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Lighting for HD


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#1 Jacqueline Donaldson

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 02:36 AM

Hi,

Can anyone tell me if there is a significant way of lighting for HD than ther is for Film. I've heard al sorts of stories about problems creating depth of fields and back focusing etc...

Anything I should consider before planning to light an HD shoot?

thanks

Jacqueline
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#2 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 08:32 AM

bring a good monitor and keep an eye on it. i haven't shot anything on real hd myself, just cheap hdv stuff where the flip out lcd was our monitor, but i was 1st ad on an hd short and the monitor was all that counted for the dp and gaffer, which makes sense since the camera itself is a light meter and it's totally wysiwyg.

(perhaps this is no news since you'd probably do the same on video. problem is i've hardly ever shot anything on video either, certainly nothing where we could afford a reference monitor, so i wouldn't know) ;-)

/matt
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#3 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 09:07 AM

hd signal takes usualy less diferences between high lights and shadow compare to film. and it can be sharper in low light than film.
Make sure you have strong enougth light if you have to fight against the sun.
take a 24 ' monitor well calibrated to chek either the lighting and the focus.
you can have an aditional 9' monitor to see your menus and a wave form monitor to find the perfect aperture to record the best signal for each setup... all this is the expensive and slow way you still can go with the zebras.
focusing is critical, with a sharpmax your ac will be able to quick chek the back focus and he may have to call a dedicated lens file when changing lens so each lens has it's own settings of shadings and aberations corections.
it may not be as clear as a David Mullen's demonstration but basicly it's around that
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 12:22 PM

In general, there's no difference -- lighting is lighting. You light to create the mood you want. If you want to key someone soft from one side, you'd do that in HD or film.

The only differences might be light level employed because you want to work more wide-open in HD to reduce depth of field; or conversely for some day stuff, you may want to work at a higher level to balance with a bright background (since video overexposes faster than film.)

Conversely, you may use a little less fill in the shadows for HD compared to shooting film neg for print (neg for telecine though is probably similar in low-end detail.)

You will have to watch how bright highlights overexpose in HD (table lamps, windows, bright backlights, etc.) Be prepared to put ND gels on day windows more often or put table lamps on dimmers more often (or put dimmer bulbs in them.)
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#5 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 01:15 PM

I just gaffed on a short film using the sony F900 and I was impressed with how well it handled the dark blacks.

I made sure that I gave the scene enough light (to semi "over expose"), since they were going to use a DI, but the DP wanted that lattitude to adjust on his part. He didn't seem to care about having a shooting stop, but more or less cared about the look.

we also had an HD monitor that helped a lot.
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#6 Mario C. Jackson

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 10:47 AM

I agree with David. Shooting is shooting. You see what the director wants and what the story calls for and light form there. I use the same techniques in lighting film as I do in video or HD. Although I have never dp on HD but I have gaffed on it before. Again to me I used the exact same lighting approach.
Hope This Helps
Mario Concepcion Jackson
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#7 Eric Steelberg ASC

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 11:27 AM

This was the most common question people as asked me at sundance...how I got the the HD to look like film. My response was always "I lit it like I would film, just using different exposure ranges."

All you need to do is an exposure and latitude test to see where your whites and blacks occur. Once you have that info, you just treat it as you would a different film stock. Generally there will be a disporportionate amount of range in the highlights vs. the shadows.

One thing I have noticed with the F900 is that in the shadows, the darker you get the less saturation you have. This is the case even with film but it's seems very noticeable to me. I suppose it has to do with the mediocre color sampling recorded to tape on that camera.
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#8 Jacqueline Donaldson

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Posted 13 March 2006 - 09:21 AM

Thanks guys, why didn't I think of just testing the lattitude, Yuh, hello! I guess sometimes we just need the obvious said.

One more thing! I've never lit a blue screen before and I know that I may have a problem with space in front of the blue screen as well as height. So, whats the best way to light evenly, how bright does it have to be? I'm guessing lighting from the top is best, but if I don't have room above and limited space in front, how do I light the screen without catching the actors and casting their shadows and does this cause problems?
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#9 Zoe Van Brunt

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 05:08 PM

Thanks guys, why didn't I think of just testing the lattitude, Yuh, hello! I guess sometimes we just need the obvious said.

One more thing! I've never lit a blue screen before and I know that I may have a problem with space in front of the blue screen as well as height. So, whats the best way to light evenly, how bright does it have to be? I'm guessing lighting from the top is best, but if I don't have room above and limited space in front, how do I light the screen without catching the actors and casting their shadows and does this cause problems?


I lit some green screen shots last year, and typically you want to give your subject a backlight to help cancel out reflected green that could be a problem in compositing. In terms of the limited space, I'd say try to take advantage of the "inverse square" rule. If you use lower output lights closer to your actor, it will cast less light on the backdrop than if you had a stronger source farther away. Softer sources will also cast less shadows, but the farther away they are the harder the shadows too. As an extreme example, the moon is reflected light, but acts as a point source because it's so far away.
If you have wide shots where you show the entire actor, that's a whole different animal, and I don't really know the answer.
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#10 Jacqueline Donaldson

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 01:32 AM

[/quote]
typically you want to give your subject a backlight to help cancel out reflected green that could be a problem in compositing. In terms of the limited space, I'd say try to take advantage of the "inverse square" rule. If you use lower output lights closer to your actor, it will cast less light on the backdrop than if you had a stronger source farther away. Softer sources will also cast less shadows, but the farther away they are the harder the shadows too.

[/quote]
Thanks, that helps alot.
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Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

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Rig Wheels Passport

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Ritter Battery

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Opal

The Slider

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