About Pro Cyc

Company History

PAST

The idea for Pro Cyc® was born out of the frustration and ingenuity of professional photographer Fritz von Tagen as he embarked on the construction of his dream cyclorama studio over 30 years ago.

PRESENT

Fritz could not have conceived at that time just how revolutionary his patented molds were, and that 30+ years later Pro Cyc® would be the world’s leading manufacturer of modular cyclorama background systems.

FUTURE

Our research and development department is constantly working on new ideas and products to meet the ever-changing needs and demands of today’s media and high-tech industries.

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WHAT IS A CYC?

So, what exactly is a Cyc?  ‘Cyc’ is an abbreviated term for cyclorama, also referred to as a cyclorama wall or cyc wall.  Webster defines a cyclorama as “a curved wall used as a background of a stage set to suggest unlimited space.”

To elaborate further, a cyc is any type of walled background incorporating one or more curved surfaces that are used to create a background with no perceptible beginning or end. In a cyc studio, all corners are seamless. This is referred to within our industry as an “infinity background”. When done properly, it is virtually impossible to discern where the floor ends and the wall begins. We refer to the curved pieces of a cyclorama wall as “coves.” Coves are used to connect the 90 degree intersections of wall and floor, wall and ceiling, and/or one wall to another. A true cyclorama also has a top cove meaning you also cannot tell where the top of the wall ends and the ceiling begins. To expand the effect, corner coves may also be used to connect more than one wall. In essence, being inside a cyc is very similar to being on the inside of a giant egg.

Cyclorama studios are used for a variety of purposes within the following industries: television and film, broadcast media, photography and green screen (also called “chroma key”) virtual set production. In still photography, the advantage of a cyc background is the ability to make your background virtually ‘disappear,’ which leaves open a multitude of possibilities for lighting and post production. It allows whatever product you are shooting to take center stage.

Furthermore, a completely white background in product photos is required by many of the leading online retailers, including Amazon.com (who, by the way, have installed several Pro Cyc cyclorama studios at their headquarters in Seattle, WA).  In television, film and broadcast media, whether one is shooting a commercial, a news piece or filming a video, a cyclorama background provides a plethora of possibilities. Back in the 90’s, several famous GAP ads with swing dancers against an infinite white background were shot against a Pro Cyc background. APPLE also has several Pro Cyc studio systems; you’ve most likely seen many of their commercials set against an infinite white cyclorama wall.  A multitude of car commercials come to mind as well – all shot against a seamless cyclorama background.

In virtual set productions, where chroma key and compositing technology are used to create virtual sets, a high quality cyc background is not just beneficial, it is absolutely essential. The computer systems that produce the virtual backgrounds and special effects which you are seeing in more and more movies and various video applications, require that filming be done against an absolutely seamless (no visible corners or shadowing) chroma key backdrop, which is then painted a very specific shade of green. “Chroma key” is a method for mixing two images together where a color from one image is removed revealing another image behind it, which is how a virtual set is created. A good cyclorama studio is the perfect solution to meet that need and is great for working with digital photography backgrounds, too. And yes, Pro Cyc studio backgrounds have been used as the green screen backgrounds for many Hollywood movies as well, “Batman vs. Superman” and “The Hunger Games” come to mind, among others.