How to build your own Cyclorama

A Cyclorama, or infinity wall, is a great addition to any photo studio. It provides the seamless coved backdrop that allows for truly professional studio photoshoots, and is always in demand for London photo studio hire. Just type infinity cove studio hire London into a search engine and see how few affordable options emerge.

The construction process isn’t as difficult as you might think. You don’t need to be a trained carpenter, just fairly proficient with a hammer and saw.

Materials required include plywood for the curved frames, timber with which to join these, some 1/8’’ hardboard, drywall mud, oil base primer, floor concrete primer and matte paint. Tools you’ll need include are a jig saw, mitre saw, nail gun, sanders, paint rollers and brushes, wood filler, adhesive gun and drywall knife and mud pan.

Starting with a blank canvas

You need to start with a smooth wall and floor, so remedy any defects with sandpaper or dry wall filler. Dry wall filler can also be used on a concrete floor, and is much easier than concrete filler to sand down afterwards.  These are important first steps: any flaws are not only magnified under directed studio lighting, but an uneven floor increases the potential for accidents.

Creating a framework

The wood for the frame needs to be fairly soft, something like ply wood. Work on a diameter of around 2’’ to 3’’ and cut out a master frame, supported by some 2’’ x 4’’ lengths of wood to support the curved ply wood.

Installing the frame

Mark out the dimensions of your Cyclorama on wall and floor as a clear guide and then start adding the wood pieces to the frame, affixing them initially with glue and then with a nail gun or a drill and wood screws.

Getting ahead of the curve

Time to add the hardboard piece to the Cyclorama. Hardboard is a thin, flexible board perfect for shaping into a curve, but with greater properties of flexibility the larger the sheet, so try to bring these to the studio in sheets as large as possible (4’ x 8’ is ideal). This also leaves you with less mudding to do as you’ll have fewer joints to conceal. The curve is attached by stapling these pieces to the frame, and then concealing the stapler holes with wood filler then sealing the hardboard with oil-based primer.

Getting muddy

It’s the ‘mudding’, or application of drywall compound to your cyclorama, that gives it the sense of flawless backdrop infinity. You’re basically concealing the joints between the hardboard curve and the wall and floor, and between your pieces of hardwood. The best way to mud these transitions is with a mudding knife. Skim the compound along the visible joints, and lightly sand away the excess once it has dried.

And finally…

It’s time to get out your paint brushes and rollers. Prime your surfaces, then use a white matte exterior paint, tough and resistant, for your wall, curve and floor. Job done, you’ve placed yourself in prime position for London Cyclorama studio hire!