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Wicked

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by raeraeiam, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. raeraeiam

    raeraeiam Member

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    So Concert Choir decided to do Wicked for their Pops Concert this year.
    Sounds great and all, but I've got to figure out to get all those cool effects with the lights. Just a few questions, to start out.
    I've lit the cyc before, but usually just one solid color, and generally I was never able to produce a very even wash. Any suggestions? We use Altman Sky Cycs (4 cells), four each across the front of the cyc, about 8 ft away, usually each color has one cell, and if its possible i'll put a few cyc lights on the floor to even out the wash.
    I'd really like to get a solid wash for this, and also i'd like to try something like this:
    [​IMG]
    another thing is, we're planning on constructing a huge clock like the one in the background here:
    [​IMG]
    we're going to put it behind the cyc, and im wondering whats the best way to light it from behind? should i use a cyc light? i assume it should be near the center of the clock so it doesnt get too distorted?
    if anyone has any help for me, i would greatly appreciate it!! also, if you have any cool ideas i'd love to hear them!! :grin:
    Thanks!!!
     
  2. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to sound like "that guy," but I was talking with the crew for Wicked in Chicago, and most of those effects were done with projections. Sorry, I'm more of a sound guy and havn't done any lighting for quite a few years, so I wouldn't know how to go around creating those. I see you're in Illinois, take a day trip to Chicago. Wicked is at the Oriental theater, and there's a drawing to get front-row tickets for $25. Go see the show, see firsthand how they do it, and talk with the crew, I'm sure you'll get more ideas from them than I can give you.
     
  3. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Push your fixtures out further downstage to get an even wash, if you can that is. How much space do you have US of your cyc, because the farther back the better if you want to back light it. When you hang that piece, make sure it rides right up against your cyc otherwise the image that it produces will look very odd (forced prospectiveish). The best thing to do would be to light it with a single source that fills the cyc evenly. You might want to look into doing some sort of projection to get the same effect.
     
  4. raeraeiam

    raeraeiam Member

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    of course im going to see it! i've been searching youtube for clips and im going to see it with the choir feb 25 and with the drama club sometime in march. im not so sure a projection would work because some genius decided to put our projecter in an odd place so it doesnt really cover the whole cyc. oh well.. do you think the background with the two colors is a projection?? (im also not necessarily looking to do what Wicked did, but try to imitate the look as best as i can)
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Split cycs are usually done with a ground row and an electric of cyc type fixtures.
     
  6. Foxinabox10

    Foxinabox10 Active Member

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    How tall is your cyc? I was able to light a 20' tall cyc evenly only from above from about 5 or 6 feet away using the same Altman Sky Cycs. I used 4-5 across the 40' width.
     
  7. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    The cyc effect isn't really that hard the split would be accomplished with some alternative addressing. As opposed to 1234,1234,1234,1234 for 4 strips it would be 1234,1234,5678,5678, to get control of both sides of the stage < I hope I'm not stating the obvious here. If I am please forgive me. > Got a nifty trick for evening out the color and getting a lot more depth from a cyc from Gordon Pearlman on our current show. He dropped a scrim in front of the cyc. it adds a ton of depth to the "picture" presented by the cyc. the strips are in between the scrim and the cyc. I have a ton of Ideas for you for the clock effects but is does depend on the answers to some of the previously posted questions.
    A. how big is your Cyc.
    B. How big do you want your clock.
    C. How much room do you have behind your cyc.
    D. How much are you willing to spend.
    E. How many projectors do you own

    Hmm answer those and I might have a couple of ideas to throw your way.
     
  8. KaR356i

    KaR356i Member

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    I'm pretty sure, though not positive, that that pic of the two color cyc is achieved by only using the groundrow. There's nothing comming from the top in that particular shot, that's why you see the dark 'V' shape in the middle, and the brightest color is at the bottom... it fades to darkness the higher it gets. Now, they probably have some kind of cyc light on an electric as well, to get an entire wash of the cyc when they want it, but maybe not if they're using a lot of projections.

    To get the two color cyc, just split up your channels. SL blue, SR blue, etc. If you don't have enough dimmers on your electric or wherever you are plugging in the groundrow, just pay attention to how you two-fer and try to get it divided into SL and SR if you can.

    It takes more channels to do it that way, and it may be a pain to run up two channels instead of one channel to get one solid color. But if you split it up into SL and SR, you're gonna get to play with it A LOT more! You'll get a lot more color combinations that way, especially if you can do a ground row in addition to your regular cyclights on the electric.

    also, it's kinda fun to put gobos in some sort of elipsoidal (ETC s4, whatever you have). You can hang those on the electric like highsides, or put them on the ground near the corners of the cyc and shoot them up at an angle on the cyc. The distortion of the gobos can look pretty interesting depending on the mood you're looking for.

    Have fun!
     
  9. v75vette

    v75vette Member

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    Van,

    I'd like to hear a little more about the Scrim in front of the cyc to add depth to the image. Such as distances from the scrim to the cyc, what color scrim and any pictures if you have them.

    Thanks

    Sorry for the hijac.
     
  10. raeraeiam

    raeraeiam Member

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    err.. I'll try, but a lot of that is decided by the musical director, and seeing as this is pretty early he might not even know. I don't know how big the cyc is and I have no idea how big the clock would be, we're having the technical director for the drama club build it (apparently he said it would be easy, even though it seems like it would be difficult..?), so money would really be more of his concern. We only have one projector, and it's not placed in the best spot, I cannot imagine getting it large enough without it shining on the people on stage. As far as the room behind the cyc, I can answer that! Currently there's about 5-6 ft, but it can always be moved and may need to be, in either direction (preferably downstage, though). Sorry I don't have many answers, but as I said, I'm not sure my director would even know.
    Rae
     
  11. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Normally, your design is your own art concept, but I think the above advice in seeing another production of it is excellent advice. Look more towards the overall effect on you than worrying about how they did it however. Get the concept and art to convey as another artist selectively chose to show to you in the audience and than select your own way of conveying what you enjoyed or thought important.

    Contact the theater and tell them your intent and request a tour after the show, or if they say they can't help you, contact Local #2 IATSE and see if they can help get you a after show tour given your interest and upcoming show. Believe the Oriental is a IA shop... going thru the IA office would be another way of getting the tour and talking with the guys that made the magic. First sit and see the show out of enjoyment, than if possible see it again to study not in reproduction of someone else's magic but in study of what's important and how someone else chose to solve similar design issues.

    Remember that every production is different. Your director might just not take the same path to end result as this director for this professional show took. Put your director on the stage of this production and it would be no more of magic than this production into your space with it's director with you designing. See the art, see the director/designer intent, don't copy or reproduce.

    In fact, reproduction of a designer's images on this website is against copywrite and against the rules of the forum. What you have posted for all intensive purposes is while needed for clairity in your questions still against copywrite laws if the designer did not give you permission to post it. While it makes the intent of your questions very clear in graphically asking how you do such things, it also in some ways violates the artistic design of the designer and by way of asking how to re-produce it on your stage, also violates your own and the designer's design in origionality.

    So, in having seen the photos that help convey your question, my answers are for the most part base and based upon your Altman cycs.

    You say you have done the cyc wash light, seems to me in the first photo that it's little more than some cyc lights in one color, others in another color. Cyc lights overhead and a ground row of them would facultate this mixing of color and in genral wash of blending.

    On the clock, you note that front lighting makes her pop from the background and her clock mechanism. Probably a blend of rear of cyc or scrim or spandex cyc material lighted, side/front standard lighting and a follow spot fixture, otherwise a high tight spot ellipsoidal upon her while standing upon the placement given the lack of shadows. Depends upon the theater and workspace - do you have a garage door behind and upstage of the cyc so as to project from and gain extra upstage room? Could be a blend/wash on the purple at a low intensity and a black/white gobo clock pattern from upstage, or perhaps one wide focus gobo to make it pop. Othewise perhaps 90 degree HMI fixture from a shorter range that's purple and has a gobo in it. A normal scrim and cyc won't do this specific effect.

    Again with the artistic statement of this specific show and this specific very bold and dramatic intent, the question of how can you re-produce the art someone else made with it about chops your legs off in on your own coming up with a new and perhaps even better way of concepting this statement. It's selling yourself short if you look at a photo and attempt to make it happen for your production. Instead think bold and come up with something unique for your own artistic design and production. It's art have at it and be artistic.
     
  12. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Oh ok, Well I can tell you definetly you don't have enough room to project an image that size from behind, if you only have 5-6'. To project an image the size of the one pictured would require a distance of at least 3 to 4 times that. Perhaps the TD is going to be making a cut-out of luan or something like that, which is probably what I would do in that situation.
    The reason I was asking about how many projectors and how much you were willing to spend is that with enough money and the proper projectors and computer interfaces, you can acheive a very large format projection that is spread out over more than one projector. I agree that trying to project that image from the front would be very difficult without getting the projection all over your actors as well.


    For everyone, I responded to v75vette in a private message earlier, but I'm happy to pass on what I said there, in condesned version. < I know, I know. Condesned ? Van ? Never > The Scrim technique I referred to is in use on our current set for Vanya Gordon Pearlman Designed lights and as part of the up stage package he spec'd a cyc, 8 strips and a scrim. The scrim sits about 18" downstage of the cyc and the strips are on the floor and suspended from the grid between the cyc and scrim. What amazes me is the depth this gives the apparent "sky". One of my other favorite effects with this set-up is when cloud gobo s are projected onto the scrim from in front they hit both the scrim and cyc but becuase of the scrim they "fuzz out" a bit and they look very 3-d. Another cool effect is the moon box we built it has a 4' diameter hole for the "Moon" with a cinematic diffuser over the hole. The box is situated just upstage of the cyc, right up against it, when the moon is lit the diffusion that happens as a result of travelling through the cyc and the scrim , again gives it a very " real " appearence.


    Ship,
    I just read your reply and I agree with you that it is best to be artistic and design original work. I also believe that attempting to emulate a design is an excellent learning tool. As far as posting of pics, not of your own designing , I beleive fair use laws would apply and if properly credited no copyright infringement would apply. In this particular case no acreditation was done and thus it is a bit of infringement but one which would be over looked IMO since it was not being presented as another individuals work, or for either tangible or intangible gain.
    But then again I'm not a lawyer, I have a soul.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2007
  13. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    Why must you turn this into a forum of lying and deceit? ;)


    We've used that scrim effect on the cyc as well, looks quite nice.
     
  14. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    My noting this was in agreement with what you state but in being clear that while useful to express and demonstrate and make clear what he was asking about, it was still not credited as you state and given permission to re-produce.

    I made mention of it only as per a stipulation to be understood by all that if you don't have permission to reproduce a photo, you don't get to. But given as you state, no intent was made to make profit off it, and the person posting it does not understand copywrite laws, much less it's intent is not persay to do it, but rather to learn from it... lots of other types of stuff, I didn't remove it and responded directly to it.

    The photos were useful for all, and the response to them will not have been as useful as without them. Crediting the designer and production will have been necessary as general note of how to do it. My noting this was more meant to help all in posting such things or being very careful in doing so, rather than saying that it was not useful or perhaps a waver in posting such things.

    As for Linenbacher projectors... love them, once did a show I designed with some I made the hard way in making such a thing... magic..., now I have three Reich and Vogul versions in the shop that were once Chicago Lyric Opera, than NIU owned, now I have at the shop. Have to totally service them, much less have no real use for them but I now have a real set of them to play with - once I have time. Great stuff these projectors. Our other ME saw them come into the shop and his eyes glossed over in having done a tour with similar equipment as their operator. Gonna be quite the project we now have in bringing them back up to factory spec. - this once we have time.

    Where we work of course has absolutely no use for such gear... or does it given a few years ago the Beam Projector came back into use in a big way and even last year we bought lots of them thus it's back... Next up the pattern projector - old school for the next concept in retro' touring I suppose.
     
  15. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Couple of points, your posting of the photos is fair use, for educational purposes of example copywrited images may be used http://www.teachersfirst.com/getsource.cfm?id=7493
    A lot has changed since the famous 2 live crew case
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell_v._Acuff-Rose_Music,_Inc.

    So basically parody and use fore example for education is fine

    One other trick on projecting from a close distance is not to over look those old overhead projectors that might be sitting around in your school. the can project a large image from a close distance, have a lot of lumens, you would create a transparancy of the image (depending on how good your original image is and how good your printer you can print on acetate and use this for the projection. for the clock you could make an image of the clock and then carefully block our all around it so the only thing projected is the image of the clock, carefully taping all out all other light


    For a static image, it can be pretty effective and certainly cheap

    Sharyn
     
  16. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Going on that same idea but with some tinkering, if you have sufficient mirrors, you should be able to reflect a fairly large image from a direction you have throw distance from. Might take some plotting it out on paper in figuring out what size the image will be at in need for size of mirror but as a theory it should work. Also as a theory in projection, could even do some of like the $8.00 each plastic framed door sized mirrors mounted to a plywood panel to sufficiently get a size of mirror large enough to reflect a sizable image. Potentially, you could as rough figure, move the set and scrim down stage so you have say 8' upstage, than throw onto the mirrors from the wings.

    When not in use - what ever opeg/overhead projector or some form of other projector you might use including some form of "Go-Fres", it's a good idea to between scenes on them, cover them up so the stray light doesn't hit it. This at least once cool enough to put something over it. Anything upstage will catch and reflect light back. Otherwise, if using mirrors, having something to cover the mirrors would be a good idea.

    Another option not mentioned yet is to do a bunch of patterns from Lekos. Most companies make matching A/B patterns which can be repeated. Could also custom order them. A 50 degree Leko or set of them above and below with patterns matched up just so could do this, so could a 90 degree Leko.

    If the cash is there, it's possible to do glass slide color gobos that would also take into account the fixture's angle and distance to the projection - not cheap but a short throw concept. Probably have to computer the image, than adjust it for the specific photometrics of the application so as to counteract distance and angle of projection problems. Could in theory also correct for drastic angle sharp/fuzzy image problems. As another theory, you could also project with the Lekos or Leko onto a mirrored wall that changes the direction to the projection. This would reduce the amount of high angle problems of projection on the scrim if projeted horizontally from off stage, than reflected onto the scrim. Something to experiment with perhaps.

    Something that has never been tried otherwise that I'm aware of might be possible for short throw distance wide angle projections. Remove the reflector from a construction grade - normally yellow work light fixture. Othewise a RSC type Cyc Light could in theory also do this. Place a pattern large or slide in front of it and adjust to focus given your throw distance. Adjust the image size and graphics once the focus point is found away from the lamp. Should even if linear instead of point source provide a projection - fairly washed out one but potentially possible projection. This is how a "Ripple Machine" works. For further refinement, look to baffles between the light source and projection. The thicker the baffle the better but economically you could even mount some 1/2" thick 2x4 ceiling tile type light baffles to your slide so as to lessen the spill ever so slightly - or stack them so as to keep away as much of the wash of light as possible but preserve as much linear light as possible. Just some concepts to play with.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2007
  17. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Ok, well hopefully I can take this thread back towards the original question without offending anyone's sense of what is legally acceptable.

    First off, if this is a concert choir production I assume (please correct me if I am wrong) that you are going to have a big choir on risers in front of whatever sets you have. So the first thing you would need to ensure is that no matter what effects you have, the choir needs to be able to be seen and be able to see their music (unless they don't use music).

    As for your cyc wash. Standard practice for Sky Cycs is to even place them where the distance from center to center of each unit is equal to the distance from the cyc. This should give you the most even wash. If you have enough circuits, as was mentioned before give every window it's own circuit. Otherwise split the units up into as many circuits as possible (and make sure you don't soft-patch them together into one channel).

    For your clock idea, look at the pictures you posted, if you want the clock to have nice sharp edges then you are better off flying it in front of your cyc, and maybe skinning the back of it in muslin. If you put the cutout behind the cyc, first of all you will need to have a cyc that transluces enough that you don't need a lot of wattage to cast a shadow that won't be washed out by front light. You will want to get your cutout as close as possible to the back of the cyc to get as sharp and image as possible. Again, looking at your picture, the shadow is going to look like the shadow in the center of the image.

    There were a lot of other interesting ideas that people posted, so I hope that things work out well. Hopefully these two answers to your original questions are helpful.
     
  18. personalZEN

    personalZEN Member

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    The secret to even cyc washes: R104.
     
  19. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    The REAL secret to even cyc washes, having the right equipment AND knowing what you are doing.
     
  20. personalZEN

    personalZEN Member

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    wow, i've been completely pwned... whatever that means.. :)

    of course you need the right equipment, but sometimes that just doesn't work as planned and is not your own fault. (technical limitations, budget.. etc)

    R104 is just a little magic trick that not many people seem to know about.
     

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