# Conventional FixturesColor Crossing

#### midgetgreen11

##### Active Member
So there's been some confusion in our theatre lately about how to color mix. It's always been done with warm from one side of the actor, and cool from the other. I've recently been thinking about a warm and a cool from BOTH sides of the acting area, is this something that other people use?

Is there a better way to do it?

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#### GeneralDoom

##### Member
A lot of it depends on how many dimmers and fixtures you have; I've seen it done both ways and having warms and cools from both sides in my experience has allowed for greater flexibility in the looks on stage. My best advice is to try it both ways and find out what works best for your venue.

#### gafftapegreenia

##### CBMod
CB Mods
Just to confuse you further, another very common method is to have cold on one side, warm on the other, and a "neutral" from the center.

#### derekleffew

##### Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
So there's been some confusion in our theatre lately about how to correctly color cross. ... Is there a better way to do it?
Ben, I'm troubled by your statements, particularly "how to correctly color cross". You should have learned by now, there are no Right or Wrong answers or practices, only what best suits the play/performance situation.

I suggest reading for yourself the 144 page book, A Method of Lighting the Stage, Stanley McCandless, Theatre Arts Books, 1932. Note the title is A method, not THE method.

Quoting from the section on Color:
When cross lighting is used on each acting area, to provide plasticity and proper visibility to the actor's face, those instruments focused in a direction which is consistent with the motivating light will normally be of the same color as the motivating light. This naturally suggests the use of the complimentary color from the opposite direction. If warm color is used from one side, cool color can be used from the other, just as the cool blue of daylight appears in the shadows caused by the warm rays of the sun.

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#### midgetgreen11

I've heard about/looked into buying Stanley's book, but I can't afford a $100 book. Anyway, if we were to put colors on both sides, each color would still be on the same dimmer, meaning: blue from right, blue from left both from the same dimmer. This brings in the problem of cabling... we can't manually patch, and we have no cable... let alone a lighting budget. Gafftapegreenia - I also do plan on using a neutral Surprise Pink for our summer show, 42nd Street... The director's got high-expectations, and this will be my...third show. #### Charc ##### Well-Known Member I've heard about/looked into buying Stanley's book, but I can't afford a$100 book.

Anyway, if we were to put colors on both sides, each color would still be on the same dimmer, meaning: blue from right, blue from left both from the same dimmer. This brings in the problem of cabling... we can't manually patch, and we have no cable... let alone a lighting budget.

Gafftapegreenia - I also do plan on using a neutral Surprise Pink for our summer show, 42nd Street...

The director's got high-expectations, and this will be my...third show.
If you do end up with both on the same dimmer, remember that your warm and cool will likely have different transmission rates, which might effect your design. You also will have to weight it out, loosing the important tool of intensity distribution, in that you can't boost once side, drop the, other, or otherwise play with their intensities.

#### midgetgreen11

##### Active Member
Warm and Cool will be on separate dimmers. The same color from both sides would be on the same dimmer. Is that what you were referring to?

#### Charc

##### Well-Known Member
Warm and Cool will be on separate dimmers. The same color from both sides would be on the same dimmer. Is that what you were referring to?
Yes, I suppose the wording or something in the following post confused me:

I've heard about/looked into buying Stanley's book, but I can't afford a \$100 book.

Anyway, if we were to put colors on both sides, each color would still be on the same dimmer, meaning: blue from right, blue from left both from the same dimmer. This brings in the problem of cabling... we can't manually patch, and we have no cable... let alone a lighting budget.

Gafftapegreenia - I also do plan on using a neutral Surprise Pink for our summer show, 42nd Street...

The director's got high-expectations, and this will be my...third show.
Based on what you've just told me, I now understand that you are saying that I now understand that you're talking about having warms and cools from both sides? However, I thought you were talking of using the McCandles method, which I was under the impression stipulated all warms from one side, all cools from the other, which is where my confusion came from your previous post.

#### midgetgreen11

##### Active Member
Warm and Cool from both sides, and a Neutral. A combination of McCandless and colors from both sides I guess?

#### rmarston

##### Member
Start by defining the key light - that is the light that will provide illumination required by scene (day, night, interior, exterior, etc, etc....) that will tell what color it should be and what direction. Then you can other instruments and colors to define the characters. So - there is no "standard" for lighting - it's what the scene requires. Just use front lighting sparingly - it tends to flatten everything.

#### midgetgreen11

##### Active Member
I was planning on using LEE 132 Medium blue for cool, and LEE102 Light Amber for warm, any comments about that? (Neutral is LEE194 Surprise Pink) We have enough dimmers to do all of that, with 12 or so left over for specials, gobos, etc.

#### rosebudld

##### Member
For a local theater group I recently used 4k of double bastard amber gels as cross wash and then 4k of booster blue from front and 2k of booster blue cross to get a nice look.. and I kept the front wash very light.. used a warm pink overhead to simulate a lobby environment in an old hotel.. it worked out nice..