Jump to content




Photo

Faking windows indoors


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Ville Pakarinen

Ville Pakarinen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Finland

Posted 22 January 2015 - 10:33 PM

Is there some standard method when using windows between spaces and the other side is supposed to look like exterior? I'm using either open face 1.2K HMIs or open face 575W HMIs. There are a couple of things I'm not so sure of.

1. Diffusion on the window, on a frame in front of the light or both? On the window, it would help hide the space behind the window. But the light fixture, if used without diffusion in front of it, would likely leave a hot spot on the window. I want to blow out the entire surface are of the windows. Also, if using too strong diffusion on the window, it would take out most of the directionality from the light. I want the light to have some directionality, like a hazy morning sun, not look like it's completely overcast. So I was thinking of placing some light diffusion on the windows to help hide the other space and some stronger in front of the lights with maybe some kind of honeycomb to give it more direction.

2. How do you make the light look like it's coming from above instead of sideways? Since the ceiling sets the limit to how high you can place lights, there's a problem with the light looking too horizontal and shining too much on the ceiling. Real daylight shines mostly on the floor even on an overcast day because the sky is a dome above us. So, I was thinking of using separate lights for skylight and direct sunlight. Would it work if I bounced the skylight from the ceiling right next to the window and placed a couple of fresnels close to the ceiling as direct sunlight?

Thanks!

Attached Images

  • Image.aspx.jpg

Edited by Ville Pakarinen, 22 January 2015 - 10:34 PM.

  • 0




#2 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 18789 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 22 January 2015 - 11:18 PM

There's no standard method, as you say, it depends on the directional quality of the light and how hard or soft you want to make it, and what the camera angles are.

 

When dealing with a low ceiling, I've use shiny board reflectors, mirror or silver, tabled near the ceiling so I could bounce up into them and come back downwards into the room.

 

Here's a shot of a small set built inside a real room (the art department are in the shot dressing it, this is not a frame from the movie) -- I had a low ceiling but high windows, so I used reflectors tabled near the ceiling to bounce par cans off of:

jb44.jpg

 

I probably had a white card at a right angle to the window so that it looked whited-out to camera, though there may have been enough dirt of the glass that the par cans hitting the window was enough to wash out the view (this was a real room divided in half by a fake windowed wall).

 

You could possibly cover the windows with Hampshire Frost in order to wash-out/blur any view yet retain some directionality to the light hitting the blinds.

 

The little windows along the top of your wall would probably have to get a solid card over them to cover the glass because they are too close to the ceiling and would see a reflector or mirror set up there.


  • 0

#3 Ville Pakarinen

Ville Pakarinen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Finland

Posted 23 January 2015 - 12:39 PM

Thanks, David! Yeah, was thinking the same about those small windows. The ceiling itself looks quite neutral white/light gray, at least in that photo. Also, seems very matte surface, which could work very well by itself as bounce material for the skylight. Then, using some warmer fresnels as direct sunlight through light diffusion on the window could be the ticket.

Incidentally, I encountered this very lighting challenge in the Finnish national museum today. And like I said, it doesn't look right if the light hits the ceiling too much. That's what I strive to avoid.

 

Attached Images

  • 2015-01-23 16.jpg

  • 0

#4 Ville Pakarinen

Ville Pakarinen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Finland

Posted 23 January 2015 - 12:41 PM

The windows in the museum were covered with some heavy diffusion material that clearly makes the light spread way too much vertically.


  • 0

#5 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 18789 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 23 January 2015 - 02:23 PM

It's not bad, you could grad down the ceiling on camera or in post if it bothered you, half the shots the ceiling is out of the frame anyway...  Doesn't bother me as much when it's soft light that is coming straight through rather than downward, it's hard light where the direction has to be more logical.


  • 0

#6 Ville Pakarinen

Ville Pakarinen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Finland

Posted 24 January 2015 - 01:32 PM

Something about it hitting the ceiling just seems wrong to me. Maybe because I'm imagining this place on a floor of a highrise where most of the light comes from above. Closer to the ground, there's more bouncing of daylight from all directions and thus more light hitting the ceiling. I think it gives away the fact that it isn't in fact a highrise.


Edited by Ville Pakarinen, 24 January 2015 - 01:33 PM.

  • 0

#7 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 18789 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 24 January 2015 - 02:33 PM

I think even in a high rise, you can have bounce coming off of the landscape below the window.  Certainly in a commercial plane high in the air there is a lot of upward sky bounce coming through the cabin windows onto the ceiling.

 

I'm on a fifth floor right now and across my windows is a four-story building so its roof is bouncing light up into my floor.


  • 0

#8 Ville Pakarinen

Ville Pakarinen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Finland

Posted 24 January 2015 - 02:49 PM

Interesting, I guess it simply isn't and dried. Depends on so many factors.


Edited by Ville Pakarinen, 24 January 2015 - 02:49 PM.

  • 0

#9 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 18789 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 24 January 2015 - 02:55 PM

I actually think the higher the floor is, the more the sky light can come in at a straight angle because the windows face more sky and less trees and tall buildings.


  • 0

#10 Ville Pakarinen

Ville Pakarinen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 44 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Finland

Posted 25 January 2015 - 02:40 PM

That is true too if there's nothing obscuring the view. I guess it simply comes down to aesthetic preference, not what the audience will find realistic or unrealistic. Personally feel like the ceiling getting too much light is a distraction.


  • 0


Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Glidecam

Zylight

rebotnix Technologies

Pro 8mm

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Broadcast Solutions Inc

The Slider

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Zylight

Glidecam

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

CineTape

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Pro 8mm

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies