Put simply, a gobo is a template typically on glass or metal that’s positioned in front of a light source for changing the light’s shape onto surfaces it’s projected to. Think Batman’s bat signal, that’s a gobo.
A gobo can be made of metal, glass, or durable plastics. Steel gobos are the most durable of all and are created by cutting an image, text, or logo on a steel template. While these are prone to oxidation due to severe heat from lights, they can still be used as is even when discoloured. Note however that they can’t accommodate floating design elements because they’re made of metal, but could project solid colours if you place an additional colour gel in front of the lighting.
A glass, on the other hand, is manufactured from transparent, durable glass that’s coated with a mirror over areas that won’t be displayed. The mirrors block out light to enable the transparent glass parts to display designs your want displayed. Unlike a metal gobo in which you can’t put floating designs, a glass gobo allows for more overlay design details. You could likewise add multiple colourings to get that stained glass look.
A glass gobo could also come in dichroic or full-colour options. These are manufactured from special glass and use various methods to allow projections of full or partial colour images. While they’re the most expensive options around, they’re also the most customisable.
Tips on Using a Gobo
There are many ways to use a gobo for any type of event. You could display peoples’ names or the event name during parties or weddings or convention names and company logos during conferences and other corporate events. A customised gobo with textural designs and shapes could likewise be used for offering a more personal ambience as well as textured lighting on floors, ceilings or walls of the venue.
You could even place a gobo inside moving, intelligent lighting so the design could be projected on virtually all surfaces in the venue. You have boundless opportunities at your disposal, but just make sure you have your gobos done by experienced manufacturers.