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Lighting Thru Big Ole Windows

hmi daylight big units

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#1 Brandon Riley

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 09:56 PM

So Ive got some scenes in an upcoming feature where I really want to have big bands of light coming thru each of 3 windows. Each window is about 8 feet wide and probably 30 feet tall. Its not a very large budget, but there are a few resources. Generally speaking, would I need 12/18k HMIs in each window to get some shafts (along with haze/fog), or could I get by with some 6ks?

 

Ill go ahead and thank David Mullen in advance


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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 11:53 PM

Will you see the whole of the windows in any shot? If not, you can get away with something much smaller. I recently lit a large hotel lobby (about 100'x100') with just 1 Arri M18. It had huge windows on the front side, which allowed a lot of natural skylight in, so all I needed to do was add some directional light. An M18 on an Avenger Super Crank stand was enough, because we never saw the windows themselves.


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 12:45 AM

Whether a 6K will work instead of a 12K is partly a matter of how much exposure do you need and if you are mixing this artificial light with natural soft daylight and want the hard artificial light to really overpower the natural light.

 

But even a 12K or 18K isn't going to fill a 30' tall window evenly from top to bottom unless it is very far away (and then it would be hard to separate three 18K's from spilling into the other two windows at that distance.)

 

If you don't mind a spottier light creating a shaft that doesn't fill the window then a 6K would work.

 

Truth is that also something like a 24-light Dino with spot lenses from far enough away would create a shaft in haze and might have a better shot at filling the window.


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#4 Brandon Riley

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 08:41 AM

Thanks to both of you. Great advice. I expected nothing less.

 

I will actually see all 3 windows. The scenario is a press conference in a municipal building with the 3 windows as the back drop. I dont necessarily need to fill them all 3 evenly from top to bottom (although that would be ideal, just not all that practical in this case)


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#5 Albion Hockney

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Posted 07 January 2016 - 12:35 PM

 Alot will depend on as david said the other light levels you are working with. If it is a cloudy day its going to be a lot easier to get punch out of the lights. If you have the whole of the windows in shot on a sunny day that is a really huge setup and I don't know if 6ks would make the grade if you are balancing exposure with the exterior - also of course depends what shooting stop you are going to be at and how overexposed you let the windows go.

 

 

This is something you can figure out with basic photometrics though. On the tech scout I would meter the interior ambiance toward the windows and also figure out roughly the distance between where the talent is at the press conference and the windows in the background. Then with that knowledge I'd decide how many stops over the ambiance I want that back edge coming through the windows on the talent (if you play the scene like you are exposing for the interior ambiance and have bright sun coming through I'd go for something like 4 stops over key) and then just use a photometric calculator to figure out how big of a light you need to get that stop. http://calc.arri.de/calculator


Edited by Albion Hockney, 07 January 2016 - 12:35 PM.

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#6 Joshua Hesami

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 01:27 PM

Whether a 6K will work instead of a 12K is partly a matter of how much exposure do you need and if you are mixing this artificial light with natural soft daylight and want the hard artificial light to really overpower the natural light.

 

But even a 12K or 18K isn't going to fill a 30' tall window evenly from top to bottom unless it is very far away (and then it would be hard to separate three 18K's from spilling into the other two windows at that distance.)

 

If you don't mind a spottier light creating a shaft that doesn't fill the window then a 6K would work.

 

Truth is that also something like a 24-light Dino with spot lenses from far enough away would create a shaft in haze and might have a better shot at filling the window.

 

Hey David, I'm very glad you mentioned the Dino because I'd love to know more about Dino lights or the brute lights. I understand very little about them and I'm finding it hard to dig up. I'm not even certain I'm referring to them correctly. Has anyone discussed those lights in depth on these forums? Where do they fit in and serve best? Or how using the lamps in an Array compare to a single lamp fixture like an Arrimax or a par?


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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 01:47 PM

They are banks of tungsten 1K PAR 64 lights (usually) in groups like 9, 12, 24, etc. From a distance they create a fairly hard effect even though if you look at the shadow patterns on the ground you can see a fringed, multiple-shadowed effect around edges. Being a bank of lights they will have more spread to them. You can put different arrangements of globes from wide to narrow spot in them. Most people put mediums in them, or add some spot globes in an X pattern or along the top row (because the top row often has to project further than the bottom row.)
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#8 Joshua Hesami

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 02:04 PM

Thank you, David. That's genius to throw spots in the top row. I posted a new topic about these lights before I saw your reply because I didn't know if it was inappropriate to hijack this thread.


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