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backlighting rain yes - but what quality of light to use...?


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#1 Christian Tanner

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 12:03 PM

backlight rain for it to show. so far so good - but:

i was wondering about the back lights quality. soft or hard? big ass buterfly? just some diffusion on the 12K? etc...

but it's not just a question out of curriosity. i'm shooting a music video where it rains inside a house.
i'm trying to light a pretty dim atmosphere. smoke for some beams of light coming in from the narrow windows. just in case you where interested i mean...

many thanx!
cary
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 12:11 PM

Hard backlight will give the rain a more specular quality. But what matters more is how bright the backlight is, and how directly backlit the angle of the light is. Sort of similar to working with smoke.
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#3 John Holland

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 12:12 PM

Hard back light . !!
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 12:16 PM

Hard back light . !!


What's sort of funny is that unless the source is a streetlamp or something artificial, hard moonlight on a rainy night makes as much logical sense as sunshine on a rainy day. It's one of those cinematic conventions (moonlight and rain.)
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#5 John Holland

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 12:27 PM

Very true but without that hard backlight you wouldnt see it its one of the few things i think you can get away with in the cheating mode .
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#6 Christian Tanner

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 12:38 PM

thanx david!

any suggestions on what light i should use in the studio? (don't know what range the studio has atm)
imagine the set as a fairly big living room.

i was planing to narrow the shutter angle. any thoughts on a certain angle? how extreme could i go?

last but not least - any thoughts on using smoke AND rain at the same time - i imagine there's nothing to consider at all. but then again - maybe there is :)

thanx again!
cary
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#7 Tim Partridge

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 01:14 PM

If you want an overall even backlit rain effect, make sure that when you backlight the drops that you have maximised spread- light it like you would light a bounce board in that you cover the whole area. If not, you'll get lit "beams" and "shafts" of water like smoke as David said, and they look unintentional, amateurish and take you out of the illusion.

However, as you are going for a mood, surreal interior raining look, so long as your sources outside are side and or backlit (and as John said, hard), the "beams" and "shafts" accident could be a happy one! If so, you don't really need to do much work! :)
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 01:39 PM

There are all sorts of degrees of visibility when lighting rain - the most extreme example would be something like an overexposed xenon searchlight sweeping the rain at a backlit angle. The most subtle would be a soft underexposed backlight.

The problem with rain on a stage is drainage...

As for what size lamps to use for backlit windows at night, it all depends on how big the window is, what the light is simulating, what exposure you want, how bright it needs to look, how far away is the lamp, etc. In one scenario, a tweenie could be too much, but in another, a 10K not enough.
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#9 Christian Tanner

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 02:57 PM

thanx tim!

actually because of what tim said i start to wonder if it makes much sense to go through the trouble of using smoke at all. as the rain would take care of the beams of light already, coming in through the windows, smoke would only create some more depth - but then again, rain is doing that as well...

sorry to stress the topic of the type of light itself. having used nothing but fresnel lights, kinos and open face, i was just wondering if there would be a better type of light to do the job. considering the huge variety of lights out there i mean.

cary
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#10 Jimmy Browning

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 12:05 PM

The problem with rain on a stage is drainage...


DRAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIiiiinage ELI!

Sorry, I couldn't help myself. :P

I recently shot a short film were we had rain on the stage in front of a window. The shot was from outside the "room" looking in through the window. The rain was sufficiently backlit by some fresnels and a kino we had inside the room to augment a practical, and probably a little bit by the soft overhead ambient rig.

Also I'm sure you're aware of the safety issues. Our rain came in through a PVC pipe rig acting as a "rain bar" above the window. The water shot up about an inch or two from the top of the pipe and then fell straight down. Our drainage consisted of a few kiddie pools and a massive amount of towels...

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