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Terrence Malick "Sun Stars"

sun flare star malick

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#1 Drew Angle

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 03:54 PM

I'm talking about the look of the sun synonomous with Terrence Malick films. It was all of The Tree of Life, showed up a few times in To the Wonder, and I'm pretty sure a similar technique was used in Mud.

 

When the sun is in frame, it appears to have a circle of very defined lines portruding around it. How is this effect achieved? I know that Tree of Life shot using Ultra Primes, is this result achieved by stopping down the UPs? Or is this effect achieved using a filter?

 

Let me know your thoughts!

 

http://www.moviola.o.../TreeofLife.png

 

http://www.ropeofsil...graphy-of-2011/

 

 

(The effect can be seen in both these stills)

 

Best,

Drew


Edited by Drew Angle, 22 May 2013 - 03:55 PM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 04:05 PM

It comes from stopping down the lens, usually at least to an f/8... I believe the number of points in the star are related to the number of blades in the iris.
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#3 Chris Millar

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 12:49 AM

The sun is about as natural and easily accessed 'spatial' step function that you can find that'll give you a quick analysis of your lens... What you see is effectively a plot of the lens characteristic. The hard part is unfortunately being able to interpret it - but there are some tricks as David points out - i.e. being able to count the iris blades.


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#4 Joerg Polzfusz

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 02:32 AM

Hi,

 

IMHO the "rays"/"lines" are the result of a filter, either a "Sternfilter" ("star filter"?) or a "Gitterfilter" ("cross screen filter"?):

http://www.amazon.de...m/dp/B0000AI1HU

http://www.amazon.de...ds=gitterfilter

There are various versions of these filters, resulting in a different number of "rays".

 

Jörg


Edited by Joerg Polzfusz, 24 May 2013 - 02:33 AM.

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#5 Chris Millar

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 06:57 AM

Hey you might be correct, but ...   ;)


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 10:59 AM

Terence Malick isn't using star filters on his lenses...

 

Anyone who shoots regularly runs across this phenomenon from stopping down the lens (and anyone who has used a star filter knows the issues that come with that, especially if you stop down the lens).  I was even on the set of "Smash" a few months ago on a Broadway stage looking from the stage out into the bright spotlights pointed into the lens and had to stop down to f/8-11 to silhouette the singer and hide the fact that the house wasn't full of people... and the director at the monitor asked me if I had put a star filter on the camera.


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#7 Joerg Polzfusz

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 03:50 AM

Maybe you should ask the producers of this video (originally shot on film) as it has got the same effect:

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=59885


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#8 Drew Angle

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 06:30 PM

Thanlks for all of the responses. Wondering if anyone out there has any videos with the results that they have personally experienced. I would be interested in seeing an example and hearing the details. I.e. format, lenses f/stop, time of day.

 


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