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Stripe me pink!

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by dimwatt, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. dimwatt

    dimwatt Member

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    Well, blue actually.

    I'm at the planning stage of a production of Aladdin, a classic pantomime, a really fun show with lots of lighting effects and pyro.

    I've got most of the effects covered, but I'm looking for ideas for one thing the director has asked me to do. At one point in the show our hero, Aladdin, says to the Genie of the Ring "Well stripe me pink!" (a reference to the 1930's Alf's Button Afloat. Unfortunatelty the Genie, not being very good at magic and not understanding the phrase, stripes Aladdin blue.

    So for about seven seconds the star of the show has to be covered in blue stripes, and it's up to me to deliver this effect.

    The young lady playing the title role (principal boy is always a girl in panto, just as the older women are played by men), is not lightly built - which makes for a larger target :) and she has promised that she can stand still for the duration.

    My initial thoughts are to use a profile spot with a home made pie dish gobo (half a dozen vertical slots) sharply focussed, and a nice strong blue gel, while dimming the other lights. But I'm not convinced that the effect will be strong enough. Other thoughts have strayed to thinking about his costume and whether some material could be attached to it that will remain neutral until I shine some blue light on it.

    I'd really like to see if anyone else can come up with some other ideas, or suggest why these would or wouldn't work. It's panto, so realism can easily be thrown out of the window for a few seconds.

    As ever I'm on a tight budget, and have limited time to experiment, so I'd like to start off down a path that's close to the right one if possible.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Perhaps Rosco scenics "Invisible blue" paint ? this could be applied to the costume for sure, and you might be able to use one of many commercially availble "invisible" UV make-ups then just hit her with a UV light. even in a decently lit scene Roscos invisible blue punches out quite a bit of luminosity, or is that flour-osity, anyway it's really bright. Good luck.
    BTW Traditional Pantomime is a favorite of mine personally, I love A company of Wayward Saints.
     
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  3. u_dakka

    u_dakka Member

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    my only thoughts would be down the UV route - which theatre u putting it on in (if it's close enough i may come and watch to see what u do)

    andy
     
  4. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    If you have no other blue and white light on stage, blue in a costume color normally becomes grey or something other than blue. You will have to experiment some for what transmission level and color mixtures allow for this. Under normal conditions of what you find does not make the blue a blue but instead some form of brown or grey, than what is now a grey stripe or black or just not all that important striping to the costume than once the high intensity blue light hits it, such a color instantly becomes blue. Go for silk or say rayon for better color saturation in depth.

    Otherwise if you want blue, perhaps a white costume that's hit under the blue striped pattern. You could play test other colors but mostly white would work best. Read up on color mixing in any lighting book. Click a high intensity blue striped light on and it should be sufficient to make him striped in blue. Could be sufficient if otherwise you were to go with a very bold blue gobo and gel for striping. Perhaps just Venetian Blinds as a gobo pattern with blue gel.

    In both conditions, lower the intensity of most of the rest of the stage lighting some at a rapid rate for a few moments while the effect is at hand but don’t totally remove it. Start the slow fade up back to normal lighting once the lines about blue stripes are said.

    Overall, this type of effect probably does not have to be as localized as one might assume. Stage convention goes a long way in a lighting effective joke. Sure soften the edges some so it’s not a hard edge spot perhaps by way of double gelling with of one bold blue gel and perhaps a frosted donut hole cut out of the center gel so you keep the pattern bold but have feathered edges to it. For the effect however, a beam of light needs to be very bright but could wash some about the stage.

    Arco Starch due to the phosphors in it should also help the effect if not using some form of silk. Another solution would be to just wash the entire stage in light with a fine bold blue striping. Have the brightest amount of light on the talent but a certain amount of striped blue wash all over the stage.


    Beyond that, and if budget and necessity is there, or a wish for a better effect, perhaps going with some blue black light fabric dyes or paints (Rosco & Wildfire) which are invisible up until you turn on the black light lamps. I would think timing would be sufficient that you could use normal black light or black light blue fluorescents for this (slightly less efficient especially if the home center black light blue as opposed to UV only, black light and don't use incandescent A-Lamp black light lamps for this) and just turn them on as opposed to doing some form of arc source light from a Wild Fire (amongst various brands) like wash light with DMX douser for a snap on and off.

    Unless you need instant on and off and high output thus the maximum effect, the fluorescents be fine. Such UV fixtures will have lots of output but the effect might be sufficient without them. Such fluorescents should also work fine under a dimmer channel and controlled by the light board. This if put into switch mode or even on the dimmer.

    If you wanted to make the effect bolder, don’t just do blue, black light phosphor paint say white or what ever the other color of the costume is also. Say a beige costume, in some way make it a black light blue and beige that comes from the effect over that of just blue popping. This artistically at least in my thoughts would be more bold by way of his costume and makeup very much popping 100% as opposed to just 50% popping.
     
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  5. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    I see no reason why a sharply-focused bar-like gobo (basically a gobo that projects vertical/horizontal stripes), proivded it was used with a strong enough light source, would not work. I haven't seen the UV-Paint in use, but I haven't the slightest why a simple gobo-gel combination would not work
     
  6. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    it might be out of your range price wise but I think a glass gobo would be the best solution, it would give you the crispest lines between the colors.
     
  7. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    I'd say it would be a lot easier to rig that on one of the followspots. You can easily make a gobo for it, and you can put as many blue gels as you want on taped right onto it. Usually followspots are a lot brighter than an ERS, (depending on the kind of each) but, it would also could follow Aladin around. I'm guessing you will already have him spotted, so the operator can just slap up the stripes, then slap them back down. But, if you have really bad spot operators, every slight move they make will be really noticable.
     
  8. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    I'd skip attempting to get a ellipsoidal with a gobo focused on the performer, not enough surface area on the costume for the gobo image to be seen by the audience.

    Instead, I'd come up with a template wash for the floor and/or walls (if there's a set) made up of a blue wash, with no color striped template images overlaid on the blue. Do the whole stage including wherever the performer is standing. The audience will get the message.

    SB
     
  9. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Just for the expirience you should try this to see what happens. If you go back to basics and study a little about photometrics you're going to find that what you are suggesting is impossible. I'll be happy to explain if you want but personally I'd rather you try it out on your own and figure out why it didn't work. I'm not slamming you, I think that what you've done is make a common assumption.
     
  10. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    I think this is possible the best and most practical idea so far. Assuming you have the fixtures available, I would agree with Steve.
     
  11. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    The easiest is to go with the uv solution. Getting a UV double tube that you just turn on to bring up the color will be quick will really stand out, and is simple. It allows you to have the performer be off their mark a bit and still work. It will be far more dramatic and simpler.

    Sharyn
     
  12. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    I see two problems with UV.
    1: It would be rather annoying (IMHO) to paint actor and actors clothing with the UV paint.
    2: making that effect flow into the scene. Actor says stripe me pink and the entire stage lights go out and the UV comes on. I mean, it would work, but to me it seems a little elaborate and like a rather harsh change for an effect that should be more flowing in the scene.

    I agree that if you have an entire wash of blue stripe gobos, you could do a cross fade as a 1.5 or so, bringing that gobo wash up without doing much to your standard stage wash. This would allow for a much more flowing effect, and, come on, hes a genie, of course the effect would be flowing.


    I think UV has times when it works well, but I also think people over-use it because it can be a "cool effect".
     
  13. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Have you ever used UV paint's in a theatrical setting ? Invisible blue will pop through a mild light que like nobodies business. Of course that's inferring that you are using a decent wildfire or high output UV fixture.
     
  14. egorleski

    egorleski Member

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    Another thing you could try is less of a lighting effect persay. If you get some blue ropelight and sew them into the costume, give the actor the controler and with the line he flips the switch and his costume lights up blue stripes and then they go off as needed.
     
  15. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    Aladdin usually doesn't have a really big costume since he is a male in Arabia, were it is hot, and (like in the Disney movie), may just wear a vest, or whatever that may be moderatley revealing... When he meets the genie, he is still poor, so the already slightly immodest clothes will be rags, or whatever the costume designer wants. It would be hard to conceal and set up rope lights in that kind of a costume, and at least the actors I have worked with have never been very succesfull at their own effects.
     
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    While I like the UV idea, and would explre that option. My first thought was what about some LED's or fiber optic sewn into the costume. Talk it over with the costume designer and see if they have any ideas. LED's are small enough to not be seen at a distance, powerful, and could be powered off a small battery pack.
     

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