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Lighting 2 actors at urinals


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#1 rbg

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 12:55 PM

Hey all,

Just a question about lighting 2 actors as they have a conversation at side by side urinals in a corporate type restroom. I want to have the option to shoot the scene from behind them both and do over the shoulders. We're actually building a little set that has 4 urinals on a flat white wall, with 2 side walls on either side that will have 2 ft wide strips of white plexi built in them.
My idea to light them was: hang some kinos above them, angled so that they'll bounce off the white wall that the urinals are on, filling the face. Then further back I was gonna have some more Kino's filling their backs which would be above camera for the master 2 shot. My thought, additionally was to add something with more punch behind the plexi panels to create a glow through them and additionally, from the side, above the side walls, have a punchier source to alternate between, side to side (fresnels 1.2K) to create some kind of key light????

Any ideas, thoughts, much appreciated!

Ryan Barton-Grimley (RBG)
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 01:01 PM

It's hard to visualize what you're describing but I worry that it sound overly flat, especially if you're talking about a white wall. These sort of scenes tend to look best with a strong sense of practical lighting, like one overhead hot soft top light. If the room is so light-toned (and I suggest a shade darker than white) then there will be a lot of ambient bounce creating fill anyway, especially if you overexpose the soft key light a little to open up the shadows.
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#3 dpoperator1

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 08:00 PM

A good place for a little bit of cheating, establish from the rear then go into coverage moving them back from the wall which is not seen, as you are shooting from their front quarter, from a position which would in reality be inside the wall. works good to give you some room to get a little modeling on the faces as suggested above.
TJ Williams, Dp. Seattle WA
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#4 rbg

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 11:04 PM

It's hard to visualize what you're describing but I worry that it sound overly flat, especially if you're talking about a white wall. These sort of scenes tend to look best with a strong sense of practical lighting, like one overhead hot soft top light. If the room is so light-toned (and I suggest a shade darker than white) then there will be a lot of ambient bounce creating fill anyway, especially if you overexpose the soft key light a little to open up the shadows.


Thank-you so much for replying David. I am a big fan of your work.
I see what you're saying about it being flat and just too much light.
That's a great note on the color of the wall as well. I'm thinking we'll
go with a light earth tone on the wall and hang some kinos above, to
simulate practical florescents. When I'm behind them doing the 2 shot,
we'll have another Kino above camera angled out towards them, simulating
a practical from across the room. I'll probably leave it there when I move in
and shoot over the shoulders.??? Maybe move them back from the wall, cheat with
some fill cards, when framed tightly??? The back light on the plexi strips in the side walls
will just be for a glow in the background, some eye candy.

Thoughts?
Ideas?

Thank-you both so much for your imput!

Ryan Barton-Grimley
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 12:00 AM

I guess that sounds OK. You just want to make sure there is enough contrast.
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#6 Cole Webley

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 12:01 AM

You could also try giving them some negative fill just outside frame to help it from becoming too flat.
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#7 George Lekovic

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 01:22 AM

Hi,

since you have that "glow" from the plexi on the sides, use it to justify a stronger light source. When you move in to shoot a SRS, take an inkie or a peper + opal to create a nice rim light around your actor. It will end up looking as if the glow is creating this (rather strong) rim light. You can use the same rational to model the backs of your actors for the establishing shot. Your wall also does not have to be flat. You can paint it in different shades of the same color to simulate the light dropoff - to accentuate that the source is above them.

Just a thought.

Good luck.

~george
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#8 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 02:11 AM

To get an idea, you might want to take a look at a Heineken commercial I did some years ago. The whole thing was an exchange between men at a urinal. You can see it on my website under the commercials section at www.mediumgrey.com

It was lit with two kino-flos above with generous black wrap to skirt them off the wall. Fill for the actors was coved bounce card just below frame.
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#9 rbg

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 04:06 AM

To get an idea, you might want to take a look at a Heineken commercial I did some years ago. The whole thing was an exchange between men at a urinal. You can see it on my website under the commercials section at www.mediumgrey.com

It was lit with two kino-flos above with generous black wrap to skirt them off the wall. Fill for the actors was coved bounce card just below frame.


Hey Eric,

Thanks for the heads up on the commercial you did. That's pretty much exactly what I'm looking to do. It looked great. Were the Kinos rigged above them? Like practicals? Seemed like there was some fill from near camera on the two shot or was that just from above?

Thanks again. Very helpful.

Ryan Barton-Grimley
RBG

I guess that sounds OK. You just want to make sure there is enough contrast.


I hear what you're saying. Too much soft light. Probably better with practicals
or simulated ones above them (kinos), couple of bounce cards under their faces
between them and the wall, just under frame line, for the close ups. I'll over expose
a little on the two shot from behinde them to get some detail. I appreciate all of your
input.

Ryan Barton-Grimley
RBG
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#10 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 12:23 PM

On the wide two shot I had a 4x bounce low under camera to pick up some of the overhead kinos and put them into the shadows. Really was that simple. I ended up also adding in more contrast in telecine.

The kinos were rigged above them...I think they were on a goal post type rig...to make them feel like practicals.

The production design and wallpaper we chose for the normally all white bathroom really helped us out in controlling unwanted spill.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
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#11 rbg

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 04:01 PM

On the wide two shot I had a 4x bounce low under camera to pick up some of the overhead kinos and put them into the shadows. Really was that simple. I ended up also adding in more contrast in telecine.

The kinos were rigged above them...I think they were on a goal post type rig...to make them feel like practicals.

The production design and wallpaper we chose for the normally all white bathroom really helped us out in controlling unwanted spill.

Hope this helps. Good luck!



Thanks again Eric. We're shooting in a couple weeks. I'll post a link when we're done w/ post. Should be quite a funny piece and will also, now, look good. I appreciate the your and David's help. It is a testament to the callaborative, communal vibe that DOES exist in the film industry and Hollywood. Thank-you.

Ryan Barton-Grimley
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#12 Igor Trajkovski

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 09:32 PM

Your wall also does not have to be flat. You can paint it in different shades of the same color to simulate the light dropoff - to accentuate that the source is above them.

Just a thought.

Good luck.

~george


This trick remainds me on "texture backing " in 3D CGI.

"texture baking,? allows you to create texture maps based on an object's appearance in the rendered scene. The textures are then ?baked? into the object: that is, they become part of the object via mapping.
~from 3D Max 5 Users manual.

In other words, you can put all your lights, global illumination, radiosity
render it once for the selected (mainly stationary) objects , convert it into applied texture maps.

The time consuming rendering then can be focused to other moving or foreground elements.

What ever.

My point is: cheating the way we get the final result.

"Smoke and mirrors"

hehe :)

Great tip George!
Never thought of translating it in real world too.


Regards.

Igor Trajkovski
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