Jump to content


Photo

Lighting an Ice Sculture


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 charlie stanfield

charlie stanfield

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 05 September 2008 - 07:46 AM

HI, I have a shoot involving lighting Ice scultures in a studio. From what i have heard this is notoriously difficult to do. Can anyone recommend an approach?

Thanks

Charlie
  • 0

#2 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 05 September 2008 - 08:20 AM

I'd try kino flos. low heat output and soft.
should be clear, so light it from the side I would guess.
  • 0

#3 Mike Simpson

Mike Simpson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 113 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Austin

Posted 05 September 2008 - 12:39 PM

i would treat it like any highly reflective object. A combination of large soft sources that show up white in reflections and flags. I think, just to satisfy my curiousity though, I might try just backlighting it at first to see what happens (assuming its clear). Seems like that might be enough.
  • 0

#4 Jim Keller

Jim Keller
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 290 posts
  • Producer
  • Fresno, CA

Posted 05 September 2008 - 01:43 PM

I don't suppose your studio has a skylight does it? I had good luck shooting an ice sculpture under a skylight once. It was on a white tablecloth so I got a lot of bounce. The skylight provided a nice broad wash that was still very directional to bring out the details. And all this for less heat than I would have gotten had I needed to set up studio lights.
  • 0

#5 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 05 September 2008 - 06:52 PM

It's not difficult. You'll be doing more with light from the side and back to get the sculpture to punch. Color can be your friend here too as kicks of light through the ice are wonderful. Start with something to give it a glow from the front and use the rear lights to give it the depth. You'll probably want less front than the other directions unless you want it to look flat.

When I worked for the NHL we did a pretty fun spot where we set up a 20x25 table top. It was supposed to look like the arctic. The camera started in a spot looking over the table at a little piece of water. A simple pan about 90 degrees and the camera was suddenly facing a large chink of ice. It was a huge 300 pound piece of ice. Behind it was a 2" acrylic that had letters that said the coolest game. We placed this behind the ice. For the rest of the day we used a torch and helped the ice melt shooting a few frames off every now and then. We lit the ice with soft light from the front and a fresnel kicker from each side that gave the ice it's depth. A bit of blue was used to give the ice that ice feel. In post they added some aurora borealis to the sky, and the rest of the sky, and melded hockey footage into the ice as it time lapse melted. I think it took ten hours for use to get the ice to melt. It was a lot longer than we thought even with the torch.
  • 0

#6 Ira Ratner

Ira Ratner
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 558 posts
  • Other
  • Coral Springs, Florida

Posted 05 September 2008 - 07:13 PM

Nothing black off the sides to give it darker edges?

Also, won't ice reflect you in it, and you have to get far way?
  • 0

#7 Chris Keth

Chris Keth
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4427 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Los Angeles

Posted 05 September 2008 - 08:17 PM

Have you ever lit glassware? It is pretty much the same principle.

One of the tricky things about ice and glass is that not only can they reflect light, they can refract it as well. Keeping that in mind, you will in all likelihood be reflecting and refracting very large soft sources in the ice while using large solids to control the contrast.

There are 2 basic, textbook ways to light glassware. There's white-on-black where your background is black and to the sides of the glassware are very large soft sources. This makes white edges in a mostly black frame

Here's a nice example I grabbed from google. It also shows what you can with with a little color:
Posted Image


The other basic way is black-on-white where the background is a lit white surface and the sides of the glassware are flagged to create the black edges in a mostly white frame.

Another quick example from google:

Posted Image


There are a million variations but that should get you thinking. Some of the nicest tabletop with glassware I have seen actually mixes the two approaches. VERY tricky and uses a forest of stands but beautiful when it's well-done.
  • 0

#8 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 05 September 2008 - 10:25 PM

Ice sculptures are less translucent than clear. More like a frosty ice cube than glass. What you use as a background is up to how you want them to be presented in the end. Black creates quit a different look than white. Then again, perhaps you want them in their natural atmosphere. Color can be a big player with each sculpture in terms of colroed background. A Phoenix... oranges, and reds. A fish... blue. I think it's tough to tell you what to do as its about what you feel when you see it, what the end product is used for, and what the artist are looking to achive. Have an assortment of small and midium size fixtures, so foam core, and plenty of range of gels and you'll be able to light anything.
  • 0


Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

Technodolly

CineTape

Visual Products

Opal

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

The Slider

Glidecam

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products

Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Opal

Glidecam

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Metropolis Post