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Is there a way to shoot through a projection screen?


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#1 Corey Fontana

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 10:05 PM

Hey Ya’ll,

I’m working with a team of visual artists to create a video installation that utilizes reflection and projection. It’s somewhat complicated to explain, but if anyone is interested in hearing more about it, please feel free to contact me. Anyways, I have a very specific question:

Is there any way to shoot a person through a (particular type of) projection screen while an image is being projected onto that screen?

For example, a person walks into a room- in front of him is a movie screen, let’s say about 10’ wide. There is a movie being projected on the screen.. could be front, could be rear projection (one may be better than the other in this case). There is a camera behind the screen, recording the person watching the film. The camera’s footage should be relatively free of flares and projected imagery so when played back, you have a clear view of the person watching the film.

Is there a screen out there that can do this? Perhaps some sort of glossy fabric type screen where the projected image could be neutralized on camera with a polarizer? An AC friend of mine mentioned “Z-screen” for 3D.. not really sure what that is yet, but I’ll look into it in the mean time.

If any of you have any familiarity with this kind of thing, I’d appreciate any feedback!

THANKS!

coreyfontana@gmail.com
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#2 Phil Connolly

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 04:04 AM

I think your looking for an effect thats been used in theatre for years. Using a theatrial gauze or a perforated sceen - you can make it seem solid by lighting it from the front, but if you light it from behind it looks transparrent.

In theatre - they would usually have a gauze lit from the front and it would look like a solid surface, actors would be hidden behind it. Then by lighting the actors behind the gauze and reducing the light infront of the gauze - the sheet would now look transparrent and the actors now visible. You can do some pretty cool effects with this.

The main challenge is to balence the light levels to make it work - I would have thought its difficult to see stuff projected on the screen/gauze at the same time as the actor behind. But you could definatly do an effect of an image projected onto a screen that fades out onto an actor behind. Just by dimming the projector and bringing up lights behind the screen/gauze. One option would be to have a darker patch on the projected image - that you could place the actor in, so you can see them and the projections at the same time

The projector would need to be on the same side of the screen as the camera - the lighting for the actor on the other side of the screen.

I think its something you need to test to work out the right light levels and dimming the projector might be diffcult as most of them are on or off. But you could use 2 liner polorising filters to dim the projector - put both over the projector len's and rotate one of them and it will make the image brightness change.

this should give an idea of the effect: http://www.iweiss.co...bric/scrim.html
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#3 Corey Fontana

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 11:02 AM

Thanks for the reply Phil. So it seems like I might need to experiment with various densities of theatrical gauze and have some polarizers on hand. It seems like the trial and error of making this work would cost a lot of money, LOL! At least I know I could get a lot of intel from the theater world, so thank you! But I wonder, is there anyone out here who has specifically done this before? Again, let me just clarify the way this portion of the installation works-

Person on one side of screen, camera on the other. The cam is recording the person (this is not an actor actually, just a random person alone in the room visiting the gallery.. it’s an art project). There is a film being projected on the screen, seen from the person’s POV. The camera behind the screen is filming their reaction to the projection. The projection doesn’t show up on camera, only the person. It can’t be that the camera is placed elsewhere in the room, it has to be from behind the screen to get a full on, standard wide shot. Ideally, It’s kind of like a 2-way mirror in a police station that’s also a TV, but the TV images are only viewable from the interrogation side of the room. The onlookers would have a normal clear view of the subject in the interrogation room.

Sorry if this has been confusing... this is only one portion of the project. The final installation is made up of multiple rooms with different complications to be dealt with, but this room seems to be the one lingering on the side of impossibility. But, potentially the answer lies in theatrical gauze.. I’ll look into it.

Thanks again,

Corey
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#4 Fred Neilsen

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 05:45 PM

But I wonder, is there anyone out here who has specifically done this before?


In Highschool we performed a similar setup to the one you described for an art/drama project, we used a slide projector and what is known as a scrim (at least in Australia/UK - theater terms are very regional) though many low density cloths could work, it is best to use a specially designed fabric (you might have seen a similar thing being done in some hotel rooms with privacy blinds) If I recall correctly, theater scrims are quite expensive to rent, in the hundreds per day, though the theater rental house gives discounts to schools and long term hires. Your main concern wont be a polarising filter but making sure the area behind the scrim is extremely dark, you may need to work something out with gaff tape and duvetyne.

Fred
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#5 jasreckson

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 12:31 AM

Few days ago only we tried out this but the result was not that much good enough to satisfy us. Here some points are really mentioned well which we will focus on and will try to make a good shoot.
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