Using Gobos with Border Lights

stantonsound

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Feb 18, 2005
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If you are speaking of cyc or strip lights, then sorry....no. The beam of light in an ellipsoidal is reflected and focused through the lens and the gobo is put into the path of light at the necessary point before it goes through the lens. (thus the name GOBO, GOes Before Optics). You can't put a gobo in a fresnel, par, etc...
 
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Sean

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Jun 9, 2007
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Alexandria, VA
In short, no.

You need the focusing optics of an Ellipsoidal to project a Gobo.

Take a step back. What effect are you trying to create? There could be another way to get what you're looking for.

Tell us more: Do you know the model, or can you find out (or take a photo) of the lights? Are the units out of sightlines?

--Sean
 

DHSLXOP

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Dec 25, 2006
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
In short, no.
You need the focusing optics of an Ellipsoidal to project a Gobo.
Take a step back. What effect are you trying to create? There could be another way to get what you're looking for.
Tell us more: Do you know the model, or can you find out (or take a photo) of the lights? Are the units out of sightlines?
--Sean
For the effect--I just want to be able to put gobos on our cyc (its a broadway song show, so I wanted to put some broadway like gobos at different times on the cyc)
This is the model http://www.theaterlighting.net/images/borderlight.jpg
And yes, they are out of sightlines
 

Sean

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Alexandria, VA
OK, well, that won't work.

Can you hang the units further downstage on a boom? Then project over the heads of the actors onto the cyc?

You could also do this from the house if you have a low box boom position.

In a real pinch (and you'll have to figure out the positioning carefully to not be catching the actors in the lights and casting shadows): put a couple lekos on floor plates and put them out on the apron to the sides--like footlights.

That make sense?

--Sean
 

DHSLXOP

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Fort Lauderdale, FL
OK, well, that won't work.
Can you hang the units further downstage on a boom? Then project over the heads of the actors onto the cyc?
You could also do this from the house if you have a low box boom position.
In a real pinch (and you'll have to figure out the positioning carefully to not be catching the actors in the lights and casting shadows): put a couple lekos on floor plates and put them out on the apron to the sides--like footlights.
That make sense?
--Sean
It will be difficult to use the floor because its kind of an odd shaped stage, and hanging on another electric may be possible, but is there a way to put the fixture lower than the actual electric? (Because if not, i'd be hitting a border that can't be flown out)
 

Sean

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Alexandria, VA
It will be difficult to use the floor because its kind of an odd shaped stage, and hanging on another electric may be possible, but is there a way to put the fixture lower than the actual electric? (Because if not, i'd be hitting a border that can't be flown out)
Yes... but would that put the light in sightlines? Would that be ok?

I really think you should explore the "in the wing on a boom" idea.

Or, not to shoot holes in your design idea: Is there another way to get the _idea_ across without something as literal as a gobo _telling_ the audience the "where/when" of the scene?


--Sean
 

gafftaper

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A "vertical extension tube" will do it, but they are a little hard to find. These are from www.CityTheatrical.com.


A side arm is probably the most common way to do this, they are available at any rental place for a few bucks or for sale for about $20 depending on the length and type. ... can't get the picture to work... here's a link. You remove the C-clamp from the instrument and bolt it to the side arm, then use the C-clamp on the other end of the side arm to attach it to the pipe.
 
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DHSLXOP

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Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Yes... but would that put the light in sightlines? Would that be ok?
I really think you should explore the "in the wing on a boom" idea.
Or, not to shoot holes in your design idea: Is there another way to get the _idea_ across without something as literal as a gobo _telling_ the audience the "where/when" of the scene?
--Sean
Its a camp show for the other campers (at a non theater camp...so I'm not really worried about "telling the story.") I'm more or less trying for the "eye candy"...you know, trying to keep the kids interested in the show when they are not performing. Any other ideas of how to do eye candy type things?
 

gafftaper

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Sean's right it can make your sight lines a little ugly having a couple lights hanging down. Can you change the trim on your borders to hide these lights? A friend I was helping recently did a gobo from quite a ways off stage using a wide angle instrument... it will keystone significantly but that's another approach to consider if you don't care about keystoning.
 

stantonsound

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Feb 18, 2005
Location
Charlotte
If you can't hand below the pipe, can you hang on top of it. I do this a great deal to hide fixtures from sight lines. The problem, as gafftaper just said, is the keystone effect.

As a sidenote, dropping in a city skyline or theatre district type gobo (Like the picture below) into the standard slot (non-moving), and putting in a dichroic in a rotator in the rotator/iris slot gives a great effect! It is a cheap way of making the lights look like they are flashing/chasing.

Below is an Apollo gobo and dichroic!
 

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icewolf08

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Lititz, PA
Could be just me coming into this thread a little late, but it seems like a lot of advice has been given about using units that we don't know if they exist or not. Back in the first few posts it was mentioned that the unit in question was an Altman strip-light. IN this case, it doesn't really matter where you put it as you don't have any patter projection capability. Thus, unless you have more ERS units to work with it is a moot point. If you do have ERS units to work with, then disregard what I was just saying.

Now, I realize that you want to project some broadway-esque images on your cyc, but if all you have is the strip-lights then here is an idea. It is possible to break up the light so that you get some patterns on your cyc using, what in TV, are often know as cookies. Basically it is a piece of plywood that is cut with abstract patterns and placed in front of lights to break it up a little. I have seen this used mostly in conjunction with fresnels, but the concept could work with your strip-lights. It of course will only give you abstract patters at best, but it will make it more visually interesting.
 

DHSLXOP

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Dec 25, 2006
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Could be just me coming into this thread a little late, but it seems like a lot of advice has been given about using units that we don't know if they exist or not. Back in the first few posts it was mentioned that the unit in question was an Altman strip-light. IN this case, it doesn't really matter where you put it as you don't have any patter projection capability. Thus, unless you have more ERS units to work with it is a moot point. If you do have ERS units to work with, then disregard what I was just saying.
Now, I realize that you want to project some broadway-esque images on your cyc, but if all you have is the strip-lights then here is an idea. It is possible to break up the light so that you get some patterns on your cyc using, what in TV, are often know as cookies. Basically it is a piece of plywood that is cut with abstract patterns and placed in front of lights to break it up a little. I have seen this used mostly in conjunction with fresnels, but the concept could work with your strip-lights. It of course will only give you abstract patters at best, but it will make it more visually interesting.
I do have the ability to use the other units (though they may be hard to connect to my dimmer system) I like the cookie idea, but, that may be difficult to do unless i could find someone who could carve into wood well.

We have a FOH pipe that is usually used for front light, but I may be able to put a gobo in a fixture there, but I'm not sure if the angle would work well.
 

gafftaper

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First question: Do you have a budget of any size for this? There are all kinds of possibilities if you've got a few hundred bucks. (For example, Renting one moving light and a hazer could do a lot for your show.) Or is this all home brew $50 budget? There are options there as well they just take a little more work.

Second Question: Could you give us a little more info on the system itself. Do you have empty dimmer circuits? Are there extra lighting instruments in the inventory to work with or do you have to rent everything? What type of lighting control console do you have? Do you have any "toys" like gobo rotators, I-cues, color scrollers to work with?

Third Question: You made a comment about it being hard to connect something to the dimmer system. Why is this a problem?
 

DHSLXOP

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Dec 25, 2006
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
First question: Do you have a budget of any size for this? There are all kinds of possibilities if you've got a few hundred bucks. (For example, Renting one moving light and a hazer could do a lot for your show.) Or is this all home brew $50 budget? There are options there as well they just take a little more work.
Second Question: Could you give us a little more info on the system itself. Do you have empty dimmer circuits? Are there extra lighting instruments in the inventory to work with or do you have to rent everything? What type of lighting control console do you have? Do you have any "toys" like gobo rotators, I-cues, color scrollers to work with?
Third Question: You made a comment about it being hard to connect something to the dimmer system. Why is this a problem?

1: I have a somewhat decent budget (around $1000), but its money that I have been saving up to buy lights, so if I buy something, I need it to be decent in quality, and something that I can use in multiple shows (not just this one).

2: There are empty dimmers that (hopefully work-there are no lights plugged in, but I'm assuming they work) are on the electric. We have lighting instruments that can kind of be moved around the different electrical, but the majority of the second and third are border lights (there are only 3 electrics--1st includes lekos and fresnels; 2nd are not gelled border lights used as downlight but has additional dimmers for additional fixtures; 3rd is all borderlights gelled with different colors for the cyc) The console that we are using is an edi minstrel and we don't have any toys (sadly).

3: The problem is that by putting a fixture on the ground, the nearest dimmer is either 20 feet up or 20 feet to the wall.
 

Charc

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Feb 14, 2007
Since you seem a little thrown by the extension cord I wanted to throw out there that you shouldn't make your own extension cord, unless you are going to use the proper gauge and rated parts. I wouldn't introduce an off the shelf home-depot extension cord into my lighting system. I could be wrong, so don't quote me, but I believe you'd want to use 12 gauge, as the rest of your lighting system is probably rated at 20 amps / 2,400 watts. Why introduce a weak leg into your system?

(They can be bought of course too.)