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Lighting for 3D


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#1 Julie Lew

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 11:22 PM

I've listened to a lot of ASC podcasts and the DPs often talk about their different approaches to lighting for film and digital. But I've heard very little about lighting for 3D. Is there anyone here who can tell me what special lighting challenges 3D poses and how you worked with these challenges?


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#2 Guy Holt

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Posted 27 September 2014 - 10:42 AM

I've listened to a lot of ASC podcasts and the DPs often talk about their different approaches to lighting for film and digital. But I've heard very little about lighting for 3D. Is there anyone here who can tell me what special lighting challenges 3D poses and how you worked with these challenges?

 

 

The challenges to lighting for 3D are the same as lighting in general: creating a third dimension in what is essentially a two dimensional medium. One approach is to use “reverse key lighting.” That is the quality (color temperature and hard/softness) and placement of a light is motivated by a source (practical or window) in the scene that is up stage of the talent. In this approach, the camera shoots into the shadowed side of the talent creating contrast. The contrast separates the talent from the background thereby creating a feeling of depth.  The reverse key position also makes your talent three dimensional by creating subtle graduations of light and dark on them, while the pools of light created by the practical sources themselves create depth to the image in the background.  

 

bose_woodshp_sm_wspicframehor.jpg

Dramatic motivated reverse key lighting for a Bose spot.

 

Since your fixtures are generally upstage of the talent in this approach to lighting, some rigging is involved. A lot can be done quickly with “wall busters,” 2x4s, and inexpensive deck framing hardware.  For example,  we created a low key dramatic lighting effect for a Bose spot, transforming a flatly illuminated wood shop into a scene with warmth, contrast, and depth with nothing more than 2x4s and deck framing hardware. 

 

bose_woodshp_sm_wsinteriorgridshor.jpg

A grid constructed of 2x4 lumber will enable you rig a light in the optimum position for motivated reverse key lighting

 

bose_woodshp_sm_wsinteriorgridhousehor.j

 

bose_woodshp_sm_grid_com_2_hor.jpg

A baby spud on a 2x4 joist bracket will enable you to inexpensively rig a light to lumber.

 

bose_woodshp_sm_grid_com_3_hor.jpg

2x4 joist brackets will enable you to quickly construct a lumber grid capable of rigging a light anywhere overhead.

 

 

bose_woodshp_sm_wsmirrorexthor.jpg

 

We used the “big budget” approach of Speed-Rail Wall-Busters, Speed Cs, and Speed-Rail Pipe to create low-key reverse key lighting for a party scene on another Bose spot.

 

boseparty_sm_picframehor.jpg

 

boseparty_sm_gridwshor.jpg

 

boseparty_sm_pipebusteralthor.jpg

 

boseparty_sm_speedchor.jpg

 

 

With the right equipment, time, and a little ingenuity there is nowhere that a good grip can’t put a light – so don’t let your mind’s eye be fettered by gravity.

 

Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting Rental & Sales in Boston.


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