Shiny & Special Surfaces

drawstuf99

Active Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2006
I am currently designing scenery and lighting for a production of The Wizard of Oz. One question I'm facing now when its coming down to building materials is how and which various surfaces can be painted in the multitude of ways that the show is calling for.

My question involves the current layout of The Emerald City: One of the show decks will be a dark green checkerboard which will be visible for the entire second act of the production. Embedded in it are a few lines of small chaser lights. So, my primary question is how to make it as glossy and shiny as seen in the image below. I was thinking polyurethane because it can be cheap and fairly easily applied over the checkerboard pattern. The only concern I had was time of drying and ventilation in the process.

On a similar note, the facing of the palace wall/bridge is a corrugated material (plastic preferably for weight). I also want this to have a shine to it; however, not as strong as the floor. My concern was of course painting and applying something to plastic...I'm kind of at a loss for ideas here. Perhaps I'm just overlooking something simple.

Below is a rough rendering with most of the major scenic pieces. Hopefully you can get an idea of what I'm looking for. Thanks for help in advance!
 

Attachments

avkid

Not a New User
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Location
Howell, NJ
To be quite honest, I would make the whole thing out of Lexan with green film.
 
  • Like
Reactions: drawstuf99

icewolf08

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Location
Lititz, PA
First off, what is your time frame? I would paint up a few small floor swatches in the checker-board pattern (don't have to be bigger than 2'x2') and test out different finishes. Try the polyurethane, try some of the high gloss acrylics. Also, it may help to start with a high gloss paint. You can test things like dry times and such at the same time, and figure out what works best.

For the wall, I would build it like a flat, out of wood, then wallpaper it with green mylar. That will give you the smooth shiny surface and will probably cost less than plastic.
 
  • Like
Reactions: drawstuf99

drawstuf99

Active Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2006
Yes-I was hoping to go and buy some various types of paints and polyurethanes this weekend and get some samples made but was curious if any other products I wasn't aware of might work. Mylar! How did that slip my mind--excellent, thanks for that advice! It can look wonderful but also be fairly cheap.

The Lexan would be nice; however, the pricing is quite steep. Still, though, there are some pieces I am looking into using plastics for accents...etc. Plastic, plexi-glass, lexan...etc. and other materials are something I'm hardly familiar with at all but would love to learn more about; just, not sure if this is the caliber of show to spend that time on. Who knows? Maybe it is.

Thanks again guys
 

DarSax

Active Member
Joined
May 3, 2006
Location
Bethesda MD
Well since your signature lists you as a lighting designer, I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I hope you know what you're getting into by making a reflective floor with stage lighting :eek: That sort of thing would scare me a bit without a lot of time for trial and error
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
Don't forget good old Rosco High Gloss Glaze. We did a set in college using three coats of the stuff and it was amazing.

As for the wall material Coroplast... Corrugated Plastic Sheeting. Comes in 4'x8' sheets and Green is a stock color. It can be back lit to glow a little depending on the color of the material. Isn't too expensive either.
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
Well since your signature lists you as a lighting designer, I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I hope you know what you're getting into by making a reflective floor with stage lighting :eek: That sort of thing would scare me a bit without a lot of time for trial and error
Never be afraid of glossy floors, white surfaces and neon costumes, instead embrace the opportunites they give you for lighting. Some of the best lighting has been done on glossy floors. The trick is not to only front light it....and since you never want to do that anyway (unless its a recital) you should be fine.
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
That's some pretty cool stuff, how much of a dent in the wallet?
Most of it's normal applications are for products that sell really cheap. I haven't used it myself so I can't tell you the price but I'm sure the shipping is almost as much as the material. A designer I know did a college show with a bunch of the clear stuff. It was supposed to be a modern take on a traditional Japanese home with the paper wall panels. He set it up with multiple lights on each panel so he could mix colors of the walls. The clear stuff is sort of like a frosted bathroom window. It takes color really well but you can't quite see through it. You do see all the lines of the internal ribs. That idea would be really sweet with a few LED's instruments. I've got it stored in the back of my head for just the right show.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DarSax

DarSax

Active Member
Joined
May 3, 2006
Location
Bethesda MD
Wow, gaff, nice find! Looks like a great, SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper alternative to frosted plexi! As you said, you can see the ribs, but still, that's great stuff.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
Roscos' Gloss, Semi and Flat glazes are great products. First of you can/should thin the heck out of them, so the pricing should really be based on how thick of a coat you want to put on. Second, you can tint the glaze! Yes, imagine you base you green floor tiles, then put down two coats of rosco gloss glaze, that have been slightly tinted with Thalo Green pigment. Then one or two more thin coats of of straight clear glaze. the resulting finish will give a depth and luster to your floor, that you just can't get with a single application product. For maintenance of the floor; After you have let the paint cure for a day or two, come back with "Future, Acrylic" floor cleaner. Apply two coats as per the instructions. Once the future is down you can remove any scuff marks with a simple damp mop and a little ammonia. The ammonia actually pulls up the acrylic, so you will hae to recoat those areas with Future, but it's quick, dries fast, and is better than having to re-paint the entire floor to cover a few scuff marks.
The Rosco glaze could also be used on the corrogated plastic, though I would suggest priming the plastic with a shellac based paint such as Zissners Bulls Eye or just standard 4# shellac.

Hope that helps a little.
 

drawstuf99

Active Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2006
Thank you guys for the suggestions! It's great. As for knowing about shiny floors...yes. They can be a pain, but I think for the right show, something that dramatic can work in one's favor.

That coroplast stuff looks cool. I'm going to look into that.
 

Logos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Location
Launceston Tasmania
The trick is not to only front light it....and since you never want to do that anyway (unless its a recital) you should be fine.
Slight change of subject.

Why only front light a recital. I used to have major problems with classical musicians who hated having lights in their eyes and had to have overheads so they could read the dots. I prefer to overhead in a open white and have a face light wash in a nice light pastel like say L152 (pale Gold).

Back to your original subject. I agree completely that reflective sets are an opportunity not a problem. Use the bounce don't fight it.
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
Slight change of subject.
Why only front light a recital. I used to have major problems with classical musicians who hated having lights in their eyes and had to have overheads so they could read the dots. I prefer to overhead in a open white and have a face light wash in a nice light pastel like say L152 (pale Gold).
Back to your original subject. I agree completely that reflective sets are an opportunity not a problem. Use the bounce don't fight it.
Really more of me just making a jerky comment than a real reason. Just being a little silly
 

Logos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Location
Launceston Tasmania
OK I can understand that. I used to take great pleasure with a couple of conductors I knew doing little things with lights that made them slighly uncomfortable but didn't affect the players that I could justify if I got a complaint.

Now you young ones on the booth you really must not do this. It's very bad behaviour and deserves a smack especially if you get caught.
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
OK I can understand that. I used to take great pleasure with a couple of conductors I knew doing little things with lights that made them slighly uncomfortable but didn't affect the players that I could justify if I got a complaint.
Now you young ones on the booth you really must not do this. It's very bad behaviour and deserves a smack especially if you get caught.
Here's the thing to remember with conductors and conductor specials.....They don't need to be at full....put them ant 80% and tell the conductor its full. Then every night while you're doing Q notes drop the level by 5 or 10 % until its at 40. This way everyone gets what they want!
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
Here's the thing to remember with conductors and conductor specials.....They don't need to be at full....put them ant 80% and tell the conductor its full. Then every night while you're doing Q notes drop the level by 5 or 10 % until its at 40. This way everyone gets what they want!
Great advice... that should go in the Wiki too! ;)
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO

Charc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
NewWiki=Ways to get what you want....LD asks you to soften focus/move light a hair...shake light.
gaff I like this idea for a wiki
As I learned today at my internship: this is so true!

I was attempting to focus a 360Q, the LD called for me to run in the barrel. I spent about a full 30 seconds trying to unscrew the barrel lock, but it turns out a gorilla tightened it, so I couldn't get it loose. Anyways, after 30 seconds the LD said "Lock it there, yep, that was it, good work!", stupid me said "I didn't move the barrel, it's stuck..." he said "Oh, musta slipped, but it's good now".
:lol:

What else did I learn today? Touching 6" Fresnels at full leads to minor burns. I can't yoke out an instrument without a speed-wrench. B Size patterns don't fit in 360Qs (Or is that A size? Oh well, 'tis not my mistake, ME miss-ordered by accident.) When there is a smoke break I'm one of two people left in the theatre. Daisy chaining strip lights. Oh, some sort of wood or plastic composite three-fer. How to relamp a S4. Some cool things about how an LD calls out stuff during focus. And about a billion things on working in Philly, theatres around here, the union around here, house vs touring crews, etc.

Actually now that I think about it, I'm learning a lot, much more than I've listed.
 
Last edited: