What is a Cucaloris, Cuke, Cokie, CeloCuke or Ulcerboard?

What is it used for and what are different types?




Cucaloris are usually made from Plywood with irregular ‘ulcer’ type holes cut into it – the idea being to recreate foliage type shadows found when shooting in full sunlight under a tree.

CeloCuke is a painted wire mesh instead of plywood and gives a much more subtle effect – the wire simply reduces the light slightly (rather than completely flagging it) so therefore creates softer shadows.

Ulcer Blackout Cloth – Same as a blackout cloth but with irregular holes as the wood/metal Cuke’s used with an appropriately sized frame such as a 6’x6’

Branchaloris* –  Need to have your shadows moving? Usually made from small branches, twigs found on the ground held with knuckles on a C- Stand, these either blow in the wind or can be swayed by a spare pair of hands.

Remember the softness of light (shadow) is controlled by its size, distance and amount/type of diffusion placed in front of it – this gives you plenty of options to create the look you’re after when using a Cuke.

Tip: Try covering each hole on the Cuke with different coloured Gel off-cuts for an interesting effect in the studio.

Tip: By using two Cucaloris Boards at different distances you can create some hard edge shadows with some softer edge shadows to create a more ‘natural’ effect.




The pattern closest to the light is the softest as the light source itself is larger in relation to the holes in the pattern. The pattern farthest from the light is sharper both because the light is, from its perspective, a smaller source, and because it is closer to the lit surface.

We stock various sizes: 24”x36” / 36”x36” / 48’x48” / 6ftx6ft (Cloth)

*Not in our rental stock! Please don’t destroy trees 😮