For this presentation, we have been asked to produce a presentation with our dissertation proposal. With this, I will discuss and explain my reasons behind the question which is going to be asked.
The question which I maybe possibly asking for my dissertation is “How does colour in lighting affect pigmentation of colour in set?” The reasoning behind this question is that I have a keen interest in both lighting and set and would like to conjoin them both in order to fully understand about the colour spectrum, and find out why certain colours or types of paint may change form under the influence of lighting. This will give me a better understanding for if I become a lighting or set designer to know how lighting could have an impact on the colour on sets.
The part of colour I am going to be looking into, is colour theory which is the theorising practise of colour which will include the biology and psychology of colour in both pigment and lighting. Also it will consist of looking at the colour wheels in both lighting and set and additive and subtractive mixing. With this, I need to carry out primary and secondary research. I will need to research with a number of textbooks and speak with psychology and biology departments to make sure that it is validated with each other. The primary research will consist of mixing colours and creating a board with all the different colours to show the difference of the two; lighting and set. Also, I will experiment with lighting with the boards that I would have created to see how the paint may change the hues. This is because it will prove to me that the theory of colour that lighting can influence it. My secondary research will consist of textbooks, starting with:
Francis Read: An Introduction to the stage lighting handbook;
as this is, as it states in the title, an introductory based book. This will help with the language and terminology before I advance onto the more difficult textbooks. The next textbook to look at will be
Ambrose/Harris.Basics Design 05: Colour
What I will gain from this book is the basics on colour theory and finding information out about the separate sections there is on the colour wheel such as monochrome colours, triads and analogous.
Before any of what I have just mentioned, I need to look at defining colours and look at how we perceive them. I will look at how we see colours through the form of rods and cones which are light-receptor nerves, which emit electricity that is relayed to the brain. This is so I can understand the psychology of hues better and find out why certain colours react to unambiguous receptors as we only have red blue and green. As a result of this, I will be able to understand how colour is seen and how we can manipulate the colours to create the colour that we want.
The next stage will be to look at terminology, as when I am writing my dissertation I would like to use the correct vocabulary rather than the basic words. This will refer to
Hues – The colour
Tint – Hues of high value. It is generally achieved with mixing a hue with white pigment or light
Shade – Hues of low value which is achieved by a mixture of one or more hues and black
Chroma – The purity of the hue
Value – lightness or darkness of hue
I would like to widen my vocabulary also which again will determine how well I will be able to write my dissertation correctly. I want to show what I have learnt and how far I have come which will make me proud to say, yes I wrote this, so this is a personal boundary that I would like to overcome.
Within the next section, I am going to look at the different colour wheels for lighting and design as they are different. For lighting the primary hues are red, green and blue whereas design they are red, yellow and blue. This is an area I would like to put thorough research on as I have little knowledge. The part I am certain of is that Isaac Newton formulated this theory at the age of 23 by holding a prism through a beam of sunlight which delivered these colours.
For the next subsection of my dissertation, I will look at colour mixing. This will involve looking at filtered light. This will help me understand how gels work and why only certain hues will be let through that filter.
This will lead me onto additive and subtractive colour mixing in light. Subtractive mixing for lighting is where multiple primary or one secondary colour gel are placed in front of the light source. The filters only allow the wavelengths that the colour of the filter is made up of. It absorbs all the other colour wavelengths and turns them into heat. This is because it is the easiest way to dissipate it. Additive lighting is where you have more than one lantern in different colours. An example would be three lanterns of the primary colours lit in the space overlapping each other. This will create primary colours in the space. The secondary colours will also overlap to create white. This is because all the colours added together mix white. I will demonstrate this with the use of generic lanterns and LED’s in order to see if there is a difference.
Colour mixing in paint:
As discussed in Theatre Design and Production by Michael Gillette, when you mix paint it is similar to additive mixing in lighting with the principle of colour reflection absorption. Mixing in paint is basically subtractive process because the different pigment and dyes of certain hues reflect the different wavelengths of light that will correspond to their own hues and absorb others.
The absorption characteristics of the individual hues cause a reduction in chroma of the resultant hue.
For the next part, I will look at different statements and questions which I will be able to answer from primary and secondary research. The first one being:
Why can lighting have an adverse effect on pigments? – this will give me knowledge on how and why the hues change under the form of lighting
Can it be overcome? With this, I will be able to understand how I can manipulate the hues which I would like without any arising issues.
How do you rectify the issues? I will learn how to independently deal with the issues and learn how to rectify them. This is a personal interest as I want to show that I know what I am doing when in the industry. I may struggle finding information out about this as you cannot change the principles of colour.
What impact will it have on the set? An example of this would be if there was a red set and I lit it with yellow, the set would change colour. This could have a great impact on the performance as, referring back to the psychology, the issues could consist of wrong atmosphere, so the emotion would be off key.
These are just a number of questions that I will ask to engage in a critical debate and will give me chance to cross reference and validate what practitioners have theorised. I believe that this would be a good challenge for me to undertake as if i do make it as a lighting or set designer, I would be able to make independent decisions on how to correct issues if a different colour is not intended.
What is my research plan:
For my research plan, as previously mentioned, I will undertake primary and secondary research.
One aspect I will look at is having a group of people in a dark room, and playing with a number of lanterns with filters and LED’s and see what different hues they can pick out from what they see. This will help with the theory of colour and help me to understand how colour mixing works also.
As i previously mentioned I would like to make a board with the different colours and place lighting on it and see what colours are created. This will help me to understand how the paint can be changed and a chance to see how I can change it to get the desired hue.
Also I would like to know more about the chroma of a colour, so I will create another board to show saturation. This will help me understand the purity of hues and how they can be filtered.
Finally for primary research, I would like to speak to psychology and biology departments at Hull College, in order to fully understand the aspects behind perception of colour and how we see it, as without it I would not be able to understand how we see it. I may have issues trying to track down these people but I shall endeavour to get the information required.
For secondary research I would like to read a number of textbooks from graphic design, fine and technical theatre. This will give me an insight into theorists minds and understand their theories.
What I am wanting to gain is more knowledge both academically, vocabulary and personally, as colour, lighting and set are areas I would like to work in. I am looking forward to this project and hoping I gain a great amount of knowledge from it.