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lighting like in the movie Hugo


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#1 Victor Nhat Nguyen

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:17 PM

I like the cinematography in Hugo. Especially the way the particles dance around in the light. How can I achieve this? Can I do this with a hazer/fogger?
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#2 Levi Gardner

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 01:29 AM

I like the cinematography in Hugo. Especially the way the particles dance around in the light. How can I achieve this? Can I do this with a hazer/fogger?


The cinematography in this film was great, especially in 3d. The 'dust particles' were created using fine down feathers, to make full use of the 3d effect. They also had atmospheric fog machines set up to replicate steam and create ambience for the light to play.

The best thing about the 3d in this movie was the fact that it wasn't there to be gimmicky or tacky, but immersive. And I think it was visually dazzling.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 11:13 AM

I had that effect accidentally the other day, from a strong backlight using a 1.2K Parcan "Firestarter" -- when a beam is very sharp and projected, and very hot, it picks up dust in the air... and by this point, I guess our soundstage had gotten very dusty. Looked like magical fairy dust dancing around the actor's head, which was pretty but a bit unmotivated and distracting for the scene. I tried spritzing the air with a water bottle to knock down the dust, but that only helped a little. I could have dimmed the backlight but then the sunny effect I wanted would have been lost.

Even smoke gives you that haze and shaft of light -- uneven smoke looks like smoke, it swirls around... but to see dust motes you need actual particulate matter floating in the air, which is why people use things like chopped up feathers or ground-up walnut dust (used to be Fuller's Earth but that turned out to cause cancer, but ground-up walnuts probably is not great for people with nut allergies...) Just remember that if it is floating around in the air, that means people are going to be breathing it.
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#4 Marina Tebechrany

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 06:36 AM

Anyone has an idea how in Hugo could they achieve this effect of the face ? It looks as if kindly painted and very soft.
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#5 Matthew Macar

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 02:56 PM

It's called "Robert Richardson"


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#6 Alexandros Angelopoulos Apostolos

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 01:59 AM

In on of the interviews, Robert Richardson was asked about "luminous golden color" in many scenes. He replied this way:

 

With the aid of a look up table, I lit the Méliès with only tungsten light apartment with only tungsten lights. In other scenes, I would have cool overheads, as if the daylight were coming in. And then I would add various colors on the ground, depending whether it was going to be white or warmer than white.

 

For Hugo’s apartment in the station, there was a combination of lights. We put gels on the units to gave it the look. We used blue top light, blue beams, with white light on the bottom that was down on the dimmer about 40 percent. I would change my color temperature directly on the Alexa camera, depending upon the amount we were searching for. So you might be looking at something that was shot at 3200 or 4500 or even 2300. It would depend on which scene.

 

What was the purpose of the look-up table? And what does he mean with that line about adding colours and if it was going to be white or warmer than white? What did that refer to?


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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 10:37 AM

He means he put blue gels on tungsten lights for Hugo's apartment, mixed with ungelled tungsten, sometimes dimmed down for even more warmth.  Then he's set the color temperature of the camera to affect how this color mix looked.  If he set the camera to 3200K, then the undimmed ungelled tungsten would look white, the dimmed light would look warm, the blue-gelled lights look blue -- but if he raised the kelvin to let's say 4500K, then the ungelled tungsten would look warm, not white, and the blue lights would be closer to neutral white.  And if he set the camera to 2300K, then the opposite, the blue-gelled lights would look even bluer, the ungelled undimmed tungsten would look cool too, while the dimmed tungsten would be closer to neutral white.

 

As for a Look Up Table, that's pretty standard since the camera was recording Log-C, which would look flat and milky on a normal monitor unless there was a gamma correction applied to the signal.  You have the option of using ARRI's standard Rec709 conversion for the monitor output signal, or you can create a custom Look file for the camera, or you can use an external LUT box to change the Log image to some variation of Rec709 that you prefer.

 

It is not unusual to create two or three LUT's for viewing (and they can also be applied to dailies), some more saturated or more contrasty, or less, than others.  Other people shoot with just one LUT for the whole project.

 

Same issues apply if you record ARRIRAW instead of Log-C, but Hugo was an early Alexa shoot in 3D, and I believe they recorded uncompressed HD (1920 x 1080 RGB) out of the camera in Log-C gamma to an external recorder.


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