Design Issues and Solutions Color mixing suggestions.

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by nagates, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. nagates

    nagates Member

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    So, I am working on a production of Shrek, and as usual there is a limited number of fixtures at my disposal. In order to give the show some of the necessary colors it needs, like red, blue, green (that is a big one), purple, I am trying to rely on color mixing of complementary colors to make white-ish washes. (for big musical numbers etc) In theory if I mix a red with a green, I should get roughly a white. What I was wondering has any tried this before with any success? If so what color gels where used? Unfortunately the venue we are currently using has limited number of gels, but I should be able to order some if know what I want.
     
  2. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Mixing red and green will get a sickly yellow/orange. Adding blue will get you closer to white. Even better if you can add some amber in to the mix.

    So if I'm understanding this correctly, you don't have enough instruments to cover color washes and a neutral wash, so you're hoping to mix the colors to arrive at a white(ish) wash?
     
  3. nagates

    nagates Member

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    Yea, you are correct. I have about 12 zones, all the lights from the 2 catwalks are 36 degree S4s. I'd like to do Warm+Cools for each zone. There is only about 28 hook ups in the catwalk. I'd like to save about 4-6 of those channels for forest gobos.

    One thought, I had was just do a Green and something like a Pale Yellow, or Pale blue and just bring the green up at a low level, the Pale Yellow or Blue would just wash out the darker green.
     
  4. JChenault

    JChenault Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you may be considering using saturated colors. IMHO this will not give you the effect you desire. I have seen theatres that tried to do this using a saturated red, blue, and greed gel and it did not work.

    The primary issue is that the saturated colors cut so much intensity from the fixture that it just becomes too dim to be useful.

    I would recommend a bit of experimentation. Get some sample gels from the theatre, or get a swatch book from your local supplier or gel manufacturer. Grab a couple of flashlights ( not LED if at all possible ) . Put various colors in front of the lights and see how they combine. Shine them on your skin and see how you like the resulting color.
     
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  5. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Some terminology corrections...
    I think you mean 12 areas, say four across and three deep. A zone is two or more areas in line, either DS-US, SR-SL, or here diagonally. Pretty sneaky sis.

    Circuit s. A hookup is a piece of lighting paperwork.

    Possibly consider a re-gel of a portion of the catwalk lights, either during the show or at intermission?
     
  6. robmerow

    robmerow Active Member

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    Not sure how many fixtures you have, or if you have access to twofers. But I think you could make it work if you got a little creative with grouping compromises.

    12 circuits for front light (one per area). Neutral [perhaps R53].
    3 circuits for USR side light (red, blue, lime) perhaps R25, R84, R89.
    3 circuits for USL side light (red, blue, lime) perhaps R25, R84, R89.
    3 circuits for DSR side light (red, blue, lime) perhaps R25, R84, R89.
    3 circuits for DSL side light (red, blue, lime) perhaps R25, R84, R89.
    4 circuits for scenic gobos.

    This allows a "whiteish" stagewash; and red, blue, magenta, lime, or amberish side light, individually controllable from each side for modelling.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
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  7. kicknargel

    kicknargel Well-Known Member

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    Agree with JChenault. I tried this in an early career ballet design, with medium-saturated RGB in my boom lights. The result was not wonderful. You're losing so much intensity, and additive mixing in real life doesn't produce the theoretical result of mixing to white, because the colors aren't pure enough. I'd make sure you have enough pleasant, low-saturation front light, and then do as many color washes as you can from different angles. You don't have to have one light per area for a saturated wash. For 12 areas, you could have 12 front lights, 8 red lights from SR, 8 blue lights fro SL and 8 green back lights. This will give more options and look better than 12 R,G,B lights from the front.
     
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