The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

lighting the cyc

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by raeraeiam, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. raeraeiam

    raeraeiam Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rochelle, Illinois
    i'd like the basics on lighting a cyc, please.
    i've gotten by so far with getting the cyc to look decent, yes, but i cant shake the feeling that something is not quite right, because i seem to run into a lot of problems.
    mainly, i have so much trouble getting an even wash. and if i can get that, then when i turn the performance lights on, the bottom half of the cyc gets washed out, and looks pretty bad. here's an example:
    http://rochelle-hubs.smugmug.com/gallery/2565340#135347300-M-LB
    so heres what we're working with here-(and please excuse my lack of knowledge - i do the best i can)
    we have 2-cell cyc lights, which connect with brackets so there's four lamps in one fixture, if that makes any sense.. and there's 5 of those across the batton
    we use RGB, and just leave the un-gelled lamp off in each set
    i try my best to get the lights at least 5' in front of the cyc, but in the above picture they weren't that far, more like 3-4'.
    the next show is smaller so i need to find a solution to the washing out of the cyc. the production above was large, so the washed-out part was hardly noticeable, but only because there were always people blocking the view of the audience.
    i've tried using lights at more of an angle, for example hanging them above the stage instead of in the catwalks, and this helps but then i still have a problem with the reflection of lights from the floor. it seems that i fix one thing and another problem arises.
    if anyone has any ideas, or at least knows of something i'm doing wrong that may or may not be the problem, please let me know!!
    thanks in advance!
     
  2. Jezza

    Jezza Active Member

    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    The issue that your having with only being able to light have the cyc may be attributed to the fact that you don't have a ground row. To really light a cyc evenly, one wants to install a ground row of cyc lights that mirrors in color the top row of lights, or contains slightly different hues to force perspective and give some more color mixing options. That will create the most even looking cyc. In terms of washing out the bottom, you might want to aim your front lights more down stage as that looks likes what the issue is from your image. You might also choose to hang them on a pipe further upstage creating a steeper angle, thus allowing less light to hit the cyc if you have to light all the way that far back.

    Then there is the option of backlighting the scrim w/ cyc lights which can be very effective but you usually don't have enough room behind the cyc, enough pipes to do it effectively, or the correct type of cyc. To me, a backlit cyc looks the best though.
     
  3. raeraeiam

    raeraeiam Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rochelle, Illinois
    that is one thing i was wondering..
    i've never tried lighting the cyc from the back, but i have used a cyc light on the ground behind the cyc for some special effects things, and it didnt seem like the throw was as large as from the front.. but this could be my imagination?
    and i usually try to put a few cycs on the ground, the only problem is that we dont have fixtures that are FOR the floor, i just use the same ones that are hung, and they work alright as long as no one goes near them.. because they tip over pretty easily.

    and for some reason our chior director insists that the band has to sit really close to the cyc (as in, a foot or so away), which leaves me two options: the band members turn colors along with the cyc, or the left half of the cyc is washed out so there's lights on the band members.
    see what i mean about these problems that just keep coming?
    lol, i suppose i should get used it, eh?
     
  4. DHSLXOP

    DHSLXOP Active Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Definitely play around with the angle of the cyc lights, and if possible, put barndoors on the bottom of each fixture to get rid of some of the spill onto the stage. Another option may be to just put the lights on the floor and, if possible, fly in a soft good border of some sort...that way you are lighting the most visible part of the cyc, instead of parts that are not fully visible to the house. I don't know how much this helps, but I hope it does.
     
  5. raeraeiam

    raeraeiam Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rochelle, Illinois
  6. DHSLXOP

    DHSLXOP Active Member

    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
  7. pyrus

    pyrus Member

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    I agree with the previous statements.another suggestion is to somehow make cuts onwhatever fronlighting you have in order toremove the spill. what are you using for frontlight?

    Also, for cyc-lights, I recomend using the Altman MR-16 3 channel zip strips. they are small, but very powerful. they are alsoo a pain in the rear to gel,but well worth the investment.
     
  8. drawstuf99

    drawstuf99 Active Member

    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    3
    A temp solution could be some of that black-wrap stuff attached to sides?
     
  9. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,612
    Likes Received:
    2,624
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Ok, you've got two issues here:
    1) You need more light on the cyc itself, adding a ground row as discussed would be a great solution.

    2) You need to get those other lights off the cyc.

    You just can't expect a color saturated cyc wash to over power a mostly white blast from your lights on the choir.
    Besides possibly adding a ground row, you need to create some separation between the light on the choir and the cyc lights. It looks like the light on the choir is coming in at a pretty flat angle. Can you light them from higher up above so that you can shutter the lights off the cyc?
     
  10. Chris Chapman

    Chris Chapman Active Member

    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    33
    Occupation:
    Technical Director
    Location:
    Greenville, Michigan, United States
    Another easy solution that I have used for our cyc is to use 1K 6" Fresnels built up on a floor stand as a bottom ground row shooting from the sides. I generally use Rosco 124-146 Cyc silks for color. Same as in my 3 color cyc lights fromthe top. 3 Fresnels on each side of the stage can cover your cyc if they are flooded out. USe barn doors to cut off the performers.

    -Chris Chapman
    TD, Greenville Performing Arts Center
    Greenville, MI
     
  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,612
    Likes Received:
    2,624
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Great point about the Rosco Cyc silks... those or just adding silk diffusion to the regular gel will help blend your wash much better.

    But you've still got to get the front light off that cyc.
     
  12. raeraeiam

    raeraeiam Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rochelle, Illinois
    just for the record, i did have an epiphany the other day when i realized that yes, using lights at more of an angle WOULD create less spill onto the cyc!
    so i'm trying to do as much light from the first catwalk and above the stage, where it won't be at a "flat angle"
    but then what happens is that nasty reflection for the stage floor.. i'm improvising and putting a left-over piece of black fabric behind the platforms (hopefully it wont be visible) to cut down on that.

    do silk/diffusion gels really help all that much? i wanted to order some last time, but i had to cut down the cost and decided to switch to a company that didnt have that type (that i could see) i believe it was euro-color or something of that sort...
     
  13. pyrus

    pyrus Member

    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Just out of curiosity, do those cyc silks produce much streaking? One director I had wanted toget something like a ray effect withthe cyc lights, but we didn't have the equipment to do it.
     
  14. Chris Chapman

    Chris Chapman Active Member

    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    33
    Occupation:
    Technical Director
    Location:
    Greenville, Michigan, United States
    I have never gotten any streaking with the silks. Since they are diffusion gels, it makes for much cleaner wash across. When they start to burn out, you do get some nice cloud effects though. They are great at evening out the washfrom different instruments.

    They cost the same as regular gel, so they are worth the investment in my case.

    -Chris Chapman
    TD, Greenville Performing Arts Center.
     
  15. raeraeiam

    raeraeiam Member

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rochelle, Illinois
    i know they cost the same.. but it was a matter of one company vs another, and the cheaper didnt have that type.. but i will definitely get them the next time around!!
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice