Cyclorama / Infinity wall
by Derr Band on Feb 15, 2019 at 8:16:18 pm
I wonder what materials and techniques I should use to build a cyclorama / infinity wall. I've seen lots of YouTube DIY videos where they use a construction made out of wood. According to one of my friends , the problem here is that wood lives and can cause changes in construction over the years. What material should we use to build it? Also what material should we use to build the surface of the wall itself? We want to rent it on a professional basis and are desperately trying to get an idea of budget and technique. We live in a small country in Europe and there are no companies that specialize in infinity walls.
The size of the two walls that we'd like to build are 3229 sq. ft and 7000 sq ft.
Thanks a lot !
Re: Cyclorama / Infinity wall
by Mark Suszko on Feb 22, 2019 at 5:17:21 pm
If you need a corner or 3-wall /floor space with curves, commercial solutions for this are usually comprised of modular plastic panels, either of thermo-formed plastic or molded fiberglass. They don't have the dimensional stability issues of wood- based construction, and can at least theoretically be de-constructed, moved, and re-assembled. Making these from scratch is expensive and time-consuming, as you have to first build molds and jigs to support the fabrication. An air-inflated structure might be possible, and theoretically could be more portable, but brings it's own issues. This is the top-of-the-line way to make such things and the costs reflect that.
If all you need is a flat wall that curves at the floor, that's much easier; Rolls of photographer's background paper will do. They are not hard to overlap and seam with tape, to make them wider. But they're fragile.
If that's too fragile, or not wide enough, the back side or "felt" side of inexpensive rolled vinyl sheet flooring actually makes a great, sturdy surface for a cyclorama or limbo wall that can run down a wall and curve down onto the floor, continuing right up to the camera. You just have to prime that surface first, with a latex, water-based (not oil-based) primer... then paint it grey, green, blue, white, whatever. The flooring can be the ugliest, cheapest stuff that's on sale; you just want to be sure the backing is clean and even, without any embossed patterns from the top side coming thru. The backing is the part the camera will see. Trap the top edge of the vinyl sheet in a sandwich of lumber boards, screwed together, the screws going thru the vinyl as well as the wood, and then hang that board on wall hooks, your lighting grid, or whatever. You can in theory take this all down and roll it up for storage or transport, but it will be pretty heavy. The material is sturdy to walk on with regular shoes, even spike heels, and cleans up with soap and water, but also keep a small can of your paint for touch-ups as needed.
If you can find a supplier to sign-making businesses, see if you can find a very wide roll of the very thin plastic substrate known as "Sintra". It's basically a foam board based on PVC. In the thinnest version, it acts like thick paper stock. This I find makes an excellent and much lighter substitute for the vinyl flooring, and doesn't require painting or finishing. It might also be shaped a little with carefully applied heat, to mold around a curved or hard-cornered object, for example. It can be glued and joined at the edges with contact cement, preferably latex-based.