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Day for Night/Night for day


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#1 Kyle Sather

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 11:23 AM

How would you go about lighting Day for Night? Night for Day?

Also, when watching a movie how can you tell when this is done? What gives it away?
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#2 Tom Lowe

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:21 PM

How would you go about lighting Day for Night? Night for Day?

Also, when watching a movie how can you tell when this is done? What gives it away?


One thing I know is, you have to be careful around water. Take a look at the day-for-night surfing scene in Point Break, or the day-for-night shot in the river drinking wine in Days of Heaven. The massive reflections off the water's surface give away the bright sunlight.

Sometimes I wonder whether polarizers were even used on those shots.

Edited by Tom Lowe, 11 February 2008 - 12:24 PM.

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#3 Xavier Plaza

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 01:23 PM

pan's labyrinth have some scenes Day for night, and you can find an article at AC magazine january 2007


Xavier



PS: i think the merchant of venice have day for night o i'm worng....?
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#4 timHealy

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 03:00 PM

Also, when watching a movie how can you tell when this is done? What gives it away?


The biggest thing that gives day for night away for me is the sky. Check out old westerns for example. You can clearly see the horizon, the sky, and clouds.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. Typically if one wanted to do night for night and have the horizon exposed one would have to plan very well or just do your wide shot shortly after the sun has set if shooting to the west and shortly before the sun rises if shooting towards the east.

The other thing is that the actors are usually backlit by the sun with just a bit a fill to see their faces. Back then a bit of fill was a harsh reflector or a carbon arc.

Best

Tim
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#5 chris marte

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 07:55 PM

To achieve day for night on film, a ND filter is the first thing you have to use, if you're shooting on color film. Try to combine it with a Polarizer, to eliminate the glare from the sun, and remember to set exposure appropriately for the amount of stops you lost in light. Set up the actor(s) with their backs to the sun, (and of course make sure the sun is NOT in the frame) and have white boards or reflectors to their front right and left to reflect the sun's rays towards their face, so their face won't be as dark as the rest of the frame.

If you're shooting on video, set an indoor color temperature (such as 3200K) outside. That'll cause the picture to darken and look bluish. Add a ND filter and the lighting setup i mentioned above and you should do well. Remember to always make sure the sky is blue; overcast or partly cloudy skies could alter color temperatures and footcandle readings, making some filters too strong or too weak.
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#6 Scott McClellan

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 08:12 PM

I find shadows are a pretty good indication of day for night too. Sure the moon can cast shadows when it is close to being full, but it isn't very common for a film stock and lens to be fast enough to capture this sharply.
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#7 Scott McClellan

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 08:47 PM

I find shadows are a pretty good indication of day for night. Sure the moon can cast shadows when it is close to being full, but it isn't very common for a film stock and lens to be fast enough to capture this sharply. The sun is so bright that it tends to cast very deep and sharp shadows where as the moon's shadows are a little softer looking. However, if you see things like street lights and other practical light sources lighting scenes you can be pretty sure that it is actually night.
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#8 Scott McClellan

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 08:51 PM

Oops, sorry about the double, half post. I'm still learning how to use this message board.
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#9 Michael Collier

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 10:00 PM

If the scene is short (or you can span the shoot over several nights) you can always do dusk for night. I did a scene like that last night and it was pretty convincing.

I waited until the sun just went down (ambient light read about 50 FC when we started) The sky had gotten somewhat dark, but not really. Then on the forground action I lit with a 575 enough to bring the level of the sky down until it was about 2-3 stops under, when exposed properly. Then as the scene progressed I added more and more scrims to the light to keep the light in ratio with the dimming sky.

If I had ND I would have been pulling that out of the lens as we went, but budget forced me to just iris up as we went, which was OK because it was a one shot scene, with a complex move that I wanted several takes of. If its a multiple shot scene, then you'll want ND of various value to keep the iris constant, so lens charecteristics (sharpness, contrast) and DOF stays the same throughout the scene.
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