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bouncing light off a black surface


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#1 Daniel Madsen

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 05:14 PM

I don't really understand the point of using a black surface as a bounce. How is the quality of light from a black bounce any different from using a regular bounce card a greater distance from the subject?
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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 05:26 PM

Was it today that you were told about "Black Bounce"? It is April 1st, after all....

;-)
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#3 Daniel Madsen

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 06:12 PM

Good looking out... but no it wasn't.
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#4 Chris Cooke

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 06:15 PM

You must be refering to negative fill. This is used not to bounce light but to absorb bounced light.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 06:47 PM

There was some argument over this idea back at the time of "Alien Resurrection" because the efx DP decided to light the spaceship models by bouncing maxibrutes off of blackwrap for an ambient "space light" effect. Truth is that a lot of what reached the models was in the form of heat, not light, which caused some melting problems.

Not to put down someone else's creative idea, but the whole approach seemed to me to just be an inefficient method of creating soft light. Visible light can be described by how soft it is and what color it is, so even if you use a black surface to bounce light off of, the same rules apply -- the subject will be light by the area of light being reflected on the black surface -- how big the source becomes by being bounced -- and the color it picks up off of the surface. Now at the time I complained about this "bounce light off of blackwrap" idea, some people on the CML were defending it with tales of how they bounce light off of furniture, wooden floors, etc., which is all fine because of the color the light picks up and its interactive quality with the surfaces, materials, etc. Remi Adefarin talks about using materials to pass light through or bounce off of for interior scenes for a more natural look. But I still think using a black surface to bounce light off of is really just a waste of electricity -- it sounds more clever than it really is in terms of the results.
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