A Virtual Demonstration of Color


Below is a virtual demonstration of the use of color in theatrical lighting. An actor is placed center stage (under the Second Electric) and lit with two lamps hung at the ends of the First Electric. Starting with both lamps ungelled, I will cycle through seven of the eleven basic acting area colors. The cyc is washed with R80: Primary Blue at forty percent. The colors used in this demonstration are... The nine images were created in Virtual Light Lab.

A Bright Harsh Look
Both lamps ungelled -- White Light
A Soft Pink Look
White light from stage right
and R33: No Color Pink from stage left.
A Rich Pink Look
R34: Flesh Pink from stage right
and R33: No Color Pink from stage left.
A Heavy Warm Look
R34: Flesh Pink from stage right
and R01: Light Bastard Amber from stage left.
A Warm Romantic Look
R51: Surprise Pink from stage right
and R01: Light Bastard Amber from stage left.
A Cool Romantic Look
R51: Surprise Pink from stage right
and R63: Pale Blue from stage left.
Soft Moonlight from Stage Left
R67: Light Sky Blue from stage right
and R63: Pale Blue from stage left.
Lush Heavy Moonlight from Stage Right
R67: Light Sky Blue from stage right
and R80: Primary Blue from stage left.
A Warm Romantic Look (with Back Light)
R01: Light Bastard Amber from stage right,
R51: Surprise Pink from stage left
and R63: Pale Blue from upstage.


Colored Light on Colored Pigment

The color of a costume or set piece, as perceived by the audience, is determined by the combination of three elements: the color of the paint or dye used by the scenic or costume designer, the color of the gel picked by the lighting designer, and the intensity of the lamp. The colorful backdrop in the four images below is lit with a combination of No Color, R34: Flesh Pink and R65: Daylight Blue light.


White light at full.

R34: Flesh Pink at full.

R65: Daylight Blue at full.

Both R34 and R65 at full.


E-mail questions and comments to Larry Wild at wildl@northern.edu.
Created: November 20, 2001, Revised: January 30, 2003
© 2001- 2003 by Larry Wild, Northern State University , Aberdeen, SD