Jump to content




Photo

Lightning

does flicker box work?

  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Paul Tackett

Paul Tackett
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 72 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 23 January 2015 - 06:29 PM

I'm shooting a student film and need to create a lightning effect. 

 

The Magic Gadgets Shadowmaker flicker box is advertised as having a lightning effects programmed into it.

 

Has anyone used this effect, and do you have video footage of it that you could post?

 

Any advise on this would be helpful. The budget is too small to get Lightning Strikes or anything like that, and we're shooting on the Red so I don't want the rolling shutter from Atomic 3000's. Looking into a shutter effect with metal shutters, but if the flicker box works, I'd prefer that method.

 

Thanks in advance.


  • 0




#2 Matthew Parnell

Matthew Parnell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 277 posts
  • Electrician
  • Brisbane, Australia

Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:59 AM

Magic Gadget works ok-ish on smaller units. Unfortunately there is a lot of filament lag with tungsten lamps, even using smaller units, meaning you won't get hard flashes. They will ramp on and off over a couple frames, and therefore the colour temperature also changes as the light comes up and down.

That being said, perhaps with a rolling shutter sensor, the magic gadget might give you something to play with in post, without having to clean up split frames.

Lighting shutters can also work. They can be a bit labour intensive, and need a little practice for the operator to get the right feel and timing. They do give a harder flash, without the colour temperature change.
  • 0

#3 Miguel Angel

Miguel Angel
  • Sustaining Members
  • 563 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Spain / Ireland / South Africa

Posted 29 January 2015 - 01:53 PM

I shot a short piece two weeks ago where I wanted to play with outside light a bit and decided that I wanted to introduce lightning strikes at some stage. 
The room was dark at night and as I did not have a budget I rented a M18 and the guys from the rental place (Cine Electric in Ireland) lent me a giant venetian shutter. 
 
I have to say that it worked! What I felt is that I needed a bigger light than the M18 because if you want to fill a big space with the lightning, the M18 might not be enough.
 
Before going with the venetian shutter I tested the dimmer box but I did not like the feeling, lightning strikes are very fast and go from nothing to a big intensity of light in less than 1 second and when I was testing the dimmer boxes I felt that it wasn't quick enough for my taste. 
 
I think I have some shoots from the piece on my computer if you want to take a look at them.
 
Have a good day.  
  • 0

#4 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3081 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 29 January 2015 - 05:06 PM

Mechanical shutters are great, you can also use them for flame effects and gunshot muzzle flash effects. Hard to find at smaller rental houses if you're not in a major production hub.
  • 0

#5 timHealy

timHealy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1232 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:34 PM

Atomic 3000 with a Detonator.


  • 0

#6 Matthew Parnell

Matthew Parnell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 277 posts
  • Electrician
  • Brisbane, Australia

Posted 30 January 2015 - 08:30 PM

Unfortunately the atomics don't seem to fit the bill much anymore(it's unfortunate as I own a couple) I have found the atomics to be really problematic in causing half frames with cameras with a rolling shutter. The blinder function is a little better, and in a few circumstances acceptable, but it's still problematic. Definitely worth testing before the shoot day.

Depending on your output and coverage needs using the flash function(or flashing using dmx) on most LED units is worth testing.
  • 0

#7 David Mullen ASC

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

Posted 30 January 2015 - 08:38 PM

I've used Atomic Strobes on the Alexa and found that you get into cycles where you can get a stretch where the flashes are full-frame and then fall out of sync and you get a half-frame.

 

I haven't had a problem with Lightning Strikes Paparazzi Strobes and rolling shutters.

 

I usually use metal shutters on a bright HMI, it's low-tech but it works. 


  • 0

#8 Alex Rizzo

Alex Rizzo

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Electrician
  • Maryland, US

Posted 26 February 2015 - 09:55 AM

What would be the max area an Atomic could cover? In a month, I will be tackling a cyc 60' in diameter and was wondering what my options were if I couldn't go Lightning Strikes. We'll be using the C500.


Edited by Alex Rizzo, 26 February 2015 - 09:57 AM.

  • 0

#9 David Mullen ASC

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

Posted 26 February 2015 - 11:08 AM

It's just a box so it doesn't project a beam, the light spreads / spills quite a bit, the only issue may be fall-off in intensity if you back it way off.
  • 0

#10 Miguel Angel

Miguel Angel
  • Sustaining Members
  • 563 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Spain / Ireland / South Africa

Posted 26 February 2015 - 03:30 PM

I was talking about the venetian shutter and the M18 in a post above, here is the result so anybody can take a look at it and know if that's what he / she is looking for. 

 

 

Best.


  • 0

#11 David Mullen ASC

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

Posted 26 February 2015 - 03:38 PM

I like the metal venetian blind shutters on the HMI because it feels a bit more organic than a strobe, if the guy slapping the shutters open and close has a sensitivity for that sort of thing.


  • 0

#12 Miguel Angel

Miguel Angel
  • Sustaining Members
  • 563 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Spain / Ireland / South Africa

Posted 26 February 2015 - 03:41 PM

I think you are right Mr. Mullen.

By playing with the venetian shutter I also learnt that you have to have the right amount of "lightnings".

Not too many (like in my video) but not too few, and it seems to me that it is very hard to know when there are a lot or not. 

 

Have a good day!


  • 0

#13 David Mullen ASC

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

Posted 26 February 2015 - 06:38 PM

I always run into this issue when I need grips or electrics to randomly wave flags and whatnot for the effect of a flickering fireplace light or passing trees inside a car, etc.  They often end up not being random enough and fall into a visible pattern.  You have to describe to them the real-life reasons for the flickering - how fire shifts from one end to the other of the fireplace, the occasional spike in intensity, how near trees that a car passes by go faster than the more distant trees, how sometimes the thickness of the trees is heavy and other times it is light, etc.


  • 0

#14 Miguel Angel

Miguel Angel
  • Sustaining Members
  • 563 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Spain / Ireland / South Africa

Posted 02 March 2015 - 06:40 PM

It is my thought that "Ligthing effects" should be a mandatory class in all the film schools in the world so all the cinematographers could talk about what you just said (and which makes a lot of sense) to their G&E crew in the terms that you used.

Have a good day!
  • 0

#15 Mathew Collins

Mathew Collins
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 103 posts

Posted 09 February 2016 - 11:35 PM

I'm shooting a student film and need to create a lightning effect. 

 

The Magic Gadgets Shadowmaker flicker box is advertised as having a lightning effects programmed into it.

 

Has anyone used this effect, and do you have video footage of it that you could post?

 

Any advise on this would be helpful. The budget is too small to get Lightning Strikes or anything like that, and we're shooting on the Red so I don't want the rolling shutter from Atomic 3000's. Looking into a shutter effect with metal shutters, but if the flicker box works, I'd prefer that method.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Hi Paul,

 

Could you explain "I don't want the rolling shutter from Atomic 3000's."?


  • 0

#16 Mark Dunn

Mark Dunn
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2182 posts
  • Other
  • London

Posted 10 February 2016 - 04:46 AM

 

Hi Paul,

 

Could you explain "I don't want the rolling shutter from Atomic 3000's."?

Google is my friend- have you fallen out?

https://www.google.c...hutter&ie=UTF-8


Edited by Mark Dunn, 10 February 2016 - 04:47 AM.

  • 0


CineLab

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Pro 8mm

Glidecam

Abel Cine

CineTape

Technodolly

Zylight

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

CineLab

Pro 8mm

Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

CineTape

Zylight