Lighting the Cyc

Whether its the traditional sky and sunset or a backdrop for kaleidoscopic colour mixes, if a Cyc cloth is used on stage it is a dominant scenic element which has to be carefully and precisely lit.

Cyclorama is derived from the Greek word for 'sky' which, in theatrical terms relates to a cloth which is lit so as to create the illusion of depth and space receding to infinity, the visual metaphor for sky. Today with the use of simple low cost pattern projections their use has expanded. Simple projections can set the scene, or be combined with colour mixes as dynamic background to the stage performance.

The Cyc cloth must be lit evenly to create a 'sky effect. Positioning of the Cyc lights is critical to achieve the best results. Sometimes a compromise has to be reached as space is required for suspended scenery etc. Selecon Hui, Lui and Aurora Cyc luminaires have been designed with these realities in mind. A 6m high cloth can be evenly lit with Hui Cyc from a throw distance of only 1.5m with luminaires positioned at every two metres.

The use of Groundrow units adds to the colour choice available to the designer. Subtle differences of colour and intensity can be manipulated to enhance the depth illusion. All Selecon cycs are designed to revert to groundrow for use of the floor with rubber feet to minimise vibration.

Two techniques which further assist in creating the space illusion are:

1. the use of a scenic gauze in front of the lit cyc cloth which can also be lit from the side.

2. back lighting a plastic cyc cloth by bouncing light off a reflective wall or cloth.