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Creating Infinite Depth


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#1 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 11:45 AM

For an upcoming short I will have a shot of the actors standing before a black background.  I was wondering which material would be best to use - muslin or velvet?  I've never used either but I'm guessing the black velvet would do a better job of absorbing the light.

 

Thanks for any help.


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#2 John E Clark

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 12:04 PM

For some small product shots I've used velvet, and I think it is a 'deeper' black than what could be gotten with muslin, as the muslin has the thread structure, and could have some residual 'glint' from the lights.

 

For people, I have used black bedsheet material, due to its cheapness, and placed the background 'distant' from the subjects, so as to create the empty black background.

 

The problem there is to get the distance one needs more material... as well as a studio that has the depth...


Edited by John E Clark, 05 September 2014 - 12:05 PM.

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#3 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 06:49 PM

 

For an upcoming short I will have a shot of the actors standing before a black background.  I was wondering which material would be best to use - muslin or velvet?  I've never used either but I'm guessing the black velvet would do a better job of absorbing the light.
 
Thanks for any help.


Hey Bill,
Grab your Kelly wheel and think about the likely depth of field. The widest shot with the most DoF.
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#4 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 06:57 PM

The editor always times out on me, I meant to add.

Is the intention that the fabric be basically invisible. So out of focus? Grab your Kelly wheel and think about the likely depth of field. The widest shot with the most DoF. And closeups not staged too close to the fabric.
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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 12:01 AM

As long as you can get the background back far enough to fall off in focus and not be lit by spill from your key, you can get away with a lot; the background does not have to be perfectly black since the fall off is helping you out. The trick is that the further away you place your background, the larger it needs to be to not see off the edges.

So as long as you have the space, you're better off with a large, imperfect background material versus a smaller black velvet background. You can check theatrical prop shops and see if you that have black backdrops you can rent. Also, a 20x20' solid rag would work. Clip it up to a speedrail goalpost and you're set. Definitely have a few 4x4' floppies on standby to flag any spill onto the background.
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#6 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 12:40 PM

As long as you can get the background back far enough to fall off in focus and not be lit by spill from your key, you can get away with a lot; the background does not have to be perfectly black since the fall off is helping you out. The trick is that the further away you place your background, the larger it needs to be to not see off the edges.

So as long as you have the space, you're better off with a large, imperfect background material versus a smaller black velvet background. You can check theatrical prop shops and see if you that have black backdrops you can rent. Also, a 20x20' solid rag would work. Clip it up to a speedrail goalpost and you're set. Definitely have a few 4x4' floppies on standby to flag any spill onto the background.

 

Yeah, I was planning on a large cloth for exactly those reasons.  I'll probably wind up purchasing a background stand to add to my inventory since I'm also looking to start renting my grip & lighting equipment out.

 

Thanks, everyone.


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Ritter Battery

The Slider

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