Let’s Talk About Gobos – Learn Stage Lighting .com

Let’s Talk About Gobos

Kari
By Kari / 3 weeks ago
Learn Stage Lighting Podcast

This week on the podcast we’re going to talk Gobos and how they’re not always what they think you are. I’ll dive into unique ways to use Gobos to help amplify your production.

If you’re new here and you’re not sure how or where to get started with your lighting be sure to take this Quiz and I will send you a customized Guide based on your answers to help get you pointed in the right direction.

How to Begin with Lighting Quiz

Main Segment (1:21)

We’re going to dive into our main segment of the show. Gobos are not what you think they are! Let’s explore what they are, what they are used for, types of gobos, and how can you use them?

What are Gobos?

What is a Gobo exactly? A simple definition is that a gobo is a pattern that you put into the light. That patter is then being reflected where the light is pointed. If there is haze or fog in the atmosphere that pattern will then shine through the beam of light as well.

What are They Used For?

Gobos are generally used to add texture to the show or even the atmosphere. Sometimes DJ’s may use gobos to highlight a couple’s wedding initials or even at corporate events gobos can be used to highlight a companies logo.

To direct this more to those that follow Learn Stage Lighting you would most likely be using gobos to add texture to the room or stage.

What Type of Gobos Are There?

Gobos can often go into a variety of spotlight type of fixtures such as actual spotlights, lekos, moving lights, beam lights, etc. But gobos generally go into a light with a hard edge because this allows you to focus the gobo.

There are a few different types of gobos such as glass, metal, rotating, and non-rotating gobos.

Glass gobos are really great because you can put anything that you want on them. Basically, it’s a pattern, color, etc printed on a piece of glass. The downside to glass gobos is that they are fragile and expensive to replace.

Next, you have your metal gobos that are made steel. Metal gobos are made with a laser cut so they are handy in when adding texture to your stage. The upside to using metal gobos is that they are inexpensive. The downside to these is that they don’t have colors but you can put a gel in front of the gobo.

Something to note when working with an ellipsoidal is that generally, you will need a gobo frame. Then, there are normally two different sizes for gobos. Size A is a bigger gobo that takes up the entire frame and Size B is a smaller gobo.

When working with Spot Fixtures you may notice that these units will come with gobos. The different gobos you will run into here are the rotating gobos and the non-rotating gobos.

The less expensive or entry-level units normally come with the non-rotating gobos. You won’t be able to rotate these gobos because the patterns are stamped into a sheet. These are not replaceable.

Th nicer and more expensive units will come with rotating gobos. Most often rotating gobos can be replaced in that size.

How Should You Use Gobos

What most will do is dial in the gobo on the console and zoom it in, then walk away. While this does work and it does look good there are other ways to use gobos.

Something to try the next time you are working with a gobo is to focus it in all the way and then go the other way with. Experiment with how it looks on the stage. It can really be interesting the things that you see.

When working with the focus some gobos look really good with the focus on all the way. While other gobos look great without the focus being all the way zoomed in.

If using a moving light that has a gobo wheel, most times you can do something called morph. Morphing is when you have one gobo in focus, in the background you can bring in another gobo. Almost seamlessly you can adjust between the two gobos and bring one or the other into focus.

Layering gobos is another great trick to use on your stage. If you have two lights or a moving light with two gobos try focusing with them and seeing how they look on the stage. For example, using two colors, or having a gobo sharp and the other out of focus.

My main goal for today’s show is to help inspire you to think outside of the box with gobos. Anybody can walk up and set a gobo and walk away. What I hope you get from this is to revisit this gobos you thought were useless and try them with other gobos that you have. You may be surprised at what you come up with.

Closing (21:31)

If you’re new here and you’re not sure how or where to get started with your lighting be sure to take this Quiz and I will send you a customized Guide based on your answers to help get you pointed in the right direction.

How to Begin with Lighting Quiz

Next week’s show is Q+A Tuesday! I’ll be answering questions from listeners just as yourself. If you have a question you would like to share be sure to submit it here: Contact Form and there will be an option to allow you to leave your voice message.

We will see you next week! Happy Lighting!


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