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Lighting in a corner


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#1 Salil Sundresh

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 04:29 AM

I have to light a set with 2 fake walls at 90 degrees and the subject stands in the corner at about 45 degrees facing away from the walls. Subject is about 3ft from walls, are there any techniques i can use to minimize casting double shadows on the walls? Unfortunatelly the fake walls go all the way to the ceilling so no room to shoot light over the wall. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 Serge Teulon

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 01:01 PM

Hi Salil,

Just because your actor is standing in a corner doesn't mean you'll get double shadows.

I don't know anything about your story/look etc....but from being so close to the walls the key light could act as fill at the same time.
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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 04:22 PM

Three rules to keep in mind:

1. Every light source that you put up is going to throw a shadow. So if you have two lamps on the actor, you're going to get two shadows.

2. How hard or soft of a shadow depends on the lamp's relative size to the subject - the bigger the source is compared to the subject, the softer the shadow will be.

3. Shadows will appear directly opposite the lamp. This should tell you where you need to place your lamps to avoid getting shadows on the walls - anyplace where there isn't a wall opposite the lamp.

Think about flagging any unwanted sources off the walls, which should be pretty easy with sidey or toppy sources. Remember that the flag goes between the lamp and object that you're flagging - the closer the flag is to the lamp, the bigger and softer shadow you will throw on the object. Additionally, just because the walls go to the ceiling doesn't mean that toplight is not possible. You're not actually seeing all the way to the ceiling, are you?
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#4 Justin Hayward

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 05:15 PM

Just try to use one source and a bounce card for fill if you need it. But, if they’re backed far enough in the corner and you key with one soft light source (either bounced or through a diffusion frame), you may not need any extra fill at all.

You'll probably find yourself trying to cut the one soft light down, not adding more lights that will create double shadows.
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#5 Sing Howe Yam

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:52 AM

Can always use an onscreen practical or build some kind of light that sells as built in. I have no clue what you're doing though, just an idea.
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#6 Salil Sundresh

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 01:40 PM

Thanks for the tips everyone, I ended up with just use 2 bounce lights and a back w/some O on it. Fortunately the we pulled the plug with the client...the set was a nightmare to light. (ie: background same color as subject, etc)
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#7 DS Williams

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 08:10 PM

Double shadows equals double lights.


Just use one light. I've seen it done plenty of times, sometimes with even better results. Use flexfill or foamcore to bounce a light off camera for fill.
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