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#1 Ken Minehan

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 05:10 AM

Hello guys, i would like to hear from other DOPs on how they achieve day for night. Day for night is something that i have never done before.

I was reading an article in the American Cinematographer about the film "The Proposition", a western movie shot in the Australian Outback. There was a quote on how the DOP achieved day for night in his film. (see below).

?It?s a real day-for-night scene, like in a John Ford movie,? says the cameraman. ?Nowadays people do day for night more like a dusk effect, blue and soft. I wanted to use the sun as a moon. After all, the moon is like a weak sun, with very contrasty light. So I shot in bright sunlight and tried to angle the camera so the sky would be very dark and blue ? I wanted to use the sky as a bluescreen in post, when stars would be added. I polarized the sky as much as I could to separate Charlie, the horse and the tree from the background, and I exposed the scene like a normal day scene. It was like shooting in a studio in a way, using the sky as a huge bluescreen. In post, we desaturated all the color, and it looks like a real moon. I?m pleased.

I'm a little comfused after reading this. Did they have the sun in shot? He says "he angled the camera to make the sky dark and blue". How did he polarise just the Sky?

It would be great if some one can shed some light on this. Would love to hear your stories on how you did day for night too.

Cheers
Ken Minehan
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 01:49 PM

I'm a little comfused after reading this. Did they have the sun in shot? He says "he angled the camera to make the sky dark and blue". How did he polarise just the Sky?

It would be great if some one can shed some light on this. Would love to hear your stories on how you did day for night too.


First of all, have you seen the film? It's a beautiful sequence and a good use of day for night.

But, no, the sun was not in the shot. The polarizing lens just made the sky a deeper blue, and with the direct sunlight shining on the actor, horse & tree, it created a dramatic separation to make things easier when they saturated the blues and inserted a starry night sky in post production. Not to mention, the sunlight created a great moonlight effect after the shots were finished in post. There's another shot in that sequence of the little brother in jail, and the moonlight is shining through the bars on him, which was probably also a day for night shot.

When he said he "angled the camera", it just means he really got the camera low and tilted up so they had more sky in the shot to work with. To get the polarizer to work more for you, you would only really have to rotate the filter to get your desired effect.
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#3 Thom Stitt

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 05:06 PM

Delhomme mentions in the article that a lot of DPs tend to shoot "day for dusk" rather than a true day for night, and creating a "blue and soft" look.

Which brings me to Rodrigo Prieto in Brokeback Mountain. He did exactly what Delhomme describes here (and unfortunately I've yet to see The Proposition). But I have to admit, I love Prieto's effect in Brokeback. Check out the scene where they're sitting beside a river by firelight at dusk (the article on the movie describes how this was done). It looks AMAZING. The background works beautifully, the firelight effect is completely believable, and they just nailed the exposure. It's hard to believe it was shot in the middle of the day, which makes for a hell of an effective day-for-dusk scene, one of my favorites.
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#4 Ken Minehan

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 09:14 PM

First of all, have you seen the film? It's a beautiful sequence and a good use of day for night.

But, no, the sun was not in the shot. The polarizing lens just made the sky a deeper blue, and with the direct sunlight shining on the actor, horse & tree, it created a dramatic separation to make things easier when they saturated the blues and inserted a starry night sky in post production. Not to mention, the sunlight created a great moonlight effect after the shots were finished in post. There's another shot in that sequence of the little brother in jail, and the moonlight is shining through the bars on him, which was probably also a day for night shot.

When he said he "angled the camera", it just means he really got the camera low and tilted up so they had more sky in the shot to work with. To get the polarizer to work more for you, you would only really have to rotate the filter to get your desired effect.


OK, thank you for clarifying that.
No i haven't seen it yet. I am finding it difficult to find the DVD here in Singapore. But i dying to watch it.
So the DOP used the strong back light of the Sun, and emualted that for moon light. They also mentioned that they keyed the blue sky out and replaced it with a starry night sky, then desaturated the image. thats brilliant.
Thanks again for clarifying that Jonathan.
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#5 Albert Smith

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 09:32 PM

Day for night is rarley really done anymore and if it is its done with cgi or lots of cc work and done for stylistic reasons. I think what you mean by day for dusk is actually "dusk for night" which is done alot. Late magic hour as its called after the sun has set is often used to simulate night because you still have some ambient light around to use as "moon light" and you can still keep some color in the sky which is nice. I would assume people do day for dusk sometimes too which can be achieved with color correction in post, but thats a bit of a diffrent idea, and generally just done for scheduling reasons not for a visual reason, although im sure there cases of it being done for visual reasons as well...using the sky as blue screen is a very interesting concept though, I will need to check that film out.

awhile ago I ran into this when looking for labs around vancouver, some cgi day for night work pretty cool looking. Its the first link on this page http://www.nwfx.com/reels.htm
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#6 Christophe Collette

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Posted 15 November 2006 - 09:15 PM

Hi! The sun was in one of the day for night shot, right over the head of the character. And it looks great. it does not flare at all, pretty much looks like the moon.


Christophe
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#7 Ken Minehan

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Posted 17 November 2006 - 04:29 AM

Thank you guys for the replies.
I think i'll go and try some camera tests and see how it turns out.
Thanks again.
Ken Minehan
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#8 Dory Breaux

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 12:52 PM

Another good way is to use DigiEffects plugin for AE. Not sure of the name, but it looks pretty decent.
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Wooden Camera

The Slider

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

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