Jump to content


Photo

using bubble wrap to create a light effect


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Jacqueline Donaldson

Jacqueline Donaldson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 97 posts
  • Other
  • Hong Kong

Posted 20 July 2006 - 04:19 AM

Hi there,

We're shooting a short film and I'm setting up some large coloured or gelled lights outside 2 windows - I initially thought about using tracing paper on the windows or hampshire frost - but I 'm wondering if bubble wrap might enhance the look I'm going for -

firstly I want to obscure the equipement outside the window and we will be doing 360 degree camera movements

secondly - the world is about to end and the planet is burning up - will bubble wrap on the windows distort the light enough to throw blisters of light on the walls and actors etc? and how intense will I need to make the lights - budget is a factor - so I'm thinking 2x 2K HMI's but alternatively I'm thinking about 2 or 3 coloured stage lights outside each window, the light spread is much narrower but perhaps a more intense beam, will this enhance the look I'm trying to create?

Thank you for any advice.

Jacqueline
  • 0

#2 Chad Stockfleth

Chad Stockfleth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 622 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Louisville, KY

Posted 20 July 2006 - 08:19 AM

Test test test! Be careful though....I have a feeling bubble wrap is going to melt/burn.
  • 0

#3 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 20 July 2006 - 10:37 AM

On the plus side: After the shoot is over, the crew will have lots of fun popping the bubbles!
  • 0

#4 timHealy

timHealy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1252 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 20 July 2006 - 11:49 AM

i have a feeling you may not get what you are looking for with bubble wrap and chad is right it will melt easily and you should test this before the day of your shoot. if you want to see blisters of light on the actors faces i would think you would need to pull your light source away from the actors and then place a sheet of bubble wrap just out of frame hanging on a grip arm or something to get a sharpish pattern from the bubble wrap. but this would only work for a close up.

best

tim
  • 0

#5 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 July 2006 - 12:30 PM

i have a feeling you may not get what you are looking for with bubble wrap and chad is right it will melt easily and you should test this before the day of your shoot. if you want to see blisters of light on the actors faces i would think you would need to pull your light source away from the actors and then place a sheet of bubble wrap just out of frame hanging on a grip arm or something to get a sharpish pattern from the bubble wrap. but this would only work for a close up.

best

tim



This is more or less the right answer. I've tried it and you don't get much that's interesting unless the bubble wrap is very close to the subject to cast a sharp shadow. In addition, it melts extremely easily.
  • 0

#6 Jacqueline Donaldson

Jacqueline Donaldson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 97 posts
  • Other
  • Hong Kong

Posted 21 July 2006 - 08:11 AM

This is more or less the right answer. I've tried it and you don't get much that's interesting unless the bubble wrap is very close to the subject to cast a sharp shadow. In addition, it melts extremely easily.


HI thanks everyone,

I was thinking about actually putting it on the windows and having the HMI's a fair bit away, the room is quite a small space - I guess, I'm just going to have to test it as best I can. Also, alternatively what kind of tracing paper can I use to obsure the windows? I can't afford the real stuff.

Thanks again.
Jac
  • 0

#7 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 21 July 2006 - 07:03 PM

HI thanks everyone,

I was thinking about actually putting it on the windows and having the HMI's a fair bit away, the room is quite a small space - I guess, I'm just going to have to test it as best I can. Also, alternatively what kind of tracing paper can I use to obsure the windows? I can't afford the real stuff.

Thanks again.
Jac




You can't afford regular old, boring, art-store tracing paper? :blink:
  • 0

#8 timHealy

timHealy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1252 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 21 July 2006 - 07:34 PM

HI thanks everyone,

I was thinking about actually putting it on the windows and having the HMI's a fair bit away, the room is quite a small space - I guess, I'm just going to have to test it as best I can. Also, alternatively what kind of tracing paper can I use to obsure the windows? I can't afford the real stuff.

Thanks again.
Jac


Hey Jac,

Yes you have the right idea with putting bubble wrap on the windows and bringing the lights way back from the windows. It may work if your lights are big enough. I didn't mention that as I got the impression you may have a limited budget. 2 - 2.5 pars(there are no 2k hmi's) may work without a lens or with a spot lens (don't take the UV glass out), but such a hot focused beam could easily melt something that has no resistance to heat. So it all depends how far back you can go and still get the exposure you need. a sheet of heat shield would help. Bigger lights would work too if you have the funds and the electric available to run them.

You can get a roll of tracing paper called 1000H that is cheap relative to Lee or Rosco diffusion. But your lighting effect would be completely different that something less opaque like bubble wrap. if the tracing paper is on the window in your shooting room, it will act like a giant softlight filling the room with light in all directions.

good luck

Best

Tim
  • 0

#9 Adam Frisch FSF

Adam Frisch FSF
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2009 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, USA

Posted 21 July 2006 - 08:02 PM

What you stick in front of the light is much less important compared to how big, or what type the light is, really.
  • 0

#10 Robert Aldrich

Robert Aldrich
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 30 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Hollywood, CA

Posted 21 July 2006 - 11:24 PM

Hi there,

secondly - the world is about to end and the planet is burning up - will bubble wrap on the windows distort the light enough to throw blisters of light on the walls and actors etc? and how intense will I need to make the lights - budget is a factor - so I'm thinking 2x 2K HMI's but alternatively I'm thinking about 2 or 3 coloured stage lights outside each window, the light spread is much narrower but perhaps a more intense beam, will this enhance the look I'm trying to create?

Jacqueline


How about you put the lights/equipment just out of line of what the camera sees out the window, and put a 5 gallon (blue/green tint) water bottle in front of each light. This makes a nice, spooky random pattern of light.

You could even cut some strips of red gel and have someone move them randomly in front of the lights to add some fire effects.

Edited by Robert Aldrich, 21 July 2006 - 11:27 PM.

  • 0

#11 Jacqueline Donaldson

Jacqueline Donaldson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 97 posts
  • Other
  • Hong Kong

Posted 22 July 2006 - 01:12 AM

How about you put the lights/equipment just out of line of what the camera sees out the window, and put a 5 gallon (blue/green tint) water bottle in front of each light. This makes a nice, spooky random pattern of light.

You could even cut some strips of red gel and have someone move them randomly in front of the lights to add some fire effects.



I like the idea about the coloured water - we need lots of colours, gel is expensive and we could easily do that - i'm thinking that I could put up a horizontal pole beween 2 stands and hang several bottles of different coloured water on that and then we could move the bottles according to the colour shifts and light movement we require, I'm not sure if this will work best with HMI's or with PARS - I'm thinking PARs as the beam is narrower will be more suitable, what do you think? I am still wondering about how to obsure the window as the camera will definately be catching some of that, if I use tracing paper is that going to completely destroy the light effect created by the water? Also the dierctor keeps talking about using vertical blinds on the windows to break up the light - we did this in our last shoot and I think we should go for something a bit different and more natural like tree branches etc... but I like the idea of just using the water. I've called the rental comp to go and do a couple of tests, so i hope I can work this out, but any experience you guys have is great.

Thanks

JAcqueline
  • 0

#12 Robert Aldrich

Robert Aldrich
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 30 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Hollywood, CA

Posted 22 July 2006 - 01:48 AM

I like the idea about the coloured water -
Thanks

JAcqueline


Hi Jacqueline,

Actually, I meant EMPTY water bottles...you see them everywhere, and they are very easy to cut up or just hang up complete in front of a light. They have a nice, uneven surface, with ridges, etc., that refract the light nicely. I used to keep a mini-sized one around for this until I realized you can find them easily when you need them.

I can't quite envision the rest of the scene you're talking about (what shows outside the window) but at least the light cast through an empty 5 gallon water bottle gives a nice random pattern. But hey, putting colored water in the bottle sounds good, too!

It seems if you get the camera in a position where it doesn't show what's not of interest outside, this will work. But is it a wall, building, or what?

Of course with a water bottle, you lose some light, and so you need a narrower pattern or a stronger light.

There are no rules with creativity other than a few basics. Just take what you have and create something interesting with it!


Robert
  • 0

#13 Gabe Shedd

Gabe Shedd

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
  • Electrician
  • Hollywood

Posted 24 July 2006 - 02:36 PM

This may be a bit too simple but have you thought about dulling spray or streaks and tips? Also, if you just want to have the exterior blown out you can take the wax paper found between sheets of gels, that I'm sure you have, and tape it over the window with your source hitting the wax paper.

It would be free.

*shrug*

Also, to get a fire effect, I'm not sure if it's in your budget but I'd say a flicker box would be a wise investment. One small ligth with a red gel, one with an orange gel, the both of them on a flicker box... If you toy with it enough it looks really nice; I did it with a 650 and a 1K and I think it turned out well.

Edited by Gabe Shedd, 24 July 2006 - 02:39 PM.

  • 0

#14 G McMahon

G McMahon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 161 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 25 July 2006 - 12:13 PM

Don't discredit the wattle bottle concept, even if you have some smaller lamps (focusable), inside the room for backgrounds it will give an interesting effect. Especially if the bottles have patterns moulded into them and there is only half the water and somebody waves them around for you. I got some great patterns with a maglight torch then during the shoot I only had my scorpion torch and it didn't work as well, go figure.

Just remember, any diffusion on the windows will soften any pattern you try to create.

Graeme
  • 0


Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

The Slider

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Visual Products

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

The Slider

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post