Dissertation Rational

For my Dissertation, I would like to find out why colour in lighting has such an impact on set. This will give me a better understanding if I become a lighting or set designer.  

Firstly, I need to look at theory and biology of colour. I will look at how we see colours through rods and cones. This is so I can understand the psychology of hues and find out why certain colours react to unambiguous receptors. As a result of this, I will be able to understand how colour is seen and how we can manipulate colour.

I am going to look at the different colour wheels for lighting and design. For lighting the primary hues are red, green and blue. For design they are red, yellow and blue. This is an area I would like to put thorough research into as I have little knowledge.

For the next subsection of my dissertation, I will look at colour mixing with light. This will help me understand how gels work. This leads into additive and subtractive colour mixing. Subtractive mixing is where multiple primary or one secondary colour gel are placed in front of the light source. Additive lighting is where you have more than one lantern in different colours.

The next section would be 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:

  • Why can lighting have an adverse effect on pigments?
  • This will give me knowledge on how and why the hues change.
  • Can it be overcome?
  • With this, I will be able to understand how I can manipulate the hues.
  • How do you rectify the issues?
  • I will learn how to deal with issues and learn how to rectify them.
  • There are many more questions that I intend to answer.

As part of primary research, I will look at having a group of people in a dark room, and playing with a number of lanterns with filters and LED’s and see the different hues they can pick out. This will help with the theory of colour and to understand how colour mixing works. I would like to make a board with different colours and place coloured lighting on it and see the colours created. This will help me to understand how paint can change colour. Also I would like to know more about the chroma of colour, so I will create another board to show saturation. This will help me understand the purity of hues and how they change. 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.

For secondary research, I will read a number of textbooks from graphic design, fine art and technical theatre. This will give me an insight into theorists minds.

What I am wanting to gain is more knowledge both academically and personally, as colour, lighting and set are areas I would like to work in.