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faking city landscape through a window in a studio


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#1 oded binnun

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 08:27 PM

Hi there,
I am going to build a set of a small hotel room inside some kind of a studio. I'd like to fake a city landscape showing through the window. The other option was to make the window a white clip or to have a curtain, but I'd really love to be able to fake it completely and give the impression that it was shot in a real room, and hence seeing landscape.

what is the best method for achieving that?
another problem is that I have only 1 meter of spare spac between the window and the studio wall.

would printing a big poster of the lanscape (blured a bit) and putting it one meter behind the window work for me?

and, since I will block the window with this poster, would it be reasonable not to use light coming through the window, but only from the inside? I don't need direct sunlight, because I want it to feel like an overcast winterly day, but still, is it going to work if I don't use the window to light through it, and just use it for the landscape???

I am sorry for the messy question, if something is not exactly clear I would be very happy to try again

thank you very much

Oded Binnun
www.odedbinnun.com
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#2 Tim Terner

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 03:09 AM

Perhaps better to greenscreen the background outside
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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 04:50 AM

I can't think of what they're called right now, it's late but basically films and videos with a budget have these back-lit large photographs printed on plastic sheets. They look very realistic. I found a place here that would print one relatively cheap in a 4x8 ft size. (this place does signs and window display), I think it was like a couple of hundred bucks. Another idea would be city scape slides, a slide projector and a rear projection screen. Course you could always put a blown up photo in the window frame and make sure to watch your shadows don't fall on it. B)
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#4 David Rakoczy

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 06:34 AM

[quote name='James Steven Beverly' date='Jun 4 2008, 03:50 AM' post='234986']
I can't think of what they're called right now, it's late but basically films and videos with a budget have these back-lit large photographs printed on plastic sheets.

They are called Translights. Here is a link to some samples.

www.RuttersUk.com

Find a supplier near you. These tend to look best when slightly under exposed.
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#5 Bob Hayes

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 11:33 AM

First of all you need some distance back from the window. This is what I?ve done. Get a 12x12 sky blue or white place it as far from the window as you can. Take foam core and cut out shapes that look like buildings.. Don?t forget windows and signs on top. Hang a 12x12 single between your skyline and the set to simulate diffusion from the atmosphere. A light sheer, a screen on the window, or dirty windows will help complete the effect. Over expose the outside at least 1 ½ stops.

This won?t work if the skyline is prominent. But if it is a background element it is far better then tracing paper.
city_backdrop.jpg
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 01:45 PM

Bob, that's pretty brilliant! I suppose one could also try cardboard to keep costs down.
But yes they're called translights. I recall awhile ago for an areobics video they just got a giant phtograph printed which had to be front-lit, of a forest. A bit of a pain, overall, but it worked.
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#7 oded binnun

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 02:22 PM

I can't think of what they're called right now, it's late but basically films and videos with a budget have these back-lit large photographs printed on plastic sheets. They look very realistic. I found a place here that would print one relatively cheap in a 4x8 ft size. (this place does signs and window display), I think it was like a couple of hundred bucks. Another idea would be city scape slides, a slide projector and a rear projection screen. Course you could always put a blown up photo in the window frame and make sure to watch your shadows don't fall on it. B)



great! thanks a lot, I really didn't think about the back lit option, which realy makes it a whole more clear for me.
do you happen to know what is the right material to print on in order to achieve the best results?
and another thing, If I want to control the degree of out-of-focus in the picture are there any gels for that, or any other method?


many thanks,
Oded
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 02:25 PM

as far as I nkow focus is a function of the camera and it's DoF. .. only thing i could think of would be using a frosted glass window on the set. or maybe some hampshire on a frame?
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#9 John-Erling Holmenes Fredriksen

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 06:35 AM

You could say that ND is a gel for controlling out-of-focus, as it would allow you to open up the iris in some cases, but for that use you would normally put the ND filter on your camera, not gel your lights.

As for other methods, yes, shooting wide open (F1.4 for instance) will give you less depth of field, while closing down will gradually increase the depth of field. You can also control depth of field by choosing to use longer lenses for less depth of field, or wider lenses for more depth of field. You can compensate a bit for framing by moving your camera closer or further away.
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#10 Evan Pierre

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 03:30 AM

, If I want to control the degree of out-of-focus in the picture are there any gels for that, or any other method?


Do you mean blurriness? If so you will want some sort of thin diffusion, that way if you wanted more or less you can just add or remove a layer. ND is for cutting the amount of light without affecting color, it is generally used when someone or someplace is being lit by a window. ND rolled over the window cuts down the amount of light to balance the darker foreground with a blown out window, it isn't really useful if you wanted to blur something.

I say 'generally used' because nothing in filmmaking is set in stone, you can alway be creative and use other methods to achieve your goals.

Edited by Evan Pierre, 06 June 2008 - 03:31 AM.

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