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

Popular/Common Gel colors

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by LPdan, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. LPdan

    LPdan Member

    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    NY
    I understand that gel selection is very dependent on the show, fixtures being used, etc. However, I'd like to start a small stock of common/popular/versatile gels, maybe 10 colors. Can anyone offer suggestions/opinions?
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  2. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,248
    Likes Received:
    915
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    @LPdan I've been lighting productions since the 1950's. I've always played the Head or assistant electrician, rarely the designer, and ALWAYS felt color selection was my weak point. That said; I've had a number of combinations I've fell back on over the decades. Most recently, for front lights, Roscolux 60 (basically as a 'poor man's color corrector' to somewhat compensate for amber shift when running sources at 40% and lower) from SR with Roscolux 06 from SL. I had other combinations if I had the lamps, circuits and dimmers available to have more than one wash color per area, warm and cool for example.
    EDIT: RoscoLux 60 with RoscoLux 64 for cool washes and RoscoLux 33 with RoscoLux 37 for comparatively warmer washes. RoscoLux 119 was useful for smoothly blending areas without splashing too terribly all over the FOH.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  3. Colin

    Colin Active Member

    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    51
    Occupation:
    Technical Director
    Location:
    Eastern Massachusetts
    Maybe you can help us narrow things down some. Is this for straight theatre? Musical theatre? Concerts? Dance? Do you have a rep plot and if so what systems are included? Is there a preferred gel manufacturer in terms of what your local vendor stocks most?

    EDIT: Oh, and do you have LEDs for deep color or is it all tungsten?
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  4. JohnD

    JohnD Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    2,530
    Likes Received:
    914
    Location:
    north central OK
    Standby Appollonians (@GreyWyvern and @Kelite ). Actually Apollo used to have a really nice selection as a starter kit. They might still have that list to share. Check with all the gel companies, they have lots of info on what gel to use. For front wash, open white, light amber, light salmon, light pink, light lavender light blue. For top and back light, medium shades. For multicell (bulbous-be it incandescent or tungsten halogen or quartz or whatever)fixtures, the three primary colors, or not. For what it's worth, my two favorites are Lee or Rosco ecolor #108 and Rosco #R39.
     
  5. LPdan

    LPdan Member

    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    NY
    Most of the usage would be for musical theatre in local schools or community theatres with limited LED sources. Most of what I've used in the past is Rosco or Lee, but open to anything that can be ordered. Ron's post is very helpful, mainly trying to achieve general warm or cool looks.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  6. Amiers

    Amiers Lighting Phoenix 1 Lamp at a Time

    Messages:
    2,580
    Likes Received:
    624
    Location:
    Phoenix, Az
    68 69 70 08 09 05 32 23 52 53 119 132. All Rosco.

    Next time you order gels. Ask for a swatch book. So you can test out colors you like in your space ahead of time.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  7. Colin

    Colin Active Member

    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    51
    Occupation:
    Technical Director
    Location:
    Eastern Massachusetts
    I’ll stick with Rosco, but there are gel conversion charts out there that will help you find close matches for other manufacturers too, and adjust to taste. I’m trying to stick with very common colors that show up again and again in rep plots and riders, which isn’t necessarily my taste but might be a good plan for this situation because they’re familiar to anyone else you may be working with and they tend to be in stock in any locality when you need more. I really like Apollo for pure hues that are very mixable. I tend to use a lot of Lee for dirtier, more naturalistic colors.

    10 colors makes it sort of convenient to go with one warm, one neutral and one cool color from three ranges of saturation for 9 total colors, and then add a diffusion or something else for the last one. But, for the situations you describe I think you get the most impact from keeping the front system simple, like just a neutral color R53, 54 or 55 (open white if you want a little warmer) and then devote the rest of your stock to higher saturates, which can layer on top to do all the color shifts and toning you need.

    Low saturation (probable use = front, side boom, specials):

    warm: 02, 05, 08, 33

    neutral: 53, 54, 55 (a little deeper but can still work from the front)

    cool: 60, 62, 72 (a little green for front light but a lovely side light - I prefer Lee 144 though)


    Medium saturation (probable use = front/box boom, high side):

    warm: 01, 18, 21, 24, 32, 43, 44

    neutral: 52, 57

    cool: 68, 69, 73


    High saturation (probable use = top, back, cyc):

    warm: 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 39

    neutral: 56, 58

    cool: 74, 80, 83, 76

    Diffusion: 119 and 132 are the usuals. If choosing just one, I’d pick 119 because it better covers the sloppy focus and bad maintenance you may encounter if you’re using rep plots and fixtures belonging to schools and community theaters.

    Add a primary green (91 or 90) if you want to do RGB mixing like on a cyc, but I'd stick with red, amber, blue for general color washes otherwise.

    So if I’m designing a basic rep plot for school musicals and know nothing more, I’d probably go with R54 front light, R24 and R68 double hung from box booms, R52 and R18 or 01 from opposite high sides, three-color tops in R80 (83 if I have enough lamps to punch through the deeper color) and R26 (or 27 if enough lamps) and R23. That’s eight colors, so then maybe R119 and a pale gold or amber for another front light option (02 or 08), or else a green or green-blue (91, 76) to get to ten. Or, give yourself one CTB to correct for a dimmed lamp or give yourself a whiter white - maybe something between 1/4 and 1/2 CTB. I like the Roscos, 3208/3206/3204. I dislike the relatively green cast of the Lee versions.
     
    Jay Ashworth, RonHebbard and Amiers like this.
  8. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,248
    Likes Received:
    915
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    @LPdan Is your plan to own a small selection of useful colors for your own personal use or are you planning to keep colors on hand to loan or sell to others? Here's where my thinking is going. If you're encountering an approximately equal number of 7" and 6.25" cuts, consider cutting all cuts at 7" square and folding one edge within the frame when needing to reduce to a 6.25" cut folding only the one side and leaving the top edge sticking up out of the frame, crimped in the fixture's frame retaining clip if / when need be. Thus,the next time you need to color a fixture with a 7" frame, you can simply unfold the gel and insert it in the slightly larger frame.
    ALWAYS mark the color, number and manufacturer, on the gel with a white grease pencil or Sharpie of your choice. If you mark the color within the frame's opening but off-center from the heat of most beams, you'll be able to read the colors from the floor and they'll cause zero grief so far as lighting productions. Possibly you'll adopt a short form such as: R08 for Roscolux 08, L153 for Lee153, G for Gam, you've got the idea. Maybe you'll underline your notations on the gel to make it easier to know which way up to orient the gel when trying to read your notations years later when they're beginning to fade and be partially erased.
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
  9. RickR

    RickR Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,127
    Likes Received:
    281
    Occupation:
    Consultant
    Location:
    Spokane, WA the great "Inland Northwest"
    RonHebbard likes this.
  10. JohnD

    JohnD Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    2,530
    Likes Received:
    914
    Location:
    north central OK
    RonHebbard likes this.
  11. Aeronaut

    Aeronaut Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Occupation:
    High School Technical Director/Auditorium Manager
    Location:
    Columbia, MO
    In working with high school and community theatre, I have a stock set that are my "go tos" in terms of general washes. We don't have enough fixtures to do a warm and a cool wash (unless we make a specific choice to do so) so we always go with a "gen wash" that is warm. I only use Rosco (learned with that and it's easier to keep track of inventory) colors. When I am teaching the basics to my highschoolers, here's what I use: R02 for plays, R05 or R33 for musicals (sometimes we use R99 for things like Oklahoma, Miracle Worker, etc.). There's always the option to go with something different to fit a particular production. If we need cool wash, I've used R60 or R53. We don't really do a neutral. I have very limited instruments for a very large stage and like to have a lot of color options. Other, (some) more saturated, favorites include: R339, R19, R20, R389, R69. I've recently been playing with the R4000 numbers and really liking them a lot. There are also some in the R2000 (sorry don't have a gel book in front of me) that I like too.

    Full disclosure: I have never been formally trained in light design. Just learned by doing in a community theatre for the last so many years and now pass that knowledge on to my students. So I'm sure there are lots of better options than what I've mentioned. For sure, the previous posts have given you a better standard. Just throwing my two cents into the mix.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  12. macsound

    macsound Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    R54 has always been a go to warm or cool depending on if my front light was 04 or 60, but I always felt like 54 was slightly too saturated.
    Anyone have a fav gel color that's great at acting as well as a warm or cool like 54 does but less saturated?
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  13. Colin

    Colin Active Member

    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    51
    Occupation:
    Technical Director
    Location:
    Eastern Massachusetts
    R51, but that's too pink sometimes. R53/353 maybe, but I don't think the 2-3 digit Roscos excel in this respect other than 54. I'm away from my swatchbooks right now but Lee has a lot of nice light/medium lavenders and I'm also a big fan of the Rosco 4900s, which are nice among other reasons because they follow a color correction format where you can get multiple saturations of the same hue. They really are good true neutrals that can play warm or cool depending on what they're contrasted with, and cut through other washes well when you need them to. Those are the CalColor lavenders but the CalColor blues in the 4200s are nice blues with red in them which can also act as cooler neutrals sometimes.

    I'd also suggest that if R54 is feeling too saturated then that may be a case of not enough output from the fixtures you have. Not always a solvable problem, but if you can add fixtures and at a narrower beam angle or shorter throw, that can get R54 performing as it should.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
    RonHebbard likes this.
  14. Stan Longhofer

    Stan Longhofer Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas
    I tend to like R51 or R52 for a neutral wash. We typically use R02 or 302 for amber washes and R64 for a cool “night” wash.

    I’ve also taken to using R344 for a pink wash combined with R69 as a more saturated blue. I’ve found that when I mix them they blend to a nice neutral, so that with two instruments I can get a full range of wash colors from bright pink, neutral, to blue. Helpful because we have a limited inventory of fixtures and dimmers.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  15. Stan Longhofer

    Stan Longhofer Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas
    I’d be interested to see what other “mixes” the rest of you use when faced with a limited inventory of conventional instruments.
     
  16. macsound

    macsound Member

    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm mostly a musical theatre lighting designer, so my standard I-don't-know-this-show choice of colors is:
    Front Cool R372
    Front Warm R02
    Front High Side Cool R60
    Front High Side Warm R33
    High Side Cool R54
    High Side Warm R11
    Blue Down R83
    Blue Down2 R80
    Red Down R26
     

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