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Lighting a Believable Daylight Scene on a Soundstage


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#1 Stephen Whitehead

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 12:26 AM

Hey, I am lighting a daylight scene on a soundstage this week, and to be honest I have never done that before so I am looking for all the advice I can get. Essentially I intend to burnout the windows (Which will have curtains over them) and the for light hitting actors faces directly from the sun, I hope to overexpose by 2 stops. Other than this, I hope to play with fill levels to get the contrast ratio I want. Stylistically, my insperation is Munich. Anyone care to offer some advice? anything at all would be helpful.

Cheers,

Steve
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 01:01 AM

Just try and think about where the natural light would be coming from in terms of the mix of skylight and sunlight coming through a window, and how it might bounce around and fill in the shadows. Do you have some large units for creating sunlight?

Avoid working with a set with no ceiling because all your ambience just drifts off into space -- even if the ceiling is off-camera, put a large white frame of something over the set to keep the natural bounce effect. This will also help you to resist the temptation to rig lights in the ceiling where there wouldn't be light in real life. Avoid adding accent lights that aren't motivated naturally, like adding a backlight from a direction opposite where the windows are.

Don't be afraid to keep it simple and minimal.
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#3 Stephen Whitehead

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 09:12 AM

Do you have some large units for creating sunlight?



I have either a 5k tungsten, or a 2.5k HMI par.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 02:13 PM

I have either a 5k tungsten, or a 2.5k HMI par.


Yeah, making sure what we see through those curtains/windows is white and blown out will sell the daytime look. If light is beaming into a room from the side like you say, perhaps some mild CTO would warm it up to make it look more early morning/late afternoon.

Contrast ratio is key too, of course, but as David said, it can be achieved and look more natural with just some bounced light.
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#5 Ram Shani

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 12:46 AM

i think same time natural light look so unreal when you look at it and try to crate it .
there are times when the sun coming to my apartment in such strange way that if i will create it on set it will look so unreal

i think we light what we preserve as real day light in movies not in life

what David said about the ceiling is very true

i us to fill from behind the camera and not for the ceiling then i met great DP name ricardo aharonovich

that us fill only from the top it look so much real and doesn't flat the picture

he always light from outside (windows doors) and bounce from the top

then he add something small for the eyes if needed

which give the director allot of room to work on the set because there is no lights, stands, gobos,
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#6 James Brown

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 05:21 AM

I have either a 5k tungsten, or a 2.5k HMI par.

Hi,

I would be using the 2.5 par. Once you correct the 5k you wont be getting the punch you need. If you need the spread you could just shoot it through a frame. How many windows does it have? You may need a couple of HMI's.

James.
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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 05 March 2007 - 12:54 PM

I would be using the 2.5 par. Once you correct the 5k you wont be getting the punch you need.


What would he be correcting the 5k tungsten for? He's in a studio.

Either way, make sure with your set design that you're able to place the lights themselves a good distance away from the faux-exterior so you can take advantage of the full spread of the beam and your shots don't look like you have a spotlight outside the windows.
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#8 Stephen Whitehead

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Posted 08 March 2007 - 09:31 PM

What would he be correcting the 5k tungsten for? He's in a studio.

Either way, make sure with your set design that you're able to place the lights themselves a good distance away from the faux-exterior so you can take advantage of the full spread of the beam and your shots don't look like you have a spotlight outside the windows.


I am right in assuming that full beam spread mimics sunlight better thn?

Cheers,

Steve

Edited by Stephen Whitehead, 08 March 2007 - 09:31 PM.

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#9 James Brown

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 04:59 AM

What would he be correcting the 5k tungsten for? He's in a studio.

Hi
He's lighting a daylight scene. It's either push round some daylight kino, use the HMI's and correct the tungsten OR correct the HMI's and shoot tungsten interior. I'm sure you have shot daylight stock with no correction in a studio situation??? Either way the 2.5 HMI PAR corrected with full 85 will still give you more punch then the 5k.
.
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#10 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 09 March 2007 - 09:27 PM

I've never found HMI's too convincing when working as a main "daylight" source, there's always a feeling that THAT light is artificial. It's a totally different dynamic of light as compared to the incandescency of a tungsten bulb...from my perspective.

Which is why, in a studio setting, I'd recommend the 5k tungsten as a broader source and mimicry of sunlight, especially if you're shooting tungsten stock, so you don't have to worry about correcting the rest of your lights.

We all have our preferences :)

Let us know how it goes!
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#11 Daniel O'Flaherty

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:18 PM

Hi David. I am in a similar situation at the moment filming in a studio for daylight (sunrise). The set I will be working on does not have a ceiling. I am interested when you say, 'even if the ceiling is off-camera, put a large white frame of something over the set to keep the natural bounce effect'. Could you explain what kind of frame I could get best to do this? What material do you normally use in this situation?


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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 02:43 PM

I normally use bleached muslin... whether it is just stretched and stapled to the top of the set walls or made into ceiling pieces within wooden frames or put on a pipe frame and hung with ropes depends on number of factors, particularly if I need to create gaps for lighting to shine through.
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#13 AJ Young

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Posted 05 August 2015 - 08:47 PM

With poor man's process and a green screen, gelling your key lights and gag lights with sodium vapor colors would help key the subjects better because of the contrasting colors. (Providing you don't balance your color temp to make the light white)

 

The tricky part is to determine how fast to have the gag lights move in conjunction with your plate shot. And how to move them. What have you and your team devised if you do a stage?


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#14 Albion Hockney

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 11:32 AM

Don't be afraid to under/over expose as well. Munich is pretty contrasty/desaturated. you probably want those windows a lot more then 2 stops over .... in modern digital cinema you have about 10 stops or more to play with so you probably want those windows more like 4-5 stops over.

 

I think the solution to shooting on a stage is just ignore that it's a stage and treat it like any other day interior. the only thing is now you have the create sun and ambiance a bit more.... although sometimes in a real day interior you create it all yourself anyways.

 

Your going to want at least a couple sources 5K+ if you only have that one hmi then you shouldn't go HMI. you will want one source creating that ambiance on the windows and probably another source that you use to light the talent even if it is just a back edge.

 

if you go tungsten one thing that is create is using 1k pars. if you don't need a ton a light 1k par's can be bright enough to be the sun in a back light situations and you can use several of them to create broken up patches of sunlight. you'd want ones with narrow bulbs or I have seen david say he uses firestarter bulbs which is the most power you can get out of them


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#15 Steve Lord

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 04:26 AM

I was recently DP for a commercial shoot here in the UK, in a studio, and the director wanted it to look as real as possible. So I simply placed all the light sources where they would naturally be in a real house.

 

See photo below: The two windows in the photo have 1.2kw HMI PAR through 1/4 diff attached to the window. To the left is a 2.5kw HMI through a large silk (this was my large 'window', and the key). Behind the camera is a 12x12ft bounce with 1.2kw HMI PAR - this was important as there was no wall here and so there would have been a large black hole. We had a stretched textile on part of the ceiling too to give natural bounce. Another 1.2kw HMI PAR was used with Hollywood Frost through the french doors for a slightly soft sunlight (we only get soft sunlight in England!).

 

 

http://www.yorkshire...uk/121A5783.jpg


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#16 Stuart Allman

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Posted 03 September 2015 - 10:54 AM

Stephen,

 

I recently had to do a shoot where we started the "day" in late afternoon and daylight had to extend well past darkness.  One thing that helped me sell daylight is mixing color temperatures.  Skylight is typically around 9300K, whereas direct sun might range from ~3200K to ~5600K, depending on the time of day.  So if you can use large bounce sources as sky fill you might want to try to use a 3/4 CTB or full CTB to emulate sky - maybe less CTB, depending on taste/camera.  Then the more direct "sun" source will look like sunlight.  Unless it's a cloudy day, this is what you would typically see in a house.  To me it just looks a slight bit different.

 

Stuart


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#17 Alex Waye

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 02:30 AM

I tend to use slightly different colour temperatures from different angles. Eg: L205 from the front and L204 from another angle.


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#18 Alex Waye

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 02:33 AM

If you are just a beginner but serious about photography and video I would recommend saving up for a Canon 5D 


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