A brief analysis of the elements of stage lighting design

2023/03/21

Stage lighting is a means of using light to illuminate and shape stage performances through stage lamps and control equipment. Early stage lighting was mainly based on lighting, while contemporary stage lighting is based on lighting and focusing on modeling.

The shape of the stage lighting should be based on the content of the script, follow the director's overall conception, combine the performance of the actors, and closely cooperate with the scenery, costumes, makeup and sound, and use lighting technology and skills to create the flow of three-dimensional space and the atmosphere and picture of the stage .

In order to give full play to the function of stage lighting, master its technical skills, and improve its artistic quality, it is quite important to explore the modeling elements of stage lighting. In-depth analysis of lighting elements from a psychological point of view is more conducive to mastering the language laws of lighting, improving the success rate of designers' creation, and avoiding blindness in creation.

In the long-term lighting design and teaching practice, the rectangular elements of stage lighting are explored. The modeling elements of lighting mainly include eight categories: light intensity, light color, light quality, light shadow, light position, light area, beam and light movement. The creative staff's flexible use of the eight elements of lighting makes the stage colorful and colorful.

light intensity

Light intensity - the intensity of light on the stage, also known as "brightness". Indicates the brightness of the light displayed on the stage. (The light intensity mentioned here is different from the luminous intensity or brightness mentioned in optics.

) refers to the degree to which the stage light feels light and dark in the audience's vision.

The light intensity plays a decisive role in the lighting of the stage performance, and at the same time has a very important modeling function. All visual images displayed on the stage must be "seen in the light".

Only with light can the shapes of the characters and scenery on the stage be displayed. The brighter the light, the more prominent the image, and the darker the light, the shape fades away; all the scenery is submerged in darkness. People's appreciation habit is to look at the bright place easily.

Use light intensity to guide and focus the viewer's attention. Using the intensity and contrast of light can enhance the three-dimensional sense and sense of space of the stage picture, and express infinite dramatic space in a limited stage space, just like a picture expressed by black, white and gray sketch techniques.

The brightness and darkness of light can arouse people's reactions, and the source of psychological archetypes begins with the natural changes of day and night.

In the ancient times when human beings did not understand nature, the darkness of night often brought fear and mystery to people. The night was often filled with beasts and legendary elves, and ghosts and ghosts appeared from time to time. Deep in people's memory, night often takes people's lives and brings them pain. Many dirty deals, criminal deeds are done in the dark.

The crimes in "Macbeth" are all performed in the dark night, which is the most evocative of people's infinite associations, and the hell in people's consciousness is also gloomy and dark when they enter the dream state. On the contrary, the daytime is pleasant and exciting. People can see everything in the world under bright light, and the bright sunlight makes plants grow and flowers bloom, creating a beautiful scene.

light color

In order to scientifically understand what color is, it is necessary to span the three academic fields of physics, physiology, and psychology.

Since the ancient Greek era, scientific thinkers have begun to explore light and color, and created various visual theories. The famous scholar Aristotle believes that the most basic colors of black, white, gray or black, white, yellow, white and black are subtly mixed through the eyes and cannot be distinguished, and other colors are produced according to their mixing ratio.

Aristotle was also the first to put forward the theory that "light is color". Leonardo da Vinci, the master of the Renaissance, made scientific observation and thinking about color while he was pursuing his painting career. He believed that primary colors consist of white of light, yellow of the earth, green of water, and blue of air. , light red and black composition. These six colors are exactly our visual imaging colors today.

There is an inseparable close relationship between light and color.

Light is the cause of color, and color is the result of light being felt.

Light color: the color of the light on the stage.

Light color is the most emotional modeling element in stage lighting, and plays an important role in rendering the mood and atmosphere of the drama, and emphasizing the thoughts and emotions of the characters. It performs "secondary coloring" on the scenery, costumes, makeup, and props displayed on the stage to unify and coordinate the colors of the stage picture.

light quality

Light quality refers to the nature of light.

That is, the softness and hardness of light, hard light, such as sunlight in nature, has a clear directionality, and soft light, has no clear directionality, such as light in cloudy days in nature.

On the stage, the light projected by spotlights, follow spot lights, beam lights, etc. is hard light, and the light projected by threaded lights, flood lights, etc. is soft light. Different light qualities can produce different modeling effects, which will cause a lot of trouble to the audience. Different visual effects.

Hard light: ①Strong directionality, which can clearly show the shape, structure and quality of the scene.

②The contrast between light and dark is strong, the boundary line between light and dark is clear, and there are obvious light and shadows.

③ Light and easy to control

Disadvantages: ① Luminosity is not easy to be uniform.

②The light ratio and contrast are relatively large, and multiple lights are projected, which is easy to produce messy brilliance.

Hard light, full of masculine beauty, gives people a strong and vivid feeling.

Soft light: ① The directionality is not clear.

②The light is soft and delicate, and the irradiation range is wide.

③The light and shadow are blurred, and the boundary line between light and dark is soft, which is easy to show the detailed structure and subtle texture and level of the scene.

Disadvantages: ①Soft light is not easy to control its light position and light area, and it is easy to make the scenery flat.

Soft light, full of soft and hazy beauty.

Give people a sweet, quiet and elegant feeling.

The feeling of soft and hard comes from life. Hard things generally have obvious turning points and sharp edges and corners. After being illuminated by light, this kind of object has a strong contrast between light and dark and less layers; while soft things mostly have blurred edges and corners and subtle turning points, and appear layered after being illuminated. Rich and detailed. The earliest feeling of softness and hardness comes from the natural objects themselves, such as hard things such as stones and bones; soft things such as feathers and animal skins.

Through long-term life and practice, people can have a lot of intuitive reactions and associations to soft and hard objects after gaining sensory experience of soft and hard objects.

light position

Light position: The orientation of the light projection, including the installation position of the lamp, the direction and angle of the light projection. The light position plays an important role in expressing the posture, emotion, shape and structure of the characters. For example, if a character is illuminated with front light, he will feel plump; if he is illuminated with backlight, he will become thin; if he illuminates with feet, he will feel weird.

For another example, if a three-dimensional stone lion is projected with positive light and the background light is bright, the stone lion will become a thin silhouette; if it is projected with full front light, it will feel flat; The three-dimensional sense and texture of stone lions. Foot light was once considered the most dramatic light effect.

The direction of stage light projection is generally based on the actor standing in the center of the performance area and facing the audience, with the height of the actor's head as the waterline, and the lighting parts of the frame stage are divided into; face light, ear light, foot light, column light, The top row of light at the entrance, the top row of light, the side bridge light, the sky row of light, the ground row of light, and the flowing light.

Lighting design should master the functions and characteristics of light in each part,

Stage lighting is shaped in a three-dimensional space. Modern lighting attaches great importance to multi-directional three-dimensional light projection. In stage lighting, the following four light positions should be fully considered;

Main light—the dominant light, indicating the direction of the light source, its intensity, color, and the main tone of the stage light color. The brightness should be high.

Auxiliary light——Supplements and modifies the main light.

Auxiliary lighting and modeling are provided for the dark side of a character or scene, and are generally set at the position corresponding to the main light. The brightness is lower than the main light.

Backlighting - the light projected from the rear or the rear side, expressing reflection, delineating characters, and the outline of the scene distinguishes the characters from the background, and enhances the three-dimensional sense, sense of space and texture of the characters or the scene.

It can also express the transparency of light and thin clothing. It is generally set at the rear top light and the rear bridge light position. The special effect can be hidden behind the scene and reversed. Sometimes the backlight can be used as the main light. The brightness should be strong and the light quality should be hard.

Base light——the basic light covering the stage, rendering the tone of the stage picture, solving the basic lighting of the actors, diluting and softening the shadow formed by the main light and auxiliary light.

Generally set in the surface light, top row of light, sky row of light position. Multi-lamp combination projection, the brightness should not be too high, but the projection light should be uniform.

The above four kinds of light should complement each other and be integrated with each other. There must be contrast and harmony to achieve visual balance.

The basic characteristics of contemporary stage lighting: to display the light source with strong oblique light, to use the corresponding light position as auxiliary light, to distinguish characters and background with clear and bright backlight, and to use essential front light as bottom light. Highlight the main person or scene with follow light or close-up light.

light area

The light area refers to the various spatial areas projected onto the stage and their distribution.

The setting of the light area is based on the director's stage scheduling, the range of motion of the actors' performances, and the spatial structure of the stage set. The setting of the light area can set off and highlight the performance of the actors, making the stage picture clear, rich in layers, flexible and changeable. The time and space changes that can be displayed, juxtaposed or alternated on the same stage can express multi-scenario stage images.

In our country's stage performances, the lighting is generally divided into three large light areas. Stage Lights - Lights that project the actor's performance area. Scenic light - the light that projects the image of the scene.

Canopy light - a slide image or light color projected onto the canopy. This is a rough distinction that cannot meet the actual needs of dramatic performances. When rehearsing a specific repertoire, a unique light area should be carefully set up.

There are differences in the number of light areas, the size of the scope, the shape of a circle, and the boundary of virtual and real. The distribution and combination of light areas are varied and vary from play to play. For example: In some plays, the stage is divided vertically into several light areas, which resemble the word "目".

Some plays are horizontally divided into several light areas, which resemble the character "four". In some plays, the stage is separated by a veil, and two light areas appear alternately, resembling the character "Lv". Some plays use multi-level ring-shaped light areas, which look like the word "Hui".

There are also plays that use criss-crossing strips of light, resembling the character "rice".

Some light areas are projected with a single lamp, while others are combined with multiple lamps. Lighting can often be adjusted by adjusting the light source, light barrier, lens, light barrier and other methods.

Limit the range and shape of the light area. between light zones. Some should be connected with each other and have a gentle gradient, while others should be cut off abruptly without interfering with each other.

It should depend on the needs of the show. In lighting management, it should be controlled separately according to the distribution of light areas, which is beneficial to stage scheduling and actors' performances. When facing the light on the stage, generally the common light is used first, then the close-up light, the night scene light first, and then the daylight.

First the interior light and then the exterior light.

In lighting design, in order to assist the performance on the stage, lighting means are often used to set up different areas. These areas generally have special meanings, usages, and psychological sources

light and shadow

Light and shadow: use light to create shadows, and use shadows to shape. It uses modeling lamps, slide lamps or projection lamps to project images on the sky, scenery or table through slides, modeling films or entities of characters and objects.

This is a method of expressing visual images directly by means of light.

The light and shadow modeling can be combined with the scenery to express the plot environment. (For example: the slide show image showing the distant view, the image on the scene film) can also be used to express the dramatic atmosphere alone. Of course, of course, it can also be hidden at will, or even superimposed.

The basic laws of light and shadow are as follows:

1. Light intensity and shadow are deep, light is weak and shadow is shallow.

2. Light and hard shadows are solid, light and soft shadows are virtual.

3. When the light is high, the shadow is short, and when the light is low, the shadow is long.

(The main optical axis and the ground become different angles)

4. The near shadow of light is large, and the shadow of far light is small.

5. The projection direction of light determines the direction of shadow.

6. The quantity of light (lamps) determines the quantity of shadows.

7. The area of ​​the illuminant is small, and the image is clear; the area of ​​the illuminant is large, and the image is blurred (the image of a similar point light source is the clearest).

8. Between the same lamp and the imaging screen, the image of the person close to the screen is small and solid; on the contrary, the image is large and virtual. When the image distance is the same, the optical distance image is small and solid; otherwise, it is large and virtual.

9. For images with the same lightness and darkness, if the edge line is clear, the image will feel deep; if the edge line is blurred, the image will feel shallow. The object receiving the image is smooth and delicate, and the image is clear; the image of the rough object is blurred.

Shadow is also one of the important shaping means of light

Its functions mainly include:

1. Structural shadow: reveal the surface structure and external form.

2. Show time and climate.

3. Create a specific environment atmosphere.

4. Express some images and abstract patterns, cast shadows on the characters, show people walking in the scene, and use shadows to convey shapes.

light beam

Beam: Use concentrated beams of lamps (PAR lamps, imaging spotlights, etc.) to cast light on the stage space. And it is rendered with smoke to form a visible beam of light. This is to express the image directly in the form of light.

It is a new modeling method of stage lighting.

In stage performances, light beams can add life and vitality to realistic scenes, such as: the light beams of the morning light in the forest, the light of "sunset horizon". In non-realistic scenes, "light pillars", "light walls" and "light curtains" can be expressed.

Beam arrangement can also be used to replace the big curtain and the second curtain. The opening and closing of the curtain are replaced by the sequential flickering of light beams. In music, singing and dancing performances, the rhythmic atmosphere of singing can be enhanced through the flashing of light beams.

You can also use light beams to combine various scene images to express a unique stage environment atmosphere.

In the application of beams, the selection of lamps should be based on the needs of the image, and the appropriate beam angle should be selected. In the selection of aerosol, pay attention to the ratio of smoke to air.

Dry ice aerosol is low and can cover the table. WJ-1 aerosol and GY-1 solid aerosol stay longer and more evenly in the stage space. The smoke of ethylene glycol aerosol is lighter, easy to rise, and not easy to be uniform.

Beams can produce psychological responses in visuals. Apart from the factors of the plot itself, there are many other complicated ways. Let’s do a simple analysis from the perspective of the combination of light beams and other elements:

Beam Intensity and Psychology

In the 1860s, physicist Maxwell, on the basis of his predecessors, proved the theory that the essence of light is electromagnetic waves with irregular wavelengths.

Electromagnetic waves are a kind of physical energy radiated by luminous bodies. The intensity of radiant energy of luminous bodies can be measured by the relative perception of light by human eyes, that is, luminous flux. (The total amount of visible light radiated by the light source per unit time, in lumens). The image of light beams in the performance space is generally presented by illuminating the floating smoke particles in the space.

The greater the intensity of the light, the brighter the same number of particles are illuminated, the greater the contrast between light and dark in the visual picture, the greater the visual impact of the beam, and the heavier the weight of the language of the beam in the mind of invisibility.

movement of light

The movement of light refers to the conversion and flow of light on the stage. It is the most active and expressive modeling element in stage lighting.

Make the stage lighting change from static shape to dynamic shape, and endow the stage lighting with vitality. The movement of light is a requirement of the nature and characteristics of dramatic art. The basic means of expression in dramatic art is dramatic action.

"Fluidity is an important feature of dramatic action," Lawson said.

Appia believes that "the light that can bring changes to the stage space and this kind of movement rhythm is the soul on the stage". He advocated that "the whole performance image is a picture woven in time".

Svoboda believes that drama means change and movement. He advocated "the drama of activity and light".

The remarks of the above-mentioned masters all require moving light to adapt to flowing dramatic actions.

The movement of light expands the function of stage lighting: guide the audience's sight, highlight the flowing dramatic action and character emotion, change the light with emotion, render the flowing stage atmosphere and picture, transform time and space, enhance the rhythm of theatrical performance, and fuel the flames.

On the Chinese theater stage, many excellent performances have been carefully designed and used in terms of light movement. For example: "Cai Wenji" performed by the Beijing People's Art Theater, "Romeo and Juliet" performed by the Shanghai Theater Academy, "The Chronicle of Mulberry Tree" performed by the Central Academy of Drama, "Madame Butterfly" performed by the Central Opera House, etc.

The movement of light is four-dimensional, creating a flowing stage atmosphere and images in the three-dimensional stage space. In terms of space: there are changes in area, shape, and orientation. In terms of time: there are rhythm changes such as fast, slow, broken, and continuous.

(In terms of lighting operation and management, it is divided into cut light, bright and dark, gradually dark, etc.). The movement of light is also controllable. It is reflected by the lighting personnel operating the lighting control equipment according to the lighting management table. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully formulate the light management table, be familiar with the performance of the control equipment, and operate carefully.

The movement of light includes the change and flow of six lighting modeling elements: the fluctuation of light intensity, the transformation of light color, the movement of light position, the transformation of light area, the looming of light and shadow, and the flickering of light beams.

In stage performances, sometimes a single element is required, and sometimes multiple movements are performed simultaneously to jointly interpret the language of light.

The movement of light is determined by the characteristics of drama, and the core of movement lies in rhythm. Unlike painting, dramatic action needs to unfold simultaneously in time and space. Therefore, frozen lighting is not in harmony with dramatic art.

Although lighting art started relatively late in stage arts, it has actively used the movement of sunlight to set off the plot in drama performances very early. It is said that it has been maturely used in ancient Greek amphitheatres. The changes and processes of all things that happen in the universe are called motion. The action of drama is an organized and planned motion, and the motion of light in drama should also be an orderly and regular motion. Therefore, the core of this motion lies in Rhythm. The word rhythm comes from Greek, and its original meaning is flow, which refers to the regular phenomenon of strength, weakness, and length that alternately appear in music.

The basic elements of lighting are the basic means that every lighting designer must use. It's just that different designers will choose flexibly according to their own personality or dramatic characteristics. It is precisely because of these numerous variables that the stage shows various lighting effects.

During the stage performance, the most important thing is to illuminate and shape the actors and scenery, and shape the image of the characters and the image of the scenery. To study the characteristics of the elements in detail, accurately select the appropriate vocabulary, and constantly explore the potential functions of the elements will be the goal of every lighting designer's continuous efforts, and it is also a topic that we must study in depth.

In a fixed stage space, light intensity, light color, and light position are the most effective lighting elements.

The following is a set of teaching illustrations of stage lighting modeling, which explains in detail the modeling of different lights and the lighting effects presented.

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