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#1 Michael Collier

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 03:46 AM

I have bounced light of wood pannels before in films, but I have always sort of let it be a rule that I have that wood surface in shot, to give color referance in shot (or at least in the reverse). That is to say when I do bounce off natural or finnished wood for fill or ambience I have never used a peice of wood not build into location or a set dressing. I am preping a short right now and want to include warm wood-tone like light for a certain scene. Is there any kinds of wood pannels or finnishes that you would recomend to test out? Or better yet filters that would aproximate that sort of color. I have tried some filters on video ballanced to tungsten, but have not found anything I like. I have yet to test on film, and I only have 200 feet (7217) to spare for tests prior to shooting.

That is question one. question two involves eyelight. I randomly thought it would be a nice effect to keep eyelight out of a charecters eyes for a large portion of the short, to dull her eyes. What lighting problems would this present. I imagine I couldn't use much frontal light or soft light. Seems like it would all have to be top light. is there any way around it? If I can't figure any good work arounds I might have to digi it out for the HD master (though if I ever did a blowup, the effect would be lost)
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#2 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 07:47 AM

That is question one. question two involves eyelight. I randomly thought it would be a nice effect to keep eyelight out of a charecters eyes for a large portion of the short, to dull her eyes. What lighting problems would this present. I imagine I couldn't use much frontal light or soft light. Seems like it would all have to be top light. is there any way around it? If I can't figure any good work arounds I might have to digi it out for the HD master (though if I ever did a blowup, the effect would be lost)
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I think that's a very good idea to convey some sense of an emotional state (which is what I'm guessing that
you're doing) by keeping the light out of her eyes since so often we want the snap and sparkle of the
light in the eyes that evokes a person's spirit.

I have a thought that might work although it may start in the opposite direction from what you might
expect. Why not a hard key but through a frame-even of a Foam-Cor cutout with a strip of gaffer's tape or
a long narrow strip of grid cloth stategically placed - that cuts the light on her eyes, sort of a "reverse
snoot" if I can coin a phrase. This would of course work best if the actress is still, but if she's dull
emotionally she might well be listless physiclly as well. If she has to move but not much or too sharply
perhaps you could pan the light in conjunction with panning the reverse snoot so that the effect travels with
her. Good luck.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 09:35 AM

The eye is like a silver Christmas tree ball -- they reflect much of the space, so generally if NO light is reflected in the eyes, then there is no light on the eyes and they will be very dark. So I don't know how far you can go with the no reflection idea. I'd try very soft side lighting and no frontal light to avoid an obvious specular highlight in the eye and just live with a dull sheen on one side of the eyeball.

The other alternative is the opposite -- use a hard key light to get a single specular highlight in the eyeball that can be erased digitally in post.

As far as bounces, I wouldn't gel the light itself because that's not the same effect as a white light bouncing off of a colored surface, especially if someone passes through that light or is backlit by it. I'd see if I could get some tan paper (maybe cover a bounceboard with tan butcher paper) or a tan bedsheet material to drape on surfaces or cards to warm up the bounce, or get some light wooden panels. I don't think you need to get darker woods because then you'll just lose exposure from the bounce.
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#4 Adam White

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 11:11 AM

Maybe too extreme for your tastes but utilising light antique suede filters/coloured/tobacco filters would tone colours towards a wood-based feel.
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#5 Michael Collier

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 07:13 PM

As far as bounces, I wouldn't gel the light itself because that's not the same effect as a white light bouncing off of a colored surface, especially if someone passes through that light or is backlit by it. I'd see if I could get some tan paper (maybe cover a bounceboard with tan butcher paper) or a tan bedsheet material to drape on surfaces or cards to warm up the bounce, or get some light wooden panels. I don't think you need to get darker woods because then you'll just lose exposure from the bounce.



Thats sorta what I was afraid of. I wanted to find a gel combination because I think hard light will play a big role in this film (And I don't have a whole lot of power to draw, being mostly residential with no spark to do a tie in) Gels in my head seemed to have less light loss than wood bounce (even if I decide to bounce it off a collapsible)

I think that's a very good idea to convey some sense of an emotional state (which is what I'm guessing that



yes, thats part of the reason (the other part is the whole meaning of the short, so I won't reveal that yet) but also the supporting charecter is the only bit of happy in the film, and I want to play that side of it up, so at first the film doesn't have a feeling of being overly meloncholy, I just want that in the background. I figure if she is well lit, good eyelight, beautiful girl with a very nice smile, it would contrast the lead who is relativley un-made up, no eyelight and rarely smiles.

The eye is like a silver Christmas tree ball -- they reflect much of the space, so generally if NO light is reflected in the eyes, then there is no light on the eyes and they will be very dark.



That is what I am grappling with. I don't wan't to let the eyelight thing completely dictate how I light that charecter, but if I can work it in I think it would add a nice easter egg for people who look too close, and a subliminal cue for those who don't. If digital is my best option I do know a good after effects artist. I am sure a few beers would convince him to touch up the work. (this is how I work in alaska. No money? beer or trade. I am working on a trade deal for a condor crane and operator for one shot. Beer or trade could have built the great wall of china.)

I like your alternative david. I feel like I will already be using mostly hard light as a key on her (though a lot of shots has her face in only low-key fill light, and I don't mind if her eye sockets go even darker in those shots from overhead light, she is supposed to look drab and unhealthy.)
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 08:49 PM

Take a look at the movie "To Die For" when Matt Dillon dies -- as I recall, they fade the eyelight (erased digitally) out of his eyes to show the moment when he dies.

As for the bounce, a white light streaming into a room and bouncing off of a colored surface is not the same effect as a colored light streaming into a room and bouncing off of a white surface. In the first case, the bounce is colored but not the light, but in the second, everything is colored.

I'm not sure why you think using tan paper or cloth for the bounce won't work.
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#7 Michael Collier

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 09:14 PM

Oh I didn't say it wouldn't work. I am definatley going to test it (sorry for not giving ups to good ideas). I didn't mean to give the impression this was supposed to be a modivated thing, or even look like wood bounce to the audience. I just like the color that is given from natural and finnished wood bouncing light. I wanted that same color, but in my tests with various would surfaces it eats up too much light. I figured if I could find a gel to aproximate that color I could bounce it off some white for greater light effeciency. My problem is 2K is probably the biggest unit I will have availible to expose 200T film over exposed between 1/3 and 1 stop (tests will tell how much) so I figured if I could find something very effecient, it would free up some power to be used as backlight/background lighting. (also I get only one chance at tests, so I am compiling a list of things I want to see tested.)

I am also looking for a good gel to aproximate the turquoise that electro-luminescence provides, though I already have a few I like on video that I can test on film.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 09:55 PM

If you just want an overall brownish, yellowish hue, you can try camera filters or lighting gels in those shades.

To me, though, "brown" is really more of a warm image that is desaturated a little. For example, a scene lit with 1/2 CTO on lights or a Coral 1 filter on the lens that is then desaturated in post will look brownish.
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