What is a Cyclorama? How can it help your shot?

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What is common between some kickass action sequences of ‘The Matrix’, Jukebox the Ghost’s ‘Everybody’s Lonely’ Single, and countless covers of Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ? All of these have been shot in a cyclorama studio!

Also known as a Cyc Wall or an Infinity Wall, a Cyclorama is a special studio backdrop that creates an illusion of infinite space. It is comprised of arc or cove-like walls, thus portraying the image of seamless, all-encompassing background with no edges or boundaries. When you shoot a video or capture an image in a cyclorama studio, it would appear as though the floor, wall, and ceiling are amalgamated into a single monochrome entity. Modern-day digital photography and video-shoots heavily rely on the Cyclorama backdrop, for a multitude of effects.

Evolution of the Cyclorama Studio

The concept of the Cyclorama dates back to 18th century England when visitors would throng Cyclorama buildings and Exhibits for their stunning panoramic views. Cyclorama theatres were extremely popular in Germany in the late 19th century. To date, Broadway shows and opera houses use Cyclorama backgrounds to create a seamless background effect. With the dawn of the new millennium and the massive demand for hi-tech studio space on rent, the Cyclorama Studio began to cater to the production requirements, where a 360-degree, panoramic backdrop was required.

A Surge in Popularity

This optical illusion created by this ‘curved surfaces backdrop’ has been widely observed in different animation movies, advertisements, magazine cover pictures, workout videos, music videos, and so on. With the right choice of background color, strategic lighting variations, and different camera angles, the optical illusions created could be that of an endless sky, luminous open space, or crisp-white infinity. The prime objective is to isolate and draw the entire attention of the onlooker towards the subject, product, or scene being shot, with zero background distractions. This also allows scope for ample creativity, and you can have a stunning photo-shoot or video-shoot with minimal investment. If you are on the lookout for a premium studio space on rent, opting for a Cyclorama Studio will save you a lot of time, considerably reduce your VFX expenditure, and help you get awe-inspiring shots with minimal efforts.

How can a Cyclorama help your shot?

The aesthetic allure of the cyclorama has been captivating audiences for ages. Let us look at the different prospects of using a Cyclorama background for your Production.

Background

  • Advertisements such as Product Demonstrations are best shot in an infinity-wall backdrop so that your target audience is solely focused on the aesthetics and features of the product.
  • With colored lighting (LED or Tungsten as found appropriate), the screen/cove appearance can be easily transformed from white to green, blue, or any other desired color. This is an excellent way of getting shots right where an infinite green zone or the optical illusion of a blue sky is needed.
  • For attractive model shots and magazine covers where the subject needs to be highlighted, getting your photography done in a well-equipped Cyclorama Studio is the most cost-effective, and visually –appealing option.
  • To create special effects like Chrome-Keying, where background colors are merged and transformed seamlessly, shooting with an infinity-backdrop is mandatory.
  • While shooting live-stream events with no scope for a re-take, having a perfect set is of utmost importance. The use of a Cyclorama backdrop can create a spellbinding effect on your viewers. You can play around with different virtual background projections for an enthralling shoot.
  • For Virtual Reality Photo Shoots and Animation Pictures, a good Cyclorama backdrop is extremely important to create the necessary special effects. Make sure you get a high-tech studio space on rent with varying options for the required panoramic effects.

Getting it Right

Before organizing your shoot in a Cyclorama Studio, make sure the backdrop is adequately pre-lit, and ask for the light temperature for white (and other available colors), to get the color- balance right on your camera. Light your subject adequately to avoid shadows being cast. Also, adequate spacing between the subject and the backdrop will prevent unwanted reflections. Remember, the Cyclorama has to be spotlessly clean for the desired visual effect, and you must leave the set as spick and span as it initially was when you started.

Conclusion

Irrespective of whether you are a photographer or videographer, there are multiple prospects of using a Cyclorama backdrop for your production. The seamless backdrop is akin to a blank canvas, which allows your product/model/host/anchors/actors to take center stage, and create a deeper impact on the audience.