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Author Topic: Can RGBW Washes Replace Ellipsoidals?  (Read 1447 times)

Dave Garoutte

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Re: Can RGBW Washes Replace Ellipsoidals?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2020, 05:05:43 pm »

« Last Edit: February 07, 2020, 09:07:24 pm by Dave Garoutte »
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Can RGBW Washes Replace Ellipsoidals?
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2020, 12:05:28 am »

Iím guessing you are having someone install this for you? A large portion of your 45k will be eaten up in labor.

Fwiw, 2 years ago I put in 15 Chaivet Ovation ellipsoidals (mix of the 260 and 160) for my basic front wash
10 Elation Fuze Par 175ís for front color wash
8 Elation Fuze Wash Z120ís for rear eye candy
4 Elation Fuze Wash z350 for front lighting specials.

All of this was just under 40k but I did all the work myself.

The ovations have gone up a bit, but they are still (My opinion) the best deal in LED Lekoís.
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Luke McCready

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Re: Can RGBW Washes Replace Ellipsoidals?
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2020, 07:46:36 pm »

Iím guessing you are having someone install this for you? A large portion of your 45k will be eaten up in labor.

All of this was just under 40k but I did all the work myself.

The ovations have gone up a bit, but they are still (My opinion) the best deal in LED Lekoís.

Thanks for the Ovation recommendation.

My current design includes $42k of fixtures at Sweetwater/B&H pricing (none of them ellipsoidals), down to $35k from the right dealer. (No lemon-checking or in-warranty return handling at that rate, which I'll do.) There's a small local AV company I'm planning to work with, and I know and trust the owner. They're happy to replace one truss and install a second for $2.5k, and another $5k for fixture installation and wiring labor. I'm skipping their $1500 design and visualization fee by creating my own design, but will pay for consultation before ordering. Add in the cost of a DMX spool and terminators, another 1024 channel dongle, basic networking nodes, and possibly DMX splitters, and we should be in the ballpark. My all-in budget is $55k including three other small projects that I hope can be done for $5k combined but may take more.

Any and all project advice is welcome, though it's better to PM me to keep the thread on-topic.
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Luke McCready

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Re: Can RGBW Washes Replace Ellipsoidals?
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2020, 07:47:06 pm »

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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Can RGBW Washes Replace Ellipsoidals?
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2020, 09:13:09 pm »

Could you elaborate?

I certainly won't speak for Tim, but the rest of us have provided many reasons as to why the answer to your question is no.  Washes (i.e. LED Pars, moving or not) and ellipsoidals are two completely different types of fixtures - both designed with specific applications in mind. 

12-18 of 12x10w washes to light up a 20 ft wide stage? Is that truly necessary?

- - - - -

Sermon lighting just needs a warm, even wash across the 20 ft stage. Covering 10 ft, to be honest, as the pastor doesn't move much. I believe that's very doable with the lights I mentioned in my initial post, though I haven't done it. Am I missing something?

Do I need the hard edges of ellipsoidals? Or true fresnels? With the unknown CRI of Chauvet Pro LED lights that can be set to color temperature presets, will the pastor look (at a minimum) decent on a good camera?

Yes.  As mentioned in other posts, getting different angles is important.  Hitting each position on stage from at least two angles is mandatory for proper natural lighting, and oftentimes you'll see this expanded to 5+ different angles - all for the same area on stage.  Designing by zones also helps give the programmer more flexibility, though for each zone you repeat the number of fixture positions you need. 

I'm not sure if your question about edges, fresnels, and CRI is all part of the same question, but these are all different considerations.  The edges question pertains the degree of beam control you desire from a designer standpoint.  CRI is more of a visual thing. 

...I'm skipping their $1500 design and visualization fee by creating my own design, but will pay for consultation before ordering...

To be completely honest with you based on the questions you're asking and that you've admitted you've never designed like this before, I would think very carefully about skipping this service.  The contractor will gladly install whatever you request, but since they're not signing off on the validity of any design there is no guarantee that any of what you're buying will work as you envisioned.  It's one thing if you don't mind spending the money as a learning experience, but given that this is ~$50K of someone else's money, I think you have the obligation to spend that money as wisely as possible, even if it means admitting your own gaps in experience and paying someone with those skills to lend a hand.  Best of luck! 
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Mark Cadwallader

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Re: Can RGBW Washes Replace Ellipsoidals?
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2020, 12:24:10 am »

I don't know what the front of your church looks like, but to the extent that the sermon is the highlight of the church service and message, I would want to light it like a play, with the lead actor's main monologe as the dramatic highlight.   For that, I would use light to focus the congregation's attention on the preacher, and minimze almost everything else. (Easter maybe is the exception.). I'd want the shutters of elipsoidals to define the focus (both of light and attention) and to exclude every other distraction. I would ideally have four or so to give the best modeling, but certainly two.  I don't necessarily mean everything besides the preacher is in darkness, but I'd want powerful enough fixtures to really make a difference.

My two cent's worth. "Can somebody say Amen?" 😀
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Can RGBW Washes Replace Ellipsoidals?
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2020, 12:40:44 pm »

I don't know what the front of your church looks like, but to the extent that the sermon is the highlight of the church service and message, I would want to light it like a play, with the lead actor's main monologe as the dramatic highlight.   For that, I would use light to focus the congregation's attention on the preacher, and minimze almost everything else. (Easter maybe is the exception.). I'd want the shutters of elipsoidals to define the focus (both of light and attention) and to exclude every other distraction. I would ideally have four or so to give the best modeling, but certainly two.  I don't necessarily mean everything besides the preacher is in darkness, but I'd want powerful enough fixtures to really make a difference.

My two cent's worth. "Can somebody say Amen?" 😀
+1
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Can RGBW Washes Replace Ellipsoidals?
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2020, 02:39:14 pm »

Could you elaborate?


The big thing is you can't "frame" an LED par can. Even Barndoors are terrible at controlling spill.

A proper Leko will let you have a sharp cutoff, EXACTLY where you need it. For instance on my stage I have to keep lighting spill off our projection screens or it destroys the video. This means I have to "cut in" the sides with the shutter blades. I also cut in the bottom edge so that my front wash does not light up the front of vertical part of our stage which can be destracting. I also have a distinct section just for our band guys up on a small riser. I can seperate them from the rest of the stage when they are playing an instrumental. Conversely when we do the opening prayer and announcements I can dim the band and highlight the front of the stage.

You can't do any of this with LED par cans. They just blast light all over the place willy-nilly.


Watch this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWxeo4n-Pz4

About 5:45 you see the band dim out and the WL prays while highlighted.
Again at 20:55 the same thing happens.
Then at around 34:30 you see the transformation from Worship to Sermon.



Also, don't judge me about the Camera exposure, composition, and focus. There is a ton of light on the stage. Our video department is having some challenges getting everything looking the same and/or picking good shots. It's largely volunteer run and I'm really avoiding jumping in there and fixing it. I wear enough hats already.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2020, 02:41:19 pm by Tim Weaver »
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Luke McCready

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Re: Can RGBW Washes Replace Ellipsoidals?
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2020, 03:38:18 pm »

Thanks to everyone for your consideration and response.


Tim: no judgment from me. I have areas of production that I'm proud of, and areas that need work. Cameras that need to be upgraded are a big one, and tenured and paid technicians that are immune to suggestion but aren't as skilled as they think they are. =]

We have similar transitions, though even more dramatic as we keep our room darker, particularly during worship.


Mark and Dave: I love the idea of keeping more of the stage dark. I'll program with tighter beams. Thanks for this.

- - - - -

Jeff:

I appreciate your concerns and that you shared them so openly. You're right that I have learning to do, which is why I'm here asking and learning, and voraciously reading up and watching videos on everything I can. I'm great at creating dynamic, powerful lighting shows that emphasize but do not distract from the music, but sermon lighting and the fixture design around it are areas for me to grow in. That's why I'm here asking. =]

I don't view my design as a gamble: it's a lot better suited for our space and what we do than the three designs I've received from vendors that don't charge. Why am I opting out of the design from the install vendor? Because I'm happy to do the leg-work of choosing fixtures and placements that are 90% there, and because I don't need him to visualize it in software for me. But the paid consultation is to catch my blind spots and get us from 90% to 100%, not so I can conduct the project blind and roll the dice.

My role as a project manager exists because the church trusts my research, that I'm asking the right questions, and that I know better than anyone what we do and what we could and couldn't benefit from, as I'm the church's primary LD. They're paying me to avoid the vendors that say "we can do it for $80-100k" and then offer up solutions that are poor for us when we can do better for less. I'm hungry for corners that can be cut without problem, which is not to say I'm cutting all corners purely for the sake of budget.

I don't have any confusion on the roles of fresnels and ellipsoidals in terms of size, shape, and edges. I understand that though zoomable LED washes such as the Rogue R1X Wash can control the size of the light, there will be a softer edge around the beam relative to an ellipsoidal. I'm not particularly concerned about that for our use-case.

- - - - -

The reason I've kept this thread going and asked again is that a vendor I was courting said that a pastor lit by zoomable LED movers instead of ellipsoidals would look awful on camera and awful in person in terms of quality of light, not shape of light. Wouldn't that come down to color temperature, more-or-less known as it can be set, and CRI, an unknown for fixtures like the R1X Wash?

The only question I'm still unsure of: is there something magical about the light from an ellipsoidal, and if so, is it due to the CRI? And if not, understanding shape of light, is it reasonable to light the pastor with movable, zoomable washes, freeing up 15% of our fixture budget for greater room engagement?
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Can RGBW Washes Replace Ellipsoidals?
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2020, 04:12:59 pm »

The early cheap LEDs definitely have given the LED a bad rep as far a light quality.
This is why I never recommend cheap fixtures if skin tone or video is an issue.
I did an event several years in a row and each time I upgraded the lights, the pro photographer was happier than the previous year.
Having amber and white helps.  The latest  thing is lime.
Most fixtures nowadays have a high enough PWM frequency that video isn't a problem anymore.

About framing, multi element LEDs are basically not shapeable.  Each element causes its own beam and shadows. This is where the elipsoidals and fixtures like the Colorado Solo come in.  With a single, collimated light source, you can frame the beam.
In an install of Colorado Solos, I cut some cardboard windows and mounted them in the gel frames to block the front and side of the stage, as well as the ceiling.  With the fixture zoomed in, it missed the window and gave a nice soft spot, but with it zoomed to a wash, it framed the stage perfectly. 

As to dark stages and audience, I likee.  Your eye will always be drawn to the brightest element.  The impact of lighting is a visceral thing and when done well is like well done sound; not apparent.  It just enhances the emotion of the 'performance'.
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Re: Can RGBW Washes Replace Ellipsoidals?
¬ę Reply #19 on: February 10, 2020, 04:12:59 pm ¬Ľ


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