Wybron is continuing its support for the iPhone and iPod Touch with the release of its newest application, the Moiré Gobo Library. This latest library follows on from the successful Gel Swatch Library and CXI Color Calculator. This time the company have focused on Gobos, those little metal discs that can transform an otherwise dull and bland set into a rich, beautiful scene, full of depth and texture.
With the application installed you can browse and search over 1,500 gobos from GAM and Lee, each Gobo can then be focused and rotated at various speeds to help you decide which is the right one for your needs. The Moiré Gobo Library also incorporates “Twin Spin”, which is a device manufactured by GAM designed to rotate two gobos in the gate of a lantern, thus creating new and interesting patterns. Typical uses for this device include making leaves appear to sway in the wind, making flames flicker or stars twinkle. However, using the Gobo Library it is possible to experiment with different gobos quickly and easily from within the application and come up with new and original uses.
The library works in a similar manner to the Gel Swatch Library, you are presented with a list of gobos with thumbnails and a description next to it. You can organise them by number or name, and to help you find what you want quickly there is also a built in search function. You can choose to list either GAM or Lee gobos, though you can’t view all gobos in one list. You can also make use of the “Recently viewed gobos” if you want to quickly refer back to something you had been looking at previously.
When you view a gobo, you are shown an image of the gobo taking up roughly half of the screen. Below it are two sliders, one for focus and the other for spin. The focus will be particularly helpful to designers when looking for a gobo to add texture, though I would like to see the focus go further than it does. Many lamps are able to severely blur the gobo far more than this application will allow. Also, slightly annoyingly, when the gobo is blurred it introduces a white ring around the edge of the gobo if you are viewing them against the default dark background.
I also found the sliders a little unresponsive, this may have something to do with the large steps between settings though. Perhaps giving more of a range in the focus would allow for more steps to be added alleviating this problem as well. Rotating gobos works well though and a nice touch is being able to simply reverse the rotation by double tapping the gobo, something that doesn’t seem to be documented anywhere and I found by accident. This feature also works in the “Twin Spin” mode.
One disappointing omission is the lack of any gobos from Rosco and the DHA range. These gobos are almost industry standard across the UK and the complete exclusion of these gobos is a massive limitation in its usefulness to users here. Whether this is a licensing issue or not I don’t know, but either way it doesn’t really matter to the end user. Whilst the price is a very reasonable £5.99, you have to ask yourself if you can really get anything out of this application. In many ways having a gobo library like this is more useful and practical than the Gel Swatch Library. However, if you don’t use Lee or GAM gobos then the answer is a definite no, at least until such time as they are able to introduce the Rosco range.
I really want to give the Moiré Gobo Library a higher score, and you should certainly add an extra point if you use GAM or Lee gobos. But until the library is more comprehensive it just doesn’t have the same appeal to UK users. The Moiré Gobo Library is a great application and a superb reference tool for lighting designers working with GAM or Lee gobos.