Design Issues and Solutions Gobo in S4 help

EHansenLX

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2015
Location
New York
I've been doing the lighting design for Shakespeare in Hollywood recently and I wanted to use a gobo to project the Warner Bros logo (simple outlines, no color) on the house curtain.

I'd order a custom steel gobo from rosco or something, but I'm mainly concerned about how the image would appear on the house curtain. (It's a very traditional red house curtain)

I don't have much experience with gobos so any help would be much appreciated. I guess my main questions are:

1) Will the logo appear clearly enough to see on the curtain?
2) Will an ETC Source 4 be the right fixture to do this with?

Thanks!
 

Les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
Might be careful about projecting that logo unless you have permission from WB.

As to your questions

1). It depends - how much ambient lighting will there be, and what is your throw distance? How large do you want the image to be?
2). ETC Source 4, Altman Shakespeare, Altman Phoenix, Strand SL... Many options. The Source 4 will be the easiest to get a hold of, and make sure it has a 750w HPL for the best bang. The biggest variable will be the lens tube you use. You could go with a zoom fixture, but you will sacrifice some in the optics. I'd sooner pick a fixed-focus fixture with the correct beam angle.

From the way it sounds, should be easy-peasy. Viewing angles will be sacrificed if the drape has a lot of fullness (especially on the far sides of the auditorium), but to most people just walking in, it will look fine. But do check on copyright issues before you project that logo.
 

derekleffew

Resident Curmudgeon
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Aug 21, 2007
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Las Vegas, NV, USA
In days of old, every showroom in Vegas had its hotel's logo projected onto the main rag. Today, Jubilee! at Bally's may be the only one left, and I'm not sure of that one.

Here's a handy Excel worksheet to help you in determining which lens tube to use. Source Four Gobo Mag Calculator https://www.etcconnect.com/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=10737461913 . Usually, the center of the balcony rail is the best hanging location. If no balcony rail, either booth or farthest FOH cove or catwalk. The closer to perpendicular to the surface, the less keystoning.
 

DavidNorth

ETC Rigging General Manager
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Madison, WI
Bill,

I would kindly suggest you add information on throw distance, rental cost, useable angle, remote control options and dimming options. This is a great looking image [although the Mike & Kari part looks almost too good] but there are integration use scenarios that may be better or worse in the comparison. It would be very helpful.

Thanks,

David
 

EHansenLX

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2015
Location
New York
Thanks for all the help. I'll have to give it a shot to see how the image looks. Thanks derekleffew for the idea about hanging on the balcony railing. I hadn't thought about that.

Bill, after seeing your image, do you (and others) think it would be possible to use a traditional projector (no gobo) to project the image from a computer onto the house curtain? My concern would be seeing the rest of the projection area in black or something? Again, not a lot of projection experience here.

Thanks!

[EDIT]: I'll be sure to check with the director about rights using the WB logo.
 

Ford

Sr Product Manager, Chauvet Professional
Joined
Oct 19, 2007
Location
South FL
a Projector can be very effective, but you are right to be concerned about "projected black".
For any projector that you can afford, this will be a real concern.
When the lights are on, it will look great. However you will want to use a hard shutter to cover the lens after you fade the image out.

There are automated, DMX controllable products out there for that very purpose. I think City Theatrical sells one...but it's not cheap, and does not dim.
If you use it while the image is on, it looks a little like a wipe, instead of a fade.

When we used LCD projectors at Cornell U, I made a home made dimming shutter system based on the old AS100 shutters for Pani Projectors.
Pani used grey scale glass (which we could not afford), but I made mine out of poster-board, and old CD drawers out of "retired" computers. Total cost was about $20 plus a few hours of labor and experimentation.
if you open your hands in front of your face, and spread your fingers slightly, then move your hands together and apart (one just in front of the other), you can get a rough idea of how it works.
basically I took 2 CD drawers out of old computers, and wired them to a 3 position switch. then I had open, close, and stop.
on the end of the drawers I attached "fingers" of black poster-board cut in a long zig-zag pattern, so that as the drawers moved to the open position, the posterboard moved in front of the aperture, thus blocking the light. The image was gradually blocked across the entire surface. when the Drawers were fully deployed, no light could get through. when they were fully retracted, no light was blocked. all of this was mounted on a piece of wood that was attached to the same surface that the LCD projector sat on.​

the more acute the angles cut into the paper (so the more "fingers" in the same vertical space), the better the unit worked for dimming... as long as the shutters can get all the way into and out of the optical path, it works great.

It is not silent.

for a super low budget solution, you can have a flap of posterboard, or a piece of black fabric on a string deployed by a stagehand in the catwalk.

Either way, you want to black the image out when it's not in use.
If you're dimming digitally, then you can just block the front of the projector (low budget).
If you make a dimmer (like the one I describe above), blackout after the image is blocked.


I hope that helps.
 

BRDinNC

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2013
Location
Charlotte, NC
I deal with Gobos all of the time in Theatre and corporate events. For the best quality we always spend the extra $50-$60 for the B&W Glass. Also they hold up to the heat better. "Extra Definition Lens Tubes" are great, but you can try your lens first with a donut and then decide if you want to rent one. For the WB logo? It doesn't have enough detail in it where it would make a big difference in my opinion. EDLT are more for projecting picture like gobo like in this link.

http://images.apollodesign.net/Products/ProductView/SR-0065.png

The steel gobos will warp over time and will fall apart eventually. It all depends on budget and how long the show run is. If it is a budget issue and resolution quality isn't a major issue you can always order a duplicate for a lot less than the original. Projectors can do a good job, but like Ford said it does depend on the quality of projector, as well as skill level setting it up. Where as a leko is pretty straight forward for a new tech to set up and use.