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Focus Light through Translucent Paper

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by arfinator, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. arfinator

    arfinator Member

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    Focus Light through Paper

    Hello,
    For a show that I am doing (Wings of Desire) I am designed lights. For a part of the show, there is a "rock concert" scene, and for this (due to a lack of moving lights & rock paraphanalia) I was thinking of focusing lights through large sheets of white butcher paper.

    I thought that this might create an intersting effect. I would want the paper to just be colored with different colored gelled lights. I would then create some sort of chase effect to make it interesting.

    Is this a feasible plan? Does anyone have any ideas that would make get something like this but easier? Would this be a fire hazard (shooting lights onto paper) and, if so, is there anyway to avoid this?

    Does anyone have any suggestions in general?

    Thank you very much.
    Hess Smith
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2008
  2. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    Re: Focus Light through Paper

    Are you going for the look of something like this? http://www.msmt.org/hairspray.html

    I have no affilation with the show but found the picture quickly.
     
  3. arfinator

    arfinator Member

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    Yes, I am looking for something very similar to that.

    :). I would even settle for something more opaque, if that would be easier.

    Do you know how that was done?
     
  4. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    My guess is R40 strip lights shot at frosted plexiglass. Wax paper might work, you are going to have to experiment to get the right look for the distance and the fixtures you have.
    Looking at it again they might have made some light boxes and cut circle holes in them and taped gel over the holes. Would be a bit cheaper but more labor intensive.
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Also, take a look at using velum instead of paper, velum tends to not have any kind of defects/blotchiness to it. It also takes light well.
     
  6. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    Tricot, cheesecloth. Both are perfect for your application, though I'm not actually sure of what's cheaper.
     
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I'm worried about you burning your theater down... so be careful here. No Ellipsoidals... a small PAR should be safe but you still need to be careful. I suggested this in another thread recently. Fire the system up and let it run for a while with you standing close with a fire extinguisher in hand. After it's been on a while, put your hand in there against the paper on the lamp side. If it feels too hot for your hand to stay there, the lamps are too close. For a more scientific approach try hanging a digital kitchen thermometer in there and make sure it doesn't get over about 125-150 when left on for a REALLY long time.

    The safest solution would be to go to your gel swatch book pick out a diffusion material you like and build some sort of frame to hold the sheets. A perfect choice because it's designed to safely be used in front of spotlights. Negative is the small size of the sheets (send Kelite a PM to see if he could get you diffusion material in larger uncut sheets from the Apollo factory). Fire resistant treated muslin unpainted would be a great safe choice... remember it's not fire proof and you still need to be careful about instrument placement. Cheese cloth has too large of holes for this trick. Tricot would be a great choice that should look a lot better than paper, but might be a little more expensive and you need to be more careful than the muslin. If I had to use paper I would go with parchment that's designed for cooking on. You could also use coroplast. Or you could use plexiglass with some sort of spray on frost material... find the spray on bathroom privacy stuff.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2008
  8. arfinator

    arfinator Member

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    Thank you very much for your suggesstions. I will talk to our TD and see what he says about it all.

    Hess Smith
     

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