GE AR . LIGHTING QUALITY
diffuser some distance from the light source, but it’s easy to rig and creates flexible environmental and lighting effects. It’s also one of very few video-derived lighting effects specified to have good colour quality, so the Sumosky should do a good job of illuminating a wide variety of objects, without making anything or anyone look odd. Sumolight’s reputation was established by the Sumospace, a hexagonal 400W module which was an early entrant to the world of high-power LED. They represent a welcome way of producing less power-hungry space lights. Similar beginnings underlie Creamsource, whose latest release is the beefy, 650W Vortex8, sold in the UK by LCA for £5418 (all prices include VAT). These are not the cheapest watts around, but provide a lot of power density. The emitters are controllable in eight groups, creating anything
MAKING A SPLASH Rosco’s DMG Dash (above) brings a huge spectrum of colours to a portable, handheld unit
from party-colour nightclub effects and police car strobes, to subtle simulations of the coloured shadows cast by a sunset. With the FrameSync feature, Creamsource also offers shutter-synchronised stroboscopy, and has promoted a video showcasing tear-free strobe effects on rolling-shutter cameras. The capability goes back to Creamsource’s FlashBandit accessory, and is probably unique to a general-purpose light. Quasar are specialists in pixel tubes: fluorescent, tube-like devices with individually controlled colour zones. The company’s Rainbow 2
series is available in 23-, 47- and 91-inch lengths, approximating two- four- and eight-foot fluorescent tubes, 25W, 50W and 100W, respectively. Depending on the overall tube size, there’s an output zone every couple of inches. For a bit more punch, the Double Rainbow is, as the name suggests, the same thing twice. The four- foot Double Rainbow lists for $900 on Quasar’s own site, and is particularly good at firelight, TV light and anything else involving motion, given it can simulate moving light sources without a gaffer waving a flag around.
LED colour The instinctive way to create a white-light LED is to combine red, green and blue emitters. That can create a light that looks white, at least when it’s aimed at a colourless object, but conventional LED emitters have a very narrow output. Split into a rainbow, they’d look like a thin line. Combine red and green LEDs, then, and the light looks yellow, but shine it at a bright, canary-yellow object and it might look dull, because there’s no yellow there. Better lights often use blue LEDs to illuminate yellow-emitting phosphors, creating a much broader spectrum. Conversely, LED video panels need small emitters to achieve high resolution, which usually means they’re unmodified red, green and blue types. As such, most productions required conventional lights to keep the talent looking good, and let the panels do what they do best – interactive and animated lighting effects that match a virtual environment to perfection.
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