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Red-Eye effect on film


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#1 Seban

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 08:45 AM

Hi,
I will be shooting a project on 16mm, and we want to achieve a specific look, which is to have our main character having red-eye. But we don't want the red-eye to be from contact lenses or added in post but to come directly from the camera shots.
I know it has been done, but I don't really know how.
Any idea? Suggestion?
Tx
Seban
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 11:28 AM

Hi,
I will be shooting a project on 16mm, and we want to achieve a specific look, which is to have our main character having red-eye. But we don't want the red-eye to be from contact lenses or added in post but to come directly from the camera shots.
I know it has been done, but I don't really know how.
Any idea? Suggestion?
Tx
Seban



I don't think that can really be done in motion pictures. Red eye comes from light reflecting off of the retina (the blood-rich sensor array in the back of our eye) straight back into the camera. It needs a bright source of light and the iris needs to be pretty wide open- two things that are not compatible when you must use continuous sources of light. The bright source of light must be from approximately lens axis, also, which makes pretty awful looking lighting. Furthermore, it relies on the subject looking straight into the camera, another thing that happens very rarely in motion pictures.

I think contacts are your best bet for this effect.

Edited by Christopher D. Keth, 03 April 2006 - 11:31 AM.

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#3 Arni Heimir

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 11:43 AM

You can easily have your actors wear "flash red" contact lenses, which would achieve the same effect. It wouldn't be exactly the same as in the still photograph, but something like it.

You can go to your optician and enquirer about it.

Plus, it is very important to remember that you would have to use special filters on the lens. It could turn out to be orange on the negative. Just do tests.

You can also (painstakingly) rotoscope it in post.
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#4 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 01:57 PM

Actually, it's very easy to achieve in post. All softwares can track a pupil automatically and after that it's pretty simple sticking a red dot in there.

But if you want to do it for real it can be done. The late, great Jordan Cronenweth, ASC, did exactly that in Blade Runner. The trick is to get the light on the same axis as the lens. This is achieved by using a semi-reflecting mirror that you stick in front of the lens at a 45 degree angle and then shine a small source into. You don't want it strong, because then the iris in the eye will close. Hence, fast film and fast lenses is the trick here. Not easy to do, but achievable. If he did it in 1982 when the fastest film stocks were 100ASA, then we don't have much of an excuse today, do we?
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#5 Olivier Vanaschen

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 02:30 PM

Hello,

you should also have a look at the music video "Criminal" for Fiona Apple directed by Mark Romanek and shot by Harry Savides. They wanted that "flash photography" effect in motion (red eyes included) and got it very nicely. From what I remember they tried different work lights on the camera, they finaly used the smallest lights they did found.

Here's a link: http://www.markroman...m/video/05.html

Cheers,

Olivier Vanaschen
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#6 Filip Plesha

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 07:35 PM

If he did it in 1982 when the fastest film stocks were 100ASA


5247 was 125ISO at the time I think, later switched back to 100, but that's very relative, sometimes one can claim a film to have up to one stop more/less speed then what the box says, depending on preferences
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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 08:59 PM

Actually, it's very easy to achieve in post. All softwares can track a pupil automatically and after that it's pretty simple sticking a red dot in there.

But if you want to do it for real it can be done. The late, great Jordan Cronenweth, ASC, did exactly that in Blade Runner. The trick is to get the light on the same axis as the lens. This is achieved by using a semi-reflecting mirror that you stick in front of the lens at a 45 degree angle and then shine a small source into. You don't want it strong, because then the iris in the eye will close. Hence, fast film and fast lenses is the trick here. Not easy to do, but achievable. If he did it in 1982 when the fastest film stocks were 100ASA, then we don't have much of an excuse today, do we?



But that would only work when the actor is looking into the camera, or close to it. If that's what he wants, awesome but it sounds like more of an all-the-time effect is desired.
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#8 Jake Kerber

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Posted 03 April 2006 - 09:28 PM

The red eye effect in the Fiona Apple video was done in post, frame by frame.

-Jake Kerber
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#9 Olivier Vanaschen

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 09:26 AM

The red eye effect in the Fiona Apple video was done in post, frame by frame.

-Jake Kerber



Hello,

didn't know that, thanks for the info!

Olivier Vanaschen
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#10 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 03:17 PM

You will never be able to get a red eye effect in camera when they're looking off camera, unfortunately. It kind of only works when they look into, or very close to the lens.

Except, except, I've heard Aborigins have a different retina and their eyes will actually glow like a cat's when hit by light. This could very well be an urban legend, so don't count on it.
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#11 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 03:21 PM

If he did it in 1982 when the fastest film stocks were 100ASA, then we don't have much of an excuse today, do we?


---But pushing one or two stops was very common.

---LV
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#12 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 01:54 PM

"Red Eye" is caused when the light source is on the same optical axis as the camera lens, so you get a "retro-reflection" from the retina of the eye. Generally, it is most likely to occur when the eye's iris is wide open (eyes accomodated to the dark, or iris dilated), so for continuous light, lower levels of light are more likely to produce "red eye".

Should be able to get it by shooting though a 45-degree partial mirror, and reflecting a specular key light off the mirror to light the subject, such that the light is on the same optical axis as the eye line to the camera lens. Using this technique should work equally well for human or animal subjects, although animals often have other colors reflected by the retina.

http://en.wikipedia..../Red-eye_effect

The red-eye effect in photography is the common appearance of red eyes on photographs taken with a photographic flash. The light of the flash occurs too fast for the iris of the eye to close the pupil. The flash light is focused by the lens of the eye onto the blood-rich retina at the back of the eye and the image of the illuminated retina is again focused by the lens of the eye back to the camera resulting in a red appearance of the eye on the photo. (This principle is used in the ophthalmoscope, a device designed to examine the retina.)

The effect is generally more pronounced in people with grey or blue eyes and in children. This is because pale irises have less melanin in them and so allow more light to pass through to the retina. Children, despite superficial appearances, do not have larger pupils but their pupils are more reactive to light and are able to open to the fullest extent in low light conditions. Many adults have lost the ability to fully open their pupils except through the use of drugs.

In many species the tapetum lucidum, a light-reflecting layer behind the retina that improves night vision, intensifies this effect. This leads to variations in the colour of the reflected light from species to species. Cats, for example, display blue, yellow, pink, or green eyes in flash photographs.


http://www.cinematog.....ye effect.htm
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#13 Seban

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 06:58 PM

I had a look at "Criminal" from Fiona Apple, but I didn't know it had been done in post, Tx for that info. I knew of the Blade runner one, I think it has one as well in Mosquito Coast, and both of those were done directly on camera (or so I think until someone will tell me it was done in post ;-) )
So I guess, except if you have another idea/suggestion/experience alike, I will have to run tons of test to find out...
I know it's tricky, the actor (who is not aborigen) will be looking strait at the camera for most of the shot we need this effect for, as it all come toward the same meaning effect we are looking for...
Anyway, Tx all of you for your advises, comments...
Seban
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#14 Jon Kukla

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 02:57 PM

I remember hearing Rodrigo Prieto talking about using the 45 degree trick in Alexander during a scene when Lex meets Rosario Dawson for the first time. Didn't see the film, though, so I can't tell you where exactly. However, he described the effect more as the odd "cat's eyes" effect than a red glow. In any case, I think it flashes by so quickly it would need to be paused to see the color.
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