How to Choose Gobos for Your Lights for Stage

Finding the right gobos to use in haze or projected on surfaces can be tough – in this video, David breaks down how to choose the right gobos for the right situation (and how to tell if a fixture you are considering has the right gobos for your needs).

If you have moving lights, or even if you have conventional stage lights, chances are you can put gobos in them to add to your overall effect.

What Are Gobos?

To know whether or not your current lights already have gobos or are able to have them added in it is helpful to first know what they are! So, what are gobos? Gobos are small metal and glass patterns that the light shines through so that you can see a pattern once it is projected onto a surface. This can be on any surface of your stage, from walls to the ceiling, to props etc.

There are two types of gobos that exist so it is important to know a bit about them so that you can make the best decision when it comes to purchasing the right one for you and your needs.

Types of Gobos

Gobos typically have two different ways that they work.

How Projection Gobos Work

Projection gobos are types of gobos that look really great projected onto a surface. You are able to find your focus and create a really sharp looking image or a very soft looking image on the surface of your choice. These types are able to shake, move around, change shapes etc. which can be great for adding interesting diversity to your stage. No matter what you choose to do with it, these types of fixture additions will make your light look amazing on your surface.

There are other types of gobos that you will find which look a lot better shining through the air rather than on a surface. If there are big holes in the center or they form a simpler shape with a lot of negative space surrounding it then these are the gobos that you can determine will look better shining through the air. Some shapes still may look good when projected on a surface as well but as they go through the air they can create an almost forest-like appearance.

Which Gobos Are Right for You?

Trying out your different gobos on your lights can help you determine which look you like best, and which will work best for your needs.

Whether you are working with regular stage lights or moving lights there are going to be a plethora of gobo options to sort through. If you are trying to figure out what they look best on the best advice is simply to play around with it and enjoy the creative process.

Another piece of great advice when choosing gobos is to take time to work with the focus. As you work with the focus you can see what they light will look like sharp or soft and get a better determination of whether you want that light projecting through the air or directly onto a surface.

The possibilities are endless and all up to you!

About the author