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#1 Simon Walsh

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 08:44 PM

Hi all,

Just a question on a technique I'm interested in trying out. When shooting interiors I read a lot of DOPs put 'tracing paper' over windows that have an unwanted background or just want to hide a light that is directly outside.

What is the process involved? Do you use actual large sheets of tracing paper like a graphic designer or an Architect would, or do rental houses have a specific grade of paper as expendables? Do you usually put them outside the window on a frame or c-stand or do you just stick them directly to the window frame itself?

Phew, a lot of questions but I guess in short I'm just asking what process you guys go through if you are to use "tracing paper" on set?

Regards,
Simon Walsh
Student Cinematographer
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 09:29 PM

There is a common expendable called "1000 H" tracing paper that comes on big rolls. You can simply tape it onto the outside of the the window frame. I believe it's much cheaper than gels so it's cheaper to use when doing a lot of windows.

Another cool gel to use is called "Hampshire Frost;" it's almost clear but with just enough diffusion that is makes everything outside very blurry.

Keep in mind that if you're trying to light through the window with trace on it, the whole window is just going to burn out white.
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#3 Bob Hayes

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 11:46 AM

Tracing paper worked great and I do it all the time as a last resort when shooting day at night. It is easy and fast but it kind of looks very low budget. I usually put a white or blue bounce outside the window. And place some trees in front of it to give more of a real feeling. If a need to obscure the view during the day Hampshire frost, like Michael says, is the right call.
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#4 Paul Bruening

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 02:53 AM

Hey all,

This is a very interesting topic. It is so common for big budget productions to paper and backlight windows on a sound stage to create the illusion of an exterior window that is over exposed. At the same time it is often considered cheap to do so on a genuine daylight exterior window.

What do you think?
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#5 timHealy

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 08:06 AM

Hello,

Larger productions usually have a translight or a backdrop outside of the windows. Productions with a location that is specific might have to arrange to have a new translight made for that particular movie. They also usually have one for day and one for night. Typically both are hung on a track like a giant curtain and one is pulled out of the way and the other brought in.

One thing that is always an issue is focus. If the translight image itself is in focus you must have a stage big enough so that the translight is far enough back so that it will be out of focus and looks natural. If it is too close to the windows it may not look true.

I think I have worked on one movie where an intentionally out of focus translight was made.

Like Bob mentions, papering a window can look cheap and low budget because it is a quick fix without the detail and depth one may see naturally.

best

Tim
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