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Green Screen Macro shoot


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#1 Nick NormanButler

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 04:59 PM

Hello there forum members,

Thanks for taking the time?.

I have my first low budget green screen shoot coming up for a music video in which I will be filming some wind-up toys (all different colours) jumping, flipping, walking etc. The toys are only 3 or 4 inches tall. The video might have a low res retro 70's style treatment in post.

So, I?ve been doing some reading but have a few questions (sorry if they are basic):

1 My camera is a Sony Z1 which I can already see is not ideal as it doesn?t have a macro function. If needed, we plan to enlarge the images in post though I know this will lose a lot of resolution?Is it completely crazy to use this camera? Should I just push for an EX-1 which does have macro?

2 The green screen is needed on floor and back wall in order to completely isolate the subject. How do I best minimise green spill light coming up from the floor? I?ve read the other posts advocating rear rim lighting? Some say it?s not necessary. What are the alternatives?

3 As the toys all move what is the best way to plan for lighting them?

4 I?d like to do a top shot. Is this possible given that the distance between subject and green background (now the floor) would be minimal? Could I increase distance using a glass floor and a polarising filter perhaps?

5 Exposure: I?ve read that the correct exposure for the green screen is 50% on a gray card. I don?t have a light meter (and have never shot film) so can I instead use a gray SCALE card and up the exposure until I see 50% gray which is almost at the end of the scale?

6 Some of the toys are green so I will be shooting them against a blue screen. Same principles apply, right?

7 What lights can you recommend for foreground and background? This is very low budget. If there?s a previous thread, then great (and sorry).

8 The Sony Z1 films interlaced only, is this OK?

Many thanks again,

Nick
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#2 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 05:22 PM

1. If you can't focus properly on your subject, then that's pretty bad. This isn't even an issue of post or visual effects; it's an issue of basic shooting. You need a lens that can properly focus at the desired distance, so yeah, I'd say that this alone justifies changing cameras.

2. Some spill is just going to happen. Don't light the screen too brightly- I like the rule of thumb that you light the screen at one stop under key. This gives enough exposure to pull a proper key in post, but it's also not bouncing as much light back. Don't use rim lighting unless it's part of your lighting scheme.

3. Light them how you want them to be lit. Light them to match how they would be lit in the environment they're going to end up in.

4. If you could get the glass gag to work well, then go for it. Otherwise don't bother.

5. Again, I like one stop under key, but this is a bit flexible- if the intended environment is very bright, then make it brighter, if it's dark then make it darker.

6. You got it!

7. Kinos are great for lighting screens, as are skypans or anything that gives off very diffused light. For foreground, again this is a creative decision left totally to you.

8. It sucks but you can deal with it. For this and for the aforementioned focus issue, though, I would say that the EX-1 is going to be a much better choice.
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#3 Nick NormanButler

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Posted 30 September 2008 - 02:54 AM

1. If you can't focus properly on your subject, then that's pretty bad. This isn't even an issue of post or visual effects; it's an issue of basic shooting. You need a lens that can properly focus at the desired distance, so yeah, I'd say that this alone justifies changing cameras.

2. Some spill is just going to happen. Don't light the screen too brightly- I like the rule of thumb that you light the screen at one stop under key. This gives enough exposure to pull a proper key in post, but it's also not bouncing as much light back. Don't use rim lighting unless it's part of your lighting scheme.

3. Light them how you want them to be lit. Light them to match how they would be lit in the environment they're going to end up in.

4. If you could get the glass gag to work well, then go for it. Otherwise don't bother.

5. Again, I like one stop under key, but this is a bit flexible- if the intended environment is very bright, then make it brighter, if it's dark then make it darker.

6. You got it!

7. Kinos are great for lighting screens, as are skypans or anything that gives off very diffused light. For foreground, again this is a creative decision left totally to you.

8. It sucks but you can deal with it. For this and for the aforementioned focus issue, though, I would say that the EX-1 is going to be a much better choice.


Thanks for the advice Scott. I did use the Z1 in the end having done some more focus tests at minimum distance and it worked out OK but your lighting tips were extremely helpful during the shoot, yesterday.

Best,

Nick
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Metropolis Post

CineTape

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Ritter Battery

Visual Products

Glidecam

Tai Audio