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Full body lighting setup for green screen


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#1 anaoshak

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 03:46 PM

Hey guys I'm working on a few web advertisements for a studio I'm a part of till our next feature length film. We generally have issues lighting a green screen because we either overkill with the amount of lights we rent, or we don't have enough lights.

I'm basically doing something like this... http://webouts.com/

We might do half bodies for clients on a budget. The last time we did one of these full body web videos, we used 3 zips, 2 kinos, and a few lights in a arri kit. I wasn't the one who had set them up and know there is a better way. I'm trying to avoid rigging something beyond just stands since this isn't really a grandiose project.

I can't really find any setups online for full body green screens (where the floor is showing as well) where they aren't DIY or super high budget films that have ceiling rigs.

What do you guys suggest for something this small? Do you have any examples I can follow?

Thanks
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#2 David Desio

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 09:55 AM

so to get this straight, can you rig from the ceiling at all?

I do head to toe green screen all the time and the most important thing is getting your screen lit properly. I've tried going from the floor for everything and unless you want to have a jungle of flags as well as lights it's better and easier to go from the ceiling for the screen. As for the subject, first try and keep them as far from the walls as possible to miniize spill, then figure out what your final output size will be so that you will know where you'll be able to crop in post. This allows you to have strategically placed card board/beadboard to further cut down on green spill. To light the subject I always try to bounce my keylight onto them to avoid hard shadows around their feet. You will still have some shadows but they will be more green than black (on the floor).

For lights I use 1k space lights (4) hung over the subject to light the floor, then 1k lowell cyc lights to light the walls.

For the subject I use at least the equivalent of 3k tungsten bounced into white for the key (I know it should ideally be an HMI but you work with what you have). If you need to get more blue, then go through an 1/8th blue but remember that bouncing will already be losing some light intensity. I've never had a problem going uncorrected and I do most of the keying myself.

For a fill I'll use a 650 arri fresnel bounced from white again and scrimed down a half stop.

Then I put on a double edge from 2 more 650's pulled as far back as I can. I'll flag them off as necessary and slow them down to taste.

Oh, my key light (s) are Arri's as well.

Hope this helps.

Edited by David Desio, 13 May 2010 - 09:57 AM.

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#3 Ian Carleton

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 10:25 AM

Just to toss another voice in here,
David is pretty bang on with his input. I use pretty much the exact same setup for all the web banner work I do.

I started out trying to fuss around with +Green Kinos to hit my screen, but have since learned that lighting from the top with soft lights is far superior IMO.
If I can't go from a ceiling grid I get my gaffer to rig up a pipe on roller stands so we can hang 2K softlights evenly spaced across the screen. The roller stands are great too because if the rigging needs to be moved we can lower the setup and just walk it back and forth.
I prefer a ceiling grid if I have the option though because it reduces your footprint on the floor giving you much more flexibility with your other lights. I find it helps the brain get more creative when you just need to think about lighting your subjects / can place your lights wherever you want. Blank canvas. Also, if you are worried about appearance, makes the set look nice, clean, organized, if clients are hanging around...
I think the biggest thing is to try and get as much space between the screen and your subject, I always push for the biggest studio space the budget will allow. Next to that try your best to have wardrobe and props steer clear of anything reflective. It's amazing how much simple production design changes can make your day run smoother.
Oh, I as well do a bounced fill 95% of the time.

Hope some of this helps!
Good luck!

Ian
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#4 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 01:25 PM

In regard to the top space lights (for the floor green), how does that affect your subject, particularly with their eyes and other possible shadow issues? What's the ratio you use to counteract the top-light with the Key and fill... and if those have to overpower the top-lights, then how do you get enough stop out of them without causing the shadows?

Thanks!

Do you have any photos of setups or diagrams to share?
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#5 David Desio

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:32 PM

In regard to the top space lights (for the floor green), how does that affect your subject, particularly with their eyes and other possible shadow issues? What's the ratio you use to counteract the top-light with the Key and fill... and if those have to overpower the top-lights, then how do you get enough stop out of them without causing the shadows?

Thanks!

Do you have any photos of setups or diagrams to share?


I don't have any photos that I can think of, I probably should though. Anyway as for the top lights, I don't have the subject stand directly underneath them, I pull them forward so the spacelights may act as a hairlight at the most. My key then fills in the floor in front of them. I forgot to mention that I shoot at a f2.8-4 split most of the time. I let my green screen go about 1/2 stop under from my subject. It reads about 70 on a scope.
Here's a screen grab of an unkeyed subject from a recent shoot. You can see some shadows around his feet but they keyed out pretty cleanly. You can also see that the screen is not completely evenly lit and this always makes the old timers cringe but it keys just fine.

Edited by David Desio, 17 May 2010 - 03:36 PM.

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#6 David Desio

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 03:47 PM

I don't have any photos that I can think of, I probably should though. Anyway as for the top lights, I don't have the subject stand directly underneath them, I pull them forward so the spacelights may act as a hairlight at the most. My key then fills in the floor in front of them. I forgot to mention that I shoot at a f2.8-4 split most of the time. I let my green screen go about 1/2 stop under from my subject. It reads about 70 on a scope.
Here's a screen grab of an unkeyed subject from a recent shoot. You can see some shadows around his feet but they keyed out pretty cleanly. You can also see that the screen is not completely evenly lit and this always makes the old timers cringe but it keys just fine.


So the set up was:

key from the left (screen left) with an arri 2k and 1k bounced into a 4x8 piece of white foam core. I put a single net up to cut a little off the shirt.
fill from screen right with an arri 650 fresnel bounced into a piece of white foam core and I think I had dropped a double scrim in the unit at well.

2 arri 650's edging him from either side.

then the cyc is lit with what I said in a previous post.
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#7 Ian Carleton

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 10:35 PM

In regard to the top space lights (for the floor green), how does that affect your subject, particularly with their eyes and other possible shadow issues? What's the ratio you use to counteract the top-light with the Key and fill... and if those have to overpower the top-lights, then how do you get enough stop out of them without causing the shadows?

Thanks!

Do you have any photos of setups or diagrams to share?



Again, Same as David but ill just pipe in to give you a double confirm.

I do whatever I can to avoid having the lights for my green screen hit my subject. That really complicates things, the more independent the subject can be the better. Then I have the freedom to light them to match the plates that will be going in.
I don't have a screen grab on me now but if I find one on my hard drive tomorrow ill toss it up.

Cheers,
Ian
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#8 Brandon Del Nero

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 04:58 PM

Also, throwing a mirror underneath your subject can kill some spill onto the feet and legs, if available.

And as a side note, if you're shooting digital, try to get a nice and even exposure on your subject, paying special attention to your lower ranges. When compositing, there tends to be a decent amount of curve adjustment, and having to crank the lows too much will pull your image apart with grain. I especially notice this on the Genesis, but I'll make the assumption that the more evenly exposed subject, the better in most instances
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#9 David Desio

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 09:19 AM

good advice. I'll attest to that. I've had issues with darks getting noisy after the key is applied. For my purposes I try to stay away from Blacks in the wardrobe area, at least for head to toe stuff. Now when you say "even" exposure, do you mean flat lighting?
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#10 Brandon Del Nero

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 12:06 PM

good advice. I'll attest to that. I've had issues with darks getting noisy after the key is applied. For my purposes I try to stay away from Blacks in the wardrobe area, at least for head to toe stuff. Now when you say "even" exposure, do you mean flat lighting?


I think "even" might be a bit of a misleading term, apologies! More like making sure your darks aren't too far underexposed. I suppose your lighting may tend to be a bit flatter than desired, but it's the tradeoff for being able to pull a good key and adjust your subject without the fear of standout dancing grain
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#11 David Desio

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 02:13 PM

I see, that makes sense.
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