Creating A Winter Wonderland

While this week marks the official beginning of winter - cold, snow and ice have already introduced themselves to most of the northern hemisphere this year. Add the holiday season into the mix and many people are looking for ways to create innovative, wintry, lighting effects. Today's Spectrum post will collect a few of our favorites together to share with you.

Projecting holiday themed gobos - especially snowflakes - is a quick, elegant way to add a touch of winter to your yule-tide decor. Since we are in the midst of holiday event season - here are a few quick and easy effects to add some snowflakes into your upcoming winter event:

If you're looking to create a dramatic falling snow effect and you want to cover a large area, consider Rosco's X24 Effects Projector. Simply by placing a glass snowflakes gobo into the slot closest to the lens, you can get a sharp focus on the falling snowflakes while the standard X24 gobo rotating in the background gives some texture and blustery, crystalline motion to the effect. The effect seen in this video is covering about 20' of wall space and can be easily colored to match any event's decor by adding a piece of Permacolor dichroic glass to the lens of the X24.

The above video combines two rotating gobos: A Cyan Ripple Colorwave (#33104) and one of our most popular gobos - #77771 Snow Flake, designed for Rosco by master lighting designer Jules Fischer. Interesting Fact: Gobo #77771 is, year-after-year, one of the top-five most popular gobos, and most of those gobos are getting made and shipped right now. This video illustrates a unique way for you to project a snowflake, using our new Simple Spin gobo rotator, that will set your event lighting above the rest. The key is to make sure that the Snow Flake gobo is the last gobo in the image path (Lamp: Colorwave gobo: Snow Flake gobo: Lens), otherwise it will be next to impossible to get a crisp focus on the snowflake.

For a simpler, less expensive version of this concept using our Universal Iris Slot Gobo Holder, combine the Snow Flake gobo with Image Glass #33602 Plume. This will add depth and dimension to your snowflake. Add your favorite wintry gel color - might I suggest R66 Cool Blue? - to this gobo recipe and now you're not just projecting the same Snow Flake gobo like everyone else - you're projecting stylized Snow Flake art.

If you're preparing to mount a production set in the snowy depths of winter, here are a couple of realistic, wintry lighting effects you might find useful.

This video illustrates one reason why having a double gobo rotator with two motors for independent control of each rotator is essential for better lighting design. Using the Rosco RevoPRO gobo rotator, two steel gobos (#78434 Tree Silhouette 3 & #77336 Renaissance) are inserted together into the rotator closest to the lens, which is stopped. This allows a sharp focus on the trees & window while the rotator closest to the lamp rotates the Midnight Free Flow Colorizer (#56103) ever so slowly in the background to make it look like frigid, moonlit clouds are moving through the trees outside the window.

A couple of simpler, stationary versions of this concept can be accomplished by combining Colorizer or Image Glass gobos with appropriate steel gobos in our Universal Iris Slot Holder:

Combining #79119 Winter Tree 2 with the Midnight Free Flow Colorizer and projecting it on a cyc behind a window set piece is a great way to set the scene with a touch of winter chill.

A Double Hung Window gobo is combined with Image Glass #33613 Winter Frost and some split gel, R09 + R62, to easily create the illusion that the arctic is on the other side of the window projected on stage.

There are some winter themed shows that necessitate specific effects. For example, a clock effect is needed in both Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker.

Rosco's RevoPRO is an indexing double gobo rotator that allows for independent indexing of BOTH rotators. This effect was created with two Source 4's: one unit projecting the Clock Face gobo (#77920 - made in glass) and the other unit projecting the rotating Minute Hand and Hour Hand gobos (#77922 and #77921, respectively - also made in glass) that are indexing to hit their appointed cues.

Another play with a wintry setting is the romantic comedy Almost, Maine. Here is an excerpt from the play's website: “On a cold, clear, moonless Friday night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, residents of Almost find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways." When mounting a production of Almost, Maine you are committing to some sort of Aurora Borealis effect - and Rosco's X24 Effects Projector makes a very good one for you to consider:

John Penisten is a lighting designer in Madison, WI - so he's no stranger to winter or the Northern Lights. He sent us this video footage showcasing how the X24 was used to create the northern lights effect in a production of Almost Maine:

Winter is upon us my friends, and whether you're lighting a winter-themed event or creating glacial scenic and lighting effects for a production with an icy setting - Rosco has the tools you need to get the job done. However, if you're looking for ways to stay warm this winter, take a quick look at this video from the Calgary Philharmonic Chorus who asked their fans to tweet their favorite ways to keep warm in the winter and then composed those suggestions into Carmina Burana's "O Fortuna."

Stay frosty!



The X24 Effects Projector has been discontinued and has been replaced with the X-Effects LED Projector. The X-Effects LED is available in two models - a 5500K and a color-mixing RGBW - and in two wattages: 45W and 90W (HO). This upgrade provides quieter operation and removes the need for expensive lamp maintenance. Learn more:

Joel Svendsen December 19, 2011 Questions?

About Joel Svendsen

Marketing Director: Joel's Rosco career began in Rosco's Hollywood office in 1999 – first in sales covering the Western US and the Los Angeles Film & Television market, and then as Product Manager for Rosco's Film & Television Products. Joel's knowledge about Rosco's products and how they're used in each of our different marketplaces makes him well suited for bringing the stories in Spectrum to life.