMG]
    (Middle of right-hand page.) Courtesy G (1914).

    Commonly known as a "color wheel." Similar to that which is found inside almost every moving light today. Or the "Metal Color Box" just below.
    However, the material costs, as well as construction and operation labor, may make more than one or two of them impractical.
     
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  8. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    You could rent motorized colorwheels from Altmans or Bash for use in the fresnels.
     
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  9. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Another good suggestion....honestly if you dont' have the money to rent...the dimmers to spare..and don't want to have someone backstage changing the gels you're probably SoL.
     
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  10. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    How much of Pippin do you have to cut to get away with performing it at a high school? I always hear of these shows, but have never seen them.

    I'm not quite understanding your description of the wall, but if you just need color changes and aren't illuminating actors or trying to out punch full stage lights, try smaller wattage lights, like PAR 38's at 100W. You can buy small fixtures and cluster them together, two-fer them into groups and give yourself crude RGB mixing. Make sure whoever is doing the wiring is qualified for that sort of work.
     
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  11. Wolf

    Wolf Active Member

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    Simply have someone back stage to change out gels. Very simple, have several frames ready to pop in. And this person doesnt even need to know lighting to change the gel frame, you could even have them marked 1, 2, 3,.... Anyone form a parent volunteer to an off stage actor could do this.
     
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  12. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Another possibility would be Morpheus Color Faders. These would give you full CMY color mixing capability. However, if you don't have money to rent extra dimmers, you probably don't have money to rent these either.
     
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  13. bri4827

    bri4827 Member

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    I'd have to agree with sayen...

    assuming your wash doesn't need barn doors or anything a 100w par 38 mounted to a box from home depot should get you at least 12 on a dimmer if not almost 24... again make sure they're wired properly by someone who knows what they are doing but that's a down and dirty solution that should get you the results you need
     
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  14. erico3456

    erico3456 Member

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    Yes, I have heard off color wheels and that sounds like the best option. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas of how to build a sort of makeshift one using gel frames. I'm thinking that it might be possible to attach some frames together in a circle like shape and maybe even build a motor or something (probably wouldn't have to be that powerful to rotate gel frames) and then attach that to the fixture. Has anyone every tried anything like that?
    And as for some of the other ideas, no we wouldn't have the money to rent a color fader, nor renting or buying a commercial color wheel and probably not even a lot of smaller fixtures we are only able to do this because we already have fresnels not in use. The suggestion of having someone change gel frames is something we have thought about as a last resort, but we'd like to exhaust all other possibillities first, because the changing of frames would require a lot of communication plus the fact that i'm not even sure there will be enough room behind the wall or someone to easily move through. Thank you all for your imput and if you have any ideas of something we could build be it manually opperated or motorized or another idea feel free to share.

    (and the high school has been able to get away with some interesting shows before)
     
  15. waynehoskins

    waynehoskins Active Member

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    What about the old replug trick, if you've got the units to spare? Run the cables offstage, and have a deck elec plug the right set in to the cable coming from Dimmer Beach at the right time.
     
  16. TupeloTechie

    TupeloTechie Active Member

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    I don't think you will be able to do much with the color frames. If your looking into building only your going to have to be creative. One idea I could think of is building a color wheel out of a thin sheet metal called flashing, it comes in a big enough sheet, and you can cut it with a good pair of scissors or a dremel. After you cut holes for the gel you can drill small holes and use brads to secure the gel to the flashing. In the center you could fabricate a way to turn it using a carriage bolt of some sort and maybe some sort of motor or a more reliable human.

    Another idea that will give you smothers color fades is to recreate a manual color scroller (I've seen these on top of overhead projectors) you could even fabricate some sort of motor on it if absolutely necessary.
     
  17. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    i would twofer up fresnels so then you could double your dimmer capability. Twofer any other lights to get extra circuits, so after you have freed up several extra circuits twofer up random lights (same color) in your big color box. Then twofer up different circuits of the same colors in different positions. It will create lots of random color combinations. I am assuming you have plenty of fresnels to go around. And twofers are easy to come by if you dont have any.
     
  18. fredthe

    fredthe Active Member

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    If you had a fly system, you could always hang strips of gels from it, so that at differnt heights a different color would be in front of the fresnel...
    (Of course, this also assumes a lot about the placement of the fresnels)
     
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