Gobo FX

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by Mel Williams, Nov 24, 2018.

  1. Mel Williams

    Mel Williams Member

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    Hey friends,

    College student here doing a project on using gobos in lekos for FX rather than any of the newer equipment. Basically, creating FX with limited budgets? Or what may be more helpful is how y'all have used gobos to enhance your designs?

    Totally recognize this is kind of a vague question but I'm struggling in wording it in any other way so let me know if I can clarify!
     
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  2. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @Mel Williams Back in the mid 1970's, an established Shakespearean repertory theatre's lighting department had about a dozen in-house built motion wheels constructed using aluminum oven liners, coat hanger wire frames, motors from Edmund Scientific and copious layers of flat black high-temperature paint sold in spray bombs and intended for painting furnace pipes.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
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  3. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    You are being very vague.

    Ask yourself, what look am I going for?

    Clearly you would put a breakup gobo in a forest scene. You would go for trees and birds and clouds.

    Same with a indoor scene and the sun/moon is shining through the window or barn door or yada yada.

    TLDR: what’s the scene.
     
  4. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I believe GAM (and maybe Rosco) has a stimulator on their site so you can pre-viz gobos and animators (I'd give you the links, but it's your project.)

    Also had a real good stand-alone until that site died. GoboAnimator.com or something like that. EDIT: Found it: https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/online-gobo-visualizer.4528/ . Your project should be to convince @mattm to resurrect it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2018
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  5. Mel Williams

    Mel Williams Member

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    Those examples are helping me to think of more specific examples...

    But also: Why use a gobo instead of a more physical representation? EX: breakup/tree gobo instead of branches flown in?

    How can you use gobos to create a water effect? Fire? How can a texture provided by gobos enhance a design/scene?
     
  6. Mel Williams

    Mel Williams Member

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    This is really helpful and I'll look into it. Thanks!
     
  7. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

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    Well aren’t we getting philosophical.

    The easiest way to describe gobo vs actual is imagination.

    Money could play a factor or time.


    Fire and Water are tricky yes but some waves or squiggle line gobos a bit outta focus mixed with the proper gels can bring life to anything.

    As an LD or even the ME is to give the director the best creation of what he or she asks for. At some point lighting just doesn’t do it and you have to switch to another medium.


    Here we have an example of the x24 neat little machine that makes life much easier than a static effect.


    Water



    Fire





    If you don’t have the money to spend on the effect besides the gobo you could look to making some sort of chase of 3 fixtures blended on top of each other all with the same gobo and set the speed of the chase to desired speed.


    Btw you still have said exactly what you are trying to accomplish. Would definitely be able to point you in a more direct path if we knew.
     
  8. seanandkate

    seanandkate Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Organizationally, are you trying to take a modern FX machine example (like the $4K X24) and explore how you can get something similar with a cheaper ellipsoidal solution (S4 with dual gobo rotator, etc)? Or are you just discussing what effects you can create using gobos--a MUCH broader question. As others have indicated, until you can more narrowly define the scope of your question, we can only be of limited assistance.
     
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  9. lwinters630

    lwinters630 Well-Known Member

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    Some of your best lighting effects may be accidental. Creativity and illusion is your motivation, so ask yourself what do I want the audiance to believe they saw or felt. Blackout and white out will give different experiances. Experiment with what resources you have. Maybe its shiny tin foil and some crumpled gels. An old pie tin, hammer and chisel.
    You can create motion and direction by streaking from bottom left to upper right across a wall with slow pulses. Old overhead projrctors and pyrex and colored oils, very cool in the 60's. Also after imaging will have someone see what is not there! Shadows are your friend. One tree becomes a forest by creating multiple shadows. As you see, possibillities are endless.

    If your not sure where you want to take the audiance.... start there.

    But ALWAYS be safe!
     
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  10. josh88

    josh88 Remarkably Tired. Fight Leukemia

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    A gobo is either in stock already of $50 and far cheaper than paying someone the labor and materials to make/rig the branches, and if I'm using a gobo so that it looks like light shining through trees, I still have to stick a light behind those physical trees to get the effect I want to see on stage.

    Not to mention, there are all sorts of stock patterns, and then rotators of fx film strips, and if you get into moving lights all the built in prisms and effects they have. Sometimes I want the intangible that light can give you, rather than a concrete visual representation of something on stage.
     
  11. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @Mel Williams Also, you can purchase two, or more, identical gobos and project them from multiple ellipsoidals in two or more colors which can be useful in situations indicating the passage of time from sunlight to moonlight through the same window, for instance when the first act ends with sunset and the second act opens with sunrise. You may consider a 20 minute cue that fades sunset down to moonlight through a given window plus a second cue which opens the second act with the sun rising in a different window. You could also run a 40 or 45 minute cue from sun set to moonlight over the course of an act purely to entertain yourself and see if / how many patrons or cast notice the change.
    There you go, more ideas worth every penny you paid.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     

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