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Lighting gag - prismatic reflections from giant crystal


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#1 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 05:04 PM

Hey guys,

I'm looking for some ideas on how to create a large lighting gag for sunlight refracting through a boulder-sized diamond onto a wide 4-shot of actors around a small table. The effect needs to cover all the actors in the wide and move across their faces. I'd like to have a mix of rainbow refractions and sharp-angled prismatic reflections. It's a Gilliam-sequel fantasy sequence in a comedy - one character is dragging a giant wedding ring on a boat anchor chain behind her to a tea party. Location has not been locked down yet but it will be a day interior restaurant/cafe that I'm hoping will be dark enough for the effect to read.

My ideas so far are:

- Create a composite still or video image and use a video projector to light the actors faces. Relatively easy to control and should be good coverage. Might be too dim if the location is too bright.

- Pound an HMI into a large broken mirror or crumpled Mylar, put the light on wheels and move it toward the mirror. Good intensity but will be missing the prismatic refractions of color. Might be too harsh, difficult to control spill.

- Pound an HMI though a crystal bead curtain or into a mirror ball. Might move and spread too much, may not look like sun though a large stone.

Any thoughts?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 05:23 PM

Maybe there's a way to create a rainbow striped gel and use Lekos to project the pattern?  Obviously you need a beam of white light to hit the diamond on the table, so you'd be faking the patterns coming out of the crystal back up on faces, which will be hard in a wide shot.  And if the crystal rotates or gets moved, the pattern should move, so that would be hard.


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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 05:41 PM

Maybe there's a way to create a rainbow striped gel and use Lekos to project the pattern?

 

That was my immediate thought. Or, slide projector. Or, video projector. The prismatic effect from solid blocks of common transparent materials is pretty slight, in reality.


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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 06:36 PM

Oh that's a good idea, thanks David! I'll do a test run with a Dedo projector and the gel cuts. Just to be clear, we never see 'the diamond' at all, it's purely an off-screen lighting gag. The idea is that the person is dragging it toward the table from behind the camera, and the lighting gag slowly rises over the table to cover the talent looking back towards the lens.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 10:55 PM

That sounds more complicated in a way because you'd expect some sort of moving, sparkling light effect that has chromatic / prismatic qualities, almost more like flashes of colors as the diamond glints.


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#6 Freya Black

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 07:03 AM

This made me think of this LED lightbulb:

 

http://www.ebay.co.u...8AAAOSwstxVJ2b8

 

Freya


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#7 JD Hartman

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 07:20 AM

Have you tried bouncing light off of a layer of broken glass?  Maybe broken safety glass from a tempered window or tabletop would produce the effect you're looking for.  Maybe bounce your projected color pattern off a small stationary mirror ball so you have a spread or the sparkle pattern?


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#8 JD Hartman

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 07:53 AM

....spread of the sparkle pattern.


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#9 Stuart Allman

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 10:33 PM

Satsuki,

 

What if you used the Dedo projector or Leko through a large glass "diamond". 

 

http://www.amazon.co...l/dp/B007L5OLNE

Don't you love the random stuff you can get off Amazon now days?  Plus, it's an awesome looking paperweight after the shoot.

 

Stuart

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#10 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 01:06 AM

Thanks guys,

I tested the broken mirror gag, it looked ok:
image.jpeg

Also tried David's idea with the rainbow gel pack and projected pattern:
image.jpeg
image.jpeg

Had a meeting with the director today where we decided to simplify the effect significantly. The ring will now be a large prop that the talent will hold over her head. We will see the shadow of the wedding band ring and diamond over the table. The art director bought a 37" inflatable engagement ring float made out of Mylar, so I figure we'll use that for the shadow:

image.jpeg

Will test it tomorrow to see how reflective the Mylar is. Am thinking of having art cut silver stipple material into faceted panels that we can glue onto the diamond:

image.jpeg

Then pound a light into the diamond as the actor holds the float over her head to create the sparkles. Will also have a Joleko backlight her and the ring for the shadow on the table:

image.jpeg

Obviously the Joleko needs to be higher to have the shadow cover the table, but that's fairly easy. The main issue I foresee is that the silver stipple material won't give hard enough specular reflections unless it is very close to the talent. So maybe some other less diffuse material is needed...
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#11 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 01:14 AM

Stuart, wish I had time to order the giant glass 'diamond' but we are shooting on Saturday! Would love to have the glass egg prop from 'Risky Business,' that would really do the trick!
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#12 Stuart Allman

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 08:22 AM

Well...you could always test out that same day delivery through Amazon Prime.  So far it's worked for my friends. 2-day would get it there by Friday.

 

Stuart

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#13 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 02:56 PM

Went crazy and ordered a large 6" glass diamond prop, thanks Stuart!
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#14 Stuart Allman

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 03:12 PM

Now I just hope it works! (at least it's cheap)  Please post some pictures of the tests.  It might even be cool to shoot through the prism for a mosaic effect.


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#15 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 03:15 PM

Haha, will do. Thanks again!
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#16 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 23 October 2015 - 09:47 PM

image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpg image.jpg
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#17 Stuart Allman

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Posted 23 October 2015 - 10:26 PM

That is sooooo cool.  Please post a link to the finished project when you're done.  I can't wait to see what kind of creative things you do with it.

 

Stuart

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#18 Aidan Gray

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Posted 25 October 2015 - 02:16 PM

Diamond prop looks amazing! Too enhance that, try coating the inside of a bowl with CDs (broken or whole is up to you). Thye bounce light around in very interesting ways. 


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