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CSI Las Vegas Lighting


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#1 kris

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 12:59 PM

Does anyone know how you would get the lighting like CSI Las Vegas? or NY?
http://www.rtl.nl/pr...svegas/gallery/

See the 16th photo on CSI LV in link above.

The shots with high contrast, half the face is shadowed and lit over the shoulders. Everything else faded to black. Some blue.

What lights would you use? Film?

Edited by kris, 14 July 2006 - 01:04 PM.

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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 05:13 PM

This one?:
Posted Image

Funny, it's one of the least stylish of the show (and it's a presskit photo anyway). It just looks like a soft source like a chimera fairly close to the face, no fill, and a soft blue-gelled backlight in the window (quite a bit under the key level). It looks like perhaps the shattered glass m ight be softeneing the sheen on his right side as well.

All the CSI shows use a lot of colored gels, and also use quite a bit of color-correction in post (mostly visible as increased contrast). I've noticed they often use pretty hard backlights and kickers coming from somewhere just off the set, and they try to contrast the colors between frontal light and backlight.
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#3 ChrisConnelly

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Posted 14 July 2006 - 06:11 PM

I remember reading an article in ICG awhile back that interviewed some of the DP's who shot the various CSI's and from what I can remember, their methods were almost exactly as described in the post above. Soft key, no fill, very hard and colored backlights/kickers, with a lot of color work done in post. I do recall that the producers consider the hard backlight the main ingredient of the "look" of CSI, and it is used 99% of the time, even if unmotivated in the scene.

Edited by ChrisConnelly, 14 July 2006 - 06:13 PM.

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#4 Bob Hayes

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 01:44 AM

The CSI shows have gone through many different looks from many different DPs. Some of them cutting edge and some of them pretty conventional.
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#5 Michael Nash

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 01:59 AM

The CSI shows have gone through many different looks from many different DPs. Some of them cutting edge and some of them pretty conventional.


I agree, although I am still amazed how consistent the show usually looks with multiple DP's. I remember reading Roy Wagner's tribulations about the first season on CML, and it has certainly settled out into a more uniform look now.

Michael Barrett did many episodes, and you can see evidence of his CSI color design and approach in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. CSI Miami has some pretty slick stuff from multiple DP's, including Dermot Downs and Eagle Egilsson.
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 15 July 2006 - 07:50 PM

In addition to all that's been said, which sounds right on to me, the Las Vegas series has a pretty signature color palette consisting of very saturated blues and greens mostly. Being in LV, there is plenty of other color around but when you watch it, the series feels very blue-green. A stark contrast, the Miami series is very yellow and yellow-green.

As for fixtures the OP asked for, I doubt it's anything out of the ordinary. It usually looks like kinos for keylights and various fresnels lighting the set, with quite a lot of cool-looking practicals.

Edited by Christopher D. Keth, 15 July 2006 - 07:51 PM.

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Visual Products

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Tai Audio

Technodolly

Opal

Abel Cine

Wooden Camera

Rig Wheels Passport