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creating the sun look


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#1 pushparaj santhosh

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 11:55 AM

hey guys I just want to know how to create the sunlit look with artificial lights...for example how to create the sun look with an HMI. I do know that it is daylight balanced but how to great that warm, yellow, gloomy look...thx.

 


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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 12:08 PM

You can gel the HMI to taste, apart from CTO, there are a number of colour effect gels that give a range of tones. What you do rather depends on the scene you're trying to light and if it's an interior or exterior and the time of day.


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 12:28 PM

Sunlight is gloomy?

 

A 5600K light is white if the camera is balanced to 5600K, so then you just need 1/4 CTO to warm up an HMI to a midday sunlight color, 1/2 CTO for a late afternoon color, Full CTO for sunset or any other mix you want as sunsets can vary in color.

 

If you have to balance the camera to 3200K for some reason, then the HMI needs Full CTO just to become neutral, and then additional CTO to warm it up.

 

CTS is a bit more yellow than CTO if you like that.


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#4 pushparaj santhosh

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 12:21 PM

thanks guys...I just want to shoot an interior scene with a girl sitting near the window...Her face should be lit with the golden look of the sunset...I know we can shoot it naturally but I just want to know how to create it artificially...thanks for the reply..

:D


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#5 Guy Holt

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 09:29 PM

... I just want to shoot an interior scene with a girl sitting near the window...Her face should be lit with the golden look of the sunset...I know we can shoot it naturally but I just want to know how to create it artificially...

 

If it is a long scene, you won’t be able to do it with natural light. The problem with shooting at dawn or dusk is that both the light level and color temperature changes so rapidly that when you get back to your edit suite you find that the shots don’t match. It is better to shoot mid-day, control the natural daylight, and use HMIs to create a sunset effect,  than limit yourself to a brief window of opportunity at dawn or dusk.

 

The first step to artificially creating a sunset effect is to take the direction out of the natural daylight by flying a silk out the window, and then bring in your own consistent lighting.  But remember, light quality is as important as color temperature when it comes to simulating natural daylight in an interior. There are two components to daylight: hard direct sun and soft diffuse sky-shine. Because direct sunlight is a very hard source that creates crisp shadows, the traditional approach is to use a large HMI Fresnel like an 18K to simulate direct sunlight. Unfortunately, this is also a very expensive approach because it requires a movie blimped generator.

 

One of the biggest hurdles to obtaining good production values in low budget digital cinema productions is the high cost of blimped studio generators. Not only are blimped generators expensive to rent, but they also come with hidden costs. Since rental trucks like those from Ryder or Penske are not equipped to tow, you quite often have to hire the rental house's grip truck to tow them. And, since most rental houses require that one of their employees drive their trucks (for insurance reasons), the production has to hire a driver at roughly $575/10hrs - which is probably more than anyone else on a typical indie crew is getting paid. All of this makes the use of an 18k Fresnel to simulate direct sunlight very expensive.

 

M90-60-Small.jpg

 

(The light generated by the CAD designed Max Reflector of the new M90/60 is incredibly bright and sharp.)

 

If you are shooting on a low budget, a less expensive alternative is to  use the new ARRI M90 with MAX reflector. The ARRI M90 introduces a new power class for daylight fixtures. Utilizing a 9 kW lamp, developed by Osram according to ARRI's specification, the M90/60 can be operated on portable gas generators, like Honda's new 10kw EB10000, to achieve remarkable results. 
The unique MAX reflector of the M90 creates diverging parallel rays to produce a crisp light with even distribution through a wide spot/flood range. The result is a lens-less open face fixture with a quality of light close to that of a Fresnel. The elimination of spread lenses like those used on HMI Pars, makes the ARRI MAX reflector lamp heads comparable to par configurations of even a higher wattage. In fact, the M90 is brighter than some 18K Fresnels on the market.

 

M90_Ballast_Small.jpg

(The Active Line Filtration (ALF) of the new ARRI EB 6000/9000 ballast makes it an incredibly efficient and clean load.)

 

Since hard direct sunlight can be unflattering as a key light for talent, and to replicate the softer more diffuse sky-shine that should also come through a window, I would suggest you use for the talent’s key source a smaller HMI, like a 2500W HMI Par, through a diffusion frame from the same general direction as the window. Diffusing the 2500 will take the “source-i-ness” out of it and placing it close to the window will enable it to spread inside the room the way natural sky-shine does. Since you can operate a 2500W HMI on common 240V wall outlets with a Transformer/Distro, and an M90 can operate on our modified Honda EB10000 generator, feature production values just became a lot more affordable for low budget digital productions. A final touch would be to fly a branch-o-loris just outside the window to create a little leaf break-up on the interior set. This would have the effect of creating some contrast (light & shadow.)

 

I have used this same combination of 240V wall outlets and portable Honda generators to eliminate the need for tie-ins or a tow genny on many of the historical documentaries I have gaffed.  For example, I have used a similar package repeatedly at a historical mansion in Easton MA called the Ames Estate.

 

Transformer-Distro_Sam1.jpg

(Scene from "Unsolved History" powered from 50A/240V range outlet through step-down transformer/distro at the Ames Estate)

 

A popular state fee free location, the Ames Estate, like many historical house/museums, does not permit tie-ins and the electrical wiring in the house is so antiquated that it is unusable. Fortunately, they have a 50A/240 volt circuit in the carriage house for a welder they use to repair the mowers they use at the park. Our standard mode of operation when shooting there is to run 250V extension cable from the welding receptacle to a 60A Full Power Transformer/Distro placed in the entry hall of the house. Using a 60A Siamese at the Transformer/Distro, we then run 60A 6/3 Bates extensions, down to the library, to the second floor, and back to the maid’s pantry. At the end of each run we put another 60A Siamese.   A 60A snackbox on one side of the Siamese gives us 20A branch circuits. The other side we leave open for a large HMI or Tungsten Light.  Now we can safely plug 1200 - 4000W HMIs (or even a 5k Quartz) into our own distribution anywhere in the house to balance the interior levels to the exterior. A good example of this approach is an American Experience program titled “The Most Dangerous Women in America” about  Typhoid Mary that I lit for PBS. For part of her life Typhoid Mary was quarantined on an island in New York's East River.

 

tmfilmstrip1lg.jpeg

(Typhoid Mary in quarantine on an island in New York's East River. Note the view out the window of the East River shoreline at the turn of the century.)

 

Because New York’s East River today looks nothing like it did when she was in quarantine, we used a 30' blowup of a picture of the East River at the turn of the century rigged outside the windows of a house in Arlington MA.  As you can see by the production stills I have attached, the requirements of this production are very similar to what Pushparaj wants to accomplish. As you can see in the production still of the  exterior of the actual location used for the quarantine island, we rigged a solid over the porch windows and the blow-up to keep the sun off both. That way we could light the blow-up and interior so that it remained consistent even though the sun moved on and off the porch in the course of the day.

 

We had to strike a delicate balance between the interior and exterior levels. We wanted to overexpose the exterior by one stop so that it would look realistic and hide the fact that the exterior was a blow-up. To take the edge off the blow-up, we used a single scrim outside the window to help throw it out of focus.

 

tmfilmstrip2lg.jpeg

(The actual exterior of Mary’s cottage was the backyard of a house in Arlington Ma with a 30’ blow up of a picture of New York’s East River shoreline at the turn of the century.)

 

To maintain continuity between shots, in this case we brought a 4kw HMI Par in a window on one side of the room as a sun source and a 1200 par through a window on  the other side as a northern light source. We powered both heads off a dryer plug in the laundry room of the house using one of our Transformer/Distros.  The two 2.5kw Par lights used outside to light the blow-up were powered by a Honda EU6500is  through a second 60A Full Power Transformer/Distro.  Since the Honda EU6500is could be placed right on the lawn, we were saved from running hundreds of feet of feeder back to a tow generator.

 

tmfilmstrip3lg.jpeg

(A child dying of Typhoid Mary filmed in a bedroom of the Ames Estate)

 

We have been able to use this same basic package at numerous museums and historical houses throughout New England including Sturbridge Village. Fortunately for us, to make ends meet, many historical houses rent themselves out for events and weddings. For that reason, they usually have at least one updated service with 30 or 50 Amp 240 volt circuit for the warming ovens of caterers.

 

tmfilmstrip5lg.jpeg

(The New York City Health Inspector filmed in the library of the Ames Estate)

 

Use this link for more production stills of PBS and History Channel historical documentaries shot this way.

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer, Lighting and Grip Equipment Rental & Sales in  Boston


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#6 Toby Orzano

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 11:33 PM

Let's say you were doing a less-involved setup and you just need to power one 2500w HMI with an ARRI universal ballast. Is there a reason not to simply wire an adapter to go from the three or four-prong 240v appliance outlet to a 60A bates and run the ballast at 240v, forgoing the transformer?


Edited by Toby Orzano, 15 December 2013 - 11:34 PM.

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#7 pushparaj santhosh

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:16 AM

wooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww dude...you're the man..thanks for taking so much time and pain  to share this information...I really appreciate it...learnt a great deal of information from you..thanks again... :)


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#8 Christopher M Schmidt

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 12:55 PM

just a quick note for you. 

 

Light is light the sun look has nothing special about it other then it being a really really big light really really far away that has white balance around 5600k (but obviously changes over the course of the day getting warmer at sunrise/sunset). 

 

when trying to mirror this effect think about that and you realize you often don't need to do too much that is fancy.

 

 

if you want someone by a window being actually hit by sunlight consider how much brighter direct sunlight is usually is then ambient light inside a house....your probably going to need a pretty big light. Also consider that the sun has basically no fall off what this means is that the sun is sooooo big and sooo far away that over the course of the earth the light is always going to retain the same brightness. So basically any part of your frame hit by the sun unless there is something blocking the light (like a curtain) is going to want to be at the same exposure level which again generally means you want a bigger light farther away. 

 

 

with all that said as david explained color temp is relative. for a subtle warm effect 1/4 CTO or CTS is usually enough for a more dramatic sunset look Half or even full CTO on a daylight fixture works. 


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#9 Guy Holt

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 10:30 AM

Let's say you were doing a less-involved setup and you just need to power one 2500w HMI with an ARRI universal ballast. Is there a reason not to simply wire an adapter to go from the three or four-prong 240v appliance outlet to a 60A bates and run the ballast at 240v, forgoing the transformer?

 

There are a couple of good reasons why you may still want to operate a 2.5kw HMI at 120V through a transformer/distro rather than directly into a 240V receptacle. First, a 30A/240V dryer receptacle offers you 60A at 120V through a 240-to-120V step-down transformer. If you plug the 2.5kw HMI in through a transformer/distro and operate it at 120 Volts you still have 37 Amps left over to power additional lights through the transformer as well if your 2.5kw ballast has Power Factor Correction. That’s a lot of power in an easily distributed form to not take advantage of.

 

iRobot_Master_Shot.jpg

 

Master shot of an iRobot commercial lit with a 4kw HMI Par (outside) & 1.8kw HMI Par (inside) powered from a 30A/240V dryer outlet through a step-down transformer/distro. Note: Sunny feel created by 4k Par on an overcast day.

 

The second reason is that if the 2.5kw HMI is far from the 240V receptacle you can have appreciable line-loss (voltage drop) over a long cable run. A transformer/distro can be used to compensate for line loss, as well as the voltage drop on a generator from running it near full load. Our transformer/distros provide variable taps on the primary side that enable you to adjust the step down ratio to boost their output above the standard 2:1 ratio. This boost capacity will compensate for accumulative voltage drop and assure full line level (120V) on set.

 

iRobot_Comp_1.jpg

 

Left: Transformer/Distro plugged into a 30A/240V dryer outlet. Right: 4K HMI Par under rain protection powered by Transformer/Distro

 

This feature of our transformer/distros was a real benefit on a recent commercial for iRobot (see production stills attached.) The spot contrasted the iRobot Scooba designed to clean kitchen floors to the old mop and bucket approach. For the mop and bucket approach we had a haggard looking Mom slopping water all over the kitchen floor as kids ran slipping and sliding across the floor.

 

iRobot_Comp_2.jpg

 

Left: Arri AS18 1800W Par powered from Transformer/Distro. Right: 4Kw and 1800W HMI ballasts powered from Transformer/Distro.

 

The only available source of power for our 4K and 1800W HMIs was a dryer receptacle in the laundry room. Unfortunately, the laundry room was upstairs and in the front of the house and the kitchen was downstairs and in the back. Fortunately, we could use the boost capacity of our transformer/distro to compensate for the 16.5V line loss we experienced after running 300’ of high voltage twist-lock extension from the front to the back of the house. You wouldn’t think there would be that much voltage-drop over a 300’ 10AWG cable run, except that in this case, the electrical service was in the basement under the kitchen where we were shooting. Which means the circuit supplying our lights consisted of approximately 300’ of wire from the electrical panel in the basement under the kitchen to the dryer receptacle upstairs in the front of the house, plus the 300’ of wire we ran back to the kitchen, for a total of approximately 600’ (see voltage drop table below.)

 

iRobot_VD_Table_Sm.jpg

 

Note: the voltage drop on a 600’ run of 10AWG stranded cable is 16.497 volts

 

An added benefit to using a transformer/distro in this case was that it enabled us to use a 100A Shock Block to offer GFCI protection for cast and crew. We knew water would get everywhere inside the kitchen, so to protect the cast we put a 100A Shock Block like the one pictured below on the load side of the transformer/distro to provide Ground Fault protection inside around the wet kitchen floor. It was a good thing that we did, because it ended up pouring rain that day and so the Shock Block did double duty for the 4k that was outside the kitchen window.

 

SB_Location_Still.jpg

 

A single 100A GFCI "Shock Block" can provide ground fault protection on wet locations for the entire distro system of a Honda 6500 portable generator when used in-line  with a Step-Down Transformer/Distro.

 

I regularly use transformers to power not only big HMIs  (2.5-4Kw), but also quartz 5ks, in situations where a tie-in is not an option and the budget doesn’t permit for a tow generator. Use this link for more details about using step-down transformers on set.  By giving you safe and legal plug-in access to more house power through common 240V house outlets, a transformer can quite often eliminate the need for tie-ins or generators.

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting rental and sales in Boston


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