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Teaching color

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by derekleffew, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Even though I've replaced my broken "Numeric Edition" LEE Filters swatchbook, I just can't bring myself to throw away all the pieces. Here's what I am thinking:

    Give the following to a prospective lighting designer who wants to learn about color.
    [​IMG]
    Just to make the task more difficult, I've included a "Designers Edition" swatchbook as a guide. And a 1/4-20 x 2" bolt and Nyloc so it won't break again.

    When the student is done with the above, he/she should certainly know something about Lee colors.

    Thoughts/opinions?
     
  2. sloop

    sloop Member

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    Honestly... It won't make him understand color any more than before. Just something to do to a student to waste their time. Find a project that helps them understand color instead of a menial task..
     
  3. ScaredOfHeightsLD

    ScaredOfHeightsLD Active Member

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    I think it does seem a bit like a busy-work task, however, I like the idea of replacing the plastic spindle with a bolt or something of the like.
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Might as well go start up the ditto machine and run off a few worksheets as well.... You can't learn about color just by looking at the swatch book, and know that the colors exist is not really that helpful. Also, knowing the numbers of a given color, also not really that helpful to a designer. If you want to teach them about color, set up a light lab and let them start playing, or have them play with a CMY instrument. Why have someone re-organize a swatch book that you can get for free is kind of beyond me.
     
  5. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    It would definitely get them very acquainted with the nuances of color media, if they hopefully noticed which blues were more green or which reds were more orange, etc. etc. Though I would make the assignment more to go through and notice the subtle differences than putting together the swatch book, that does seem a bit frustrating.

    Unless you locked them in an empty room with a single bare bulb and a metal chair and told them that they had only 10 hours to put together the swatchbook until "angry Bob" was released from the cage suspended above their head....
     
  6. Goph704

    Goph704 Active Member

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    that's how I learned about color......ahh the good old days with angry Bob. I still have some of the scars. What might help if Angy Bob is busy though, is getting a rosco and a gam swatch and having said intern compare transmission rates, gel thickness, and diffusion and what not. Then have them make a color conversion chart and send it my way, ( I've been hunting one I can post for the past week. I guess it's time to call my local dealer.)

    and that's my
    2 cents.

    Goph
     
  7. CynicWhisper

    CynicWhisper Member

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    One day, as the only tech intern at my theatre, I was told I needed to pick out gels for the LD and load in the next day. Easy enough, right? Well, no. I was pointed toward a huge filing cabinet with various folders in it, but based on the looks of it, it had not been organized in years. I spent three hours on the dimmer room floor with a swatchbook sorting and trying to find specific gels for that LD. Well, I'll never forget the colors and such.

    It was three torturous long hours, but I know the difference between rosco, lee and gam colors and I will never forget the exact hue of every single color the LD had chosen. So it wasn't a lot of fun, and at the time it was busy work, but it did in three hours what I'm assuming would otherwise take months of just looking at a gel book.
     
  8. Charc

    Charc Well-Known Member

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    I've tried doing that, but it's [email protected]$# hard to sort when you don't have a GAM swatchbook, and half or more of the gel is GAM. I just sorta guessed "This looks like faded R80", etc..
     
  9. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    Take one swatchbook apart, and put all the gels in one pile, and the labels in the other. Have the student match the colors to the correct label by looking at the SED curve... Angry Bob can be involved somewhere in the process... :mrgreen:

    I know the hardest part of colors for me as a young, foolish designer is trying to visualize the difference between the color of the gel you hold in your hand, and the extremely different, and far brighter color that shines on you once that gel is put into a light. I've played with putting the swatch in front of the light, but it hasn't worked too well. Something to help in that area might be nice. (I wouldn't know how to do it...)
     
  10. erosing

    erosing The Royal Renaissance Man

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    I completely agree here, I too had this problem, it was something that took me designing a show just by using swatch books and then switching gels continuously until I got closer to figuring it out, and I didn't really grasp that there was a huge difference from the swatch and the reality of it being in the actual fixture until the second performance. Then it finally started to look good.
     
  11. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Here's the link to my Lux/Lee/Gam PDF. If you want the original MS Excel workbook, shoot me an email. All four manufacturers have conversion db's on their websites, some more user-friendly than others.
     
  12. CynicWhisper

    CynicWhisper Member

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    Could someone just briefly explain the SED (?) curve for me. Never quite got that...
     
  13. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    CynicWhisper, see this Rosco link.

    Today I rec'd in the mail a new Numeric Edition LEE Filters book, which I had requested via their website last week? when my other one broke. It also came with a 3" CD, (I guess they don't want Mac user's business) containing 37Mbs of PDFs. I'll save those for light reading during a show.

    Personally, I find sorting, filing, and cutting color to be very relaxing. One the last show I saved my company well over $100 in materials and shipping, not to mention labor, by pulling the Spot Colors from stock, and many were even framed. Anyone have a clever way to cut a nine-inch circle? I'm thinking maybe of a beam compass with a suction cup at the center and a blade at the circumference...
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  14. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Nine inch circle of 1/4" maso - go around the outside edge with your favorite gel cutting knife. Simple, easy, repeatable, no gadget to break down or not work properly. However, you do need a table/work surface underneath that you won't mind getting scratches in.
     
  15. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    I like how one time I broke down and didn't use the cutting board in the booth (it was too loud, and during rehearsal) and took the gel outside to the hallway to cut it on the linoleum floor. I was worried that someone would get mad at me...until I noticed the countless thousands of cut marks on the floor when people had done the same thing.
     
  16. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    I've cut color on the carpet of some of the most piss-elegant hotel ballrooms in the country. If you don't have a 24"x24" paper cutter handy, I highly suggest a scrap of low-pile (what we used to call "indoor/outdoor") carpet. Table-sized Marley scraps work nicely too, for a work surface covering (and no fears of static-discharge).

    [user]soundlight[/user], I already have the 9" plain ring of the frame, so a circle of 1/4" maso is kind of redundant. I like to trace the circle on the color sheets with Sharpie™, but then it appears silly to cut out circles with blunt-point scissors while being paid what I am--too much like Art&Crafts class. I feel there's too much inherent danger in using a sharp utility knife or single-edged razor blade to cut a circle, tracing around anything. Now if I could find any color frame with a 9" interior opening...

    Some like to completely frame the square and then trim the edges, but I hate wasting that "fifth wheel" in the center, even though rarely do I frame color for 5 spots. [user]SteveB[/user], how do you cut color for your 1293s?

    Yes, just like "What size adj. wrench should I carry?", one can over-think the color cutting process to death as well. Who said "The devil's in the details"?
     

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