How To Make A Gobo
A gobo (which stands for ‘goes before optics’) is a stencil that is placed inside projector which produces a light projection of an image or text. You’ve probably seen them used at weddings or at restaurants where they're used to project a logo onto the wall, but have you ever wondered how they’re made? We take you backstage to our factory to show you the process we go through to ensure every gobo is perfect.
What is a gobo projector and where can I use it?
A gobo is a piece of glass or metal which when placed into a projector, projects your desired design onto a surface such as a wall or floor. Gobos can be used at any event, such as themed parties and weddings and can be fully bespoke to meet your requirements.
Designing your gobo - monochrome or full-colour?
Once you’ve settled on a design, it gets sent over to our in-house designers who will redraw and manipulate the files, preparing them for the manufacturing process. Files are manipulated using either an ai (Adobe Illustrator) or eps (Encapsulated PostScript) format to ensure the final cut will be crisp and clean as possible. When the designers have finished working their magic, we send the file back to you for final approval. When you’ve signed off the proof, the artwork is ready to be sent to our lab for the production process to begin.
How to make a monogram gobo
At production, our dedicated laser software draws precise outlines around the artwork ready file. The data is then sent to the laser with instructions of how to create the image on the glass or metal.
The gobo material is placed into the holder, the door is closed, and the laser works its magic. When this process is finished, our quality control experts check it over to ensure the final product meets our high standard.
How to make a full colour gobo
If a greyscale or coloured gobo is required, a chemical etching process is used for manufacturing. The artwork is placed on the correct templates before being transferred to film via our super high-resolution image setters.
The film is then exposed onto the correct size glass. If the image is full colour, the image setter will separate the colours into CMYK layers which are then exposed separately onto extremely thin pieces of dichroic glass. Once the images have been exposed onto the glass they are processed with positive resist developer, acid is then used to remove the coatings before it’s cleaned with acetone, dried and inspected.
For full-colour glass gobos, each layer is aligned and adhered and then placed in an oven to dry. It's then checked once more for faults, carefully packed and dispatched that night.
When we’ve sent out your gobo, you should receive it the next day, when it's ready to be placed into your projector or gobo maker machine at your event that day.
If you design and send over your artwork before 12 pm in either AI or EPS format, we can assure you same day dispatch. For any further information on creating your gobo, contact us on 0191 265 9832.