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simulating sunlight in small spaces


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#1 Michael Jasen

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 09:51 PM

Hey all! Brand new to this site. Seems like an excellent resource.

I'm a film student shooting my first solo project on 16mm film. Two of my scenes involve the scene being in a small space, and each space should look as tough the only motivated light is the sunlight coming from the window.

One of the rooms has a window but it is located off camera in a space about 3 x 3 feet, where I was planning on putting at least one light.

The second space does not have a window. I was going to simulate the look of the light falling onto the floor from a window shape, then cutting to an actual window.

I'm really just curious about how to get that overall "sunlight" look in the room without using actual sunlight. The window does not create enough light in the one scene, I thought about blacking out the window all together so I wouldnt have to deal with the color temperature change.

My first instinct to to just one huge light placed out the window, or where the window should be. In my head, if you do this, everything will just kind of work itself out.The shadows should all look natural...But my instincts also tell me this probably wont work. Whats the best way to tackle lighting this?

I have a feeling I've described this very poorly. Im new! If anyone cares to help, and needs more information, just let me know.

Thanks everyone!
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#2 Mike Berlucchi

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 12:35 AM

Hey Michael,

I'm fairly new to this too and I recently dealt with this problem for my first time as well, sort of, I had 2 windows. What type of light are you looking for? What time of day?

In the case you're looking for very directional morning light (in my case, I was) I may be able to help you. We had a very limited budget and could only afford 2k fresnels, so I opened the barn doors all the way up, set it to full flood and placed it outside about 5ft from the window. We were shooting digital and I was able to get a fairly decent exposure, depending on the stock and how fast your lens is it may work for you too.

I too thought it wouldnt work but it actually did and gave us some pretty believable sunlight.

Here is what I got:

www.mikeberlucchi.com/eodownloads

Hope this helps!
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#3 Christopher Santucci

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:27 AM

One of the rooms has a window but it is located off camera in a space about 3 x 3 feet, where I was planning on putting at least one light.

The second space does not have a window. I was going to simulate the look of the light falling onto the floor from a window shape, then cutting to an actual window.


Sounds like a good approach. One light source outside the window would be preferred. I'm not sure why you'd need to shoot the window in the windowless room since if you have "sunlight" in that room already it will be accepted that is IS sunlight coming through a window.

.
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#4 Andrew Koch

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 01:57 AM

If you end up putting a light outside the window to simulate sun, make sure you don't put it too close to the window. The inverse square law will work against you and the falloff will look unnatural especially if an actor walks in front of the window because their exposure will change drastically in a way that sunlight doesn't behave.
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#5 John Thomas

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 08:59 AM

My first instinct to to just one huge light placed out the window, or where the window should be. In my head, if you do this, everything will just kind of work itself out.The shadows should all look natural...But my instincts also tell me this probably wont work. Whats the best way to tackle lighting this?


Follow your first instincts, once you see the light you've created you'll know what to do to fix it. It's OK to move the lights around like crazy, especially while your learning. Just focus them one at a time. Good luck, JT
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#6 Juan Guajardo

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 10:56 PM

Use a mirror and direct your fixtures to it, the beam will be much more hard and with sharper shadows cause the mirror will simulate farest source (well at least more than what you can put a fresenel or a Par in the space of the room)

Edited by Juan Guajardo, 22 February 2008 - 10:59 PM.

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#7 Juan Guajardo

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 11:05 PM

Use a mirror and direct your fixtures to it, the beam will be much more hard and with sharper shadows cause the mirror will you will increase the distance between the source and the subject (well at least more than what you can put a fresenel or a Par in the space of the room)




-------------------------------------

Deja-Vu (Lol) sorry.

Edited by Juan Guajardo, 22 February 2008 - 11:05 PM.

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