rosco gel color combinations?

Ethan

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Location
Oklahoma
I'm a high school student who is learning about light design, hoping to make a career of it. At the moment I'm working in a high school theatre that is nice, but kind of a mess. The gels in the cat walk light fixtures (?) , the ones that create the even wash down stage.. well, they were just completely burnt, shredded, cracked, holes in them. I replaced them with the scraps of gels that we had, because it's all I had to work with but it's not great.
I now have access to the schools budget to spend on gels so I just need to know what colors use.
the big ellipsoidal (?) I'm not sure what they are called exactly. Well, there are 8 of them in groups of two. basically with the scraps of gel I made it, red, blue, red, blue, red, blue, red, blue. The actual rosco name I'm not sure of. As I expected, there are areas that are sort of red/blue instead of an even white wash.

ALSO there is a row of ellipsoidals in front of them, at least 20 of them. the pattern is red, blue, bastard amber over and over.
I just need to know what I need for an even wash!
It's a little over whelming trying to learn lighting by myself, but I still love it !
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Location
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
Saturated colors are for the most part not that useful to have as a front wash. They come in handy for dance and special effects, but it is better to have warm, cool, and lavender or pink washes in front for most events.
From what I understand, you have groups of two ellipsoidals focused on 4 different areas set up at around 45-90 degrees apart. From what I understand, You have gelled one side an extremely crazy warm color and the other a saturated cool color. This is known as a McCandless wash.

I would suggest saving reds and blues for back and sidelight, as well as special purpose lights you hang when you absolutely need them. For front, move the bastard amber to the light that is currently red, and, if the blue isn't already very pale, replace it with R3202, R60, R62, or R63. For the middle ones that were bastard amber, I presume they are pointed straight ahead at the stage and not at an angle from the side. Those should be lavender, as it is a color which unifies both the warm and cool colors due to it sharing the properties of both. Try R51 (my personal favorite), R52, R53, or R54.
 

JohnD

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Jan 11, 2012
Location
north central OK
Welcome Ethan, all the color media companies have lots of info on their products online, a good place to start.
Mainstage has a PDF available with a very basic intro to lighting:
http://www.mainstage.com/default.asp?ID=49
I would suggest you get ahold of a good textbook, my personal favorite would be something from Richard Pilbrow, the newer text is Stage Lighting Design and the older one from the 1970's is Stage Lighting.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001KMFX2C/?tag=controlbooth-20
You might also want to take a look at posts by @carsonld , he is also a high school student from Oklahoma.
Does your school have anyone in the position of technical director? Is there a college nearby with a theatre department?
 

Fountain Of Euph

Active Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Location
Illinois
Welcome aboard!
I like to use R05 and R79 for my for my front washes. Is your high schools space a multi use venue? If so I would avoid any frontlight color, except durring theater productions. A open wash is fine (and preferred) for concerts and presentations.
In terms of color I like R 79 and R05. I often do not gel my wide angle lights, instead preferring to use my box booms and other front lights.
When I was in high school I we would gel our 10 degree Shakespeares (ugg) with a faded blue.

I say get yourself a swatchbook and start experimenting. Do stay away from the saturated colors though...
 

Ethan

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Location
Oklahoma
We have a technical director, but she is more of a "knows a little bit about a lot of things" kind of person, you should see us try and focus lights together it's very confusing.. still a blast though. Yeah, there are a few local colleges with theatre programs, I'll soon be getting involved with one soon (I'm a senior at the moment) The reason for my question is that for my senior year I am in charge of light design and I'm still so very far away from being an expert! Thanks :)
Welcome Ethan, all the color media companies have lots of info on their products online, a good place to start.
Mainstage has a PDF available with a very basic intro to lighting:
http://www.mainstage.com/default.asp?ID=49
I would suggest you get ahold of a good textbook, my personal favorite would be something from Richard Pilbrow, the newer text is Stage Lighting Design and the older one from the 1970's is Stage Lighting.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001KMFX2C/?tag=controlbooth-20
You might also want to take a look at posts by @carsonld , he is also a high school student from Oklahoma.
Does your school have anyone in the position of technical director? Is there a college nearby with a theatre department?
 

Ethan

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2015
Location
Oklahoma
Welcome aboard!
I like to use R05 and R79 for my for my front washes. Is your high schools space a multi use venue? If so I would avoid any frontlight color, except durring theater productions. A open wash is fine (and preferred) for concerts and presentations.
In terms of color I like R 79 and R05. I often do not gel my wide angle lights, instead preferring to use my box booms and other front lights.
When I was in high school I we would gel our 10 degree Shakespeares (ugg) with a faded blue.

I say get yourself a swatchbook and start experimenting. Do stay away from the saturated colors though...
Thanks! very helpful :)
 

lwinters630

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 12, 2011
Location
west of Chicago
I agree with JohnD get those books, most libraries will have them.

To help you understand why amber and pale blue. White is made from red, green and blue. Amber (pale yellow) is made of red and green. Adding the pale blue you now have white. But by cross lighting actors will have a more natural warm side cool side, much like standing out in the sun, one side will be warmer.

There is lots more to learn and you will enjoy applying it.
Welcome to CB.
 

JChenault

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Location
seattle, wa USA
I agree with JohnD get those books, most libraries will have them.

To help you understand why amber and pale blue. White is made from red, green and blue. Amber (pale yellow) is made of red and green. Adding the pale blue you now have white. But by cross lighting actors will have a more natural warm side cool side, much like standing out in the sun, one side will be warmer.

Welcome to CB.
I assert that this is a "not true" simplification. Your eye perceives white when the color receptors ( which are sort of red, sort of blue, and greenish ) are triggered at approximately equal levels. ( ignoring a number of factors here like color fatigue and accommodation ). Note that the color receptors in your eye overlap. Ie a "red wavelength" will trigger the red AND green receptors,

A color perceived as Amber to the eye might be made up of primarily red and green, or it could just be the frequency between them that your eye perceives as Amber.


I was taught to first decide what color is white for the show. Then pick two colors that when added together give you the white you want ( instead of picking Amber and blue ). My experience is that this way of thinking gives better results. In truth I generally have issues with using Amber and blue as the result ( to my eye ) is typically a bit harsh and does not enhance skin tones.
 

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