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Warehouse Daytime Interior - Product Shoot


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#1 Shane Aguon

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 08:46 PM

Really glad to officially be a part of the community here! I've been lurking in the shadows since 2011 and have gained so much knowledge from many of the regulars here so thank you all in advance. 

 

I'm struggling on how light an upcoming shoot and I know for an absolute fact that I'm overcomplicating it. 

 

The Details

 

I'm shooting a series of product videos for a local flooring company in which we'll be filming all day in their gigantic warehouse. The product is all types of high end wood flooring. There will be 5 different 15x15 foot mini-sets built to feature the different types of flooring so what they'll do is swap out floors for each 30 second video. No talent - just VO, music, and various shots of the floors. Here is a screenshot from our test shoot (heavily graded): 

 

Test-Shoot.jpg

 

Test setup in the space: 

 

https://www.dropbox....5959-2.JPG?dl=0

 

You'll notice we're using the concrete walls and a false wall to create a corner that's on wheels. 

 

Video of the space: 

 

https://www.dropbox.... 40 PM.mov?dl=0

 

 

We'll be filming on our Red Epic Dragon. The shoot starts at 9am and we wrap at 4pm, so light will shift and shift dramatically throughout the shoot. I'll be bringing two 1.2K Arri HMI's (added on two large Chimeras for the actual shoot on Monday), two KinoFlo Diva 4 banks, and I'll bring a small tungsten kit with gels as a backup.  

 

The Problem

 

The test shoot did not come out the way I would have liked it to. The idea was to create as natural feeling of an image with the what we have to work with. Our budget is already maxed with the addition of the HMI's so I can't add anything to it at this point. We're dealing with a ton of natural light spilling in from the skylights in the warehouse, so my idea as the DP was to bring in HMI's and control our area as much as possible since light will be changing so dramatically throughout the day. The HMI's are plenty strong, but I was still fighting the skylights when the sun would peak out from behind the clouds. 

 

In trying to control the light, I feel like the image has no soul. The use of a nice tungsten practical would be nice but we can't run power to it without it being distracting in the frame. The fact that we can't add a ceiling to the set means we lost all that natural ambient light bouncing. The shadows on the wall from the chair was really tough to deal with too. 

 

I'd love to hear what you'd do with the limitations I'm working with. Is there a way to marry the light spilling in with the HMI's and get a good look? Should I bring the HMI's in as close as possible and try to overpower the natural light spilling in? If so, where do I position my lights with all of the light from above? 

 

Shane


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#2 JD Hartman

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 08:58 PM

Getting roof access and covering the skylights with Commando cloth isn't possible?  Same for the large windows?  Or may hang a 20x20 solid in front of them?  You could fly a frame above the set for bounce, erect a temporary grid and hang spacelights, etc, etc.


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#3 Shane Aguon

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 09:01 PM

Getting roof access and covering the skylights with Commando cloth isn't possible?  Same for the large windows?  Or may hang a 20x20 solid in front of them?  You could fly a frame above the set for bounce, erect a temporary grid and hang spacelights, etc, etc.

 

Not at this point unfortunately.  


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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 05:41 AM

First you'd have to kill all that window spill somehow. If you can't cover the windows, then I'd bring in large solids or even floppies around the set. As JD says, ideally they would be on the actual windows but if they can be closer to set then they can be smaller.

If you can get some bleached muslin from a fabric store, staple and stretch it over the false wall, then you have your 'ceiling.' This will do double duty of diffusing any direct sun from the skylights and adding toppy ambience. Maybe throw up the Divas over the muslin ceiling for consistent ambient fill.

Then I would pick a side to light from. Double up your diffusion frames and punch one of your HMIs into it for a soft sidey source. Suggestive of a large window on one side of the room.

Finally, I would take your other HMI and turn it into a direct sun source. It could be from the 'window' on camera left, a skip bounce off some muslin taped to the floor just out of frame, maybe even your own 'skylight' pounding into the muslin ceiling right above the furniture. Mix it up. This should help add some life and realism to the scene.

If you want to add the tungsten practical, you'll probably have a drill a hole in the fake wall to pass the cord through. You could put a desk lamp on a small end table and hide the hole behind it. Or get one of those tall IKEA paper lantern floor lamps which you can definitely hide a hole behind. Or if you have the time, go to the hardware store and buy a standard electrical socket cover, attach it to the fake wall, and pass the cord through it. Should look real enough if you dress the front of it with a wicker basket and some towels or something.
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#5 JD Hartman

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 06:07 AM

Satsuki, quick and dirty static shots of flooring, no talent, etc., etc.  Could you be overthinking this?  Some soft light from above, maybe a slash of light from one side to make the flooring gleam a bit?  Seems to me access to the roof is not optional (this job seems low budget), on most warehouse buildings there will be a ladder permanently mounted to the building somewhere.  Roof access will be much cheaper and quicker than scissor lifts and or flying large solids or other rags.


Edited by JD Hartman, 24 April 2016 - 06:13 AM.

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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 06:27 AM

Satsuki, quick and dirty static shots of flooring, no talent, etc., etc.  Could you be overthinking this?


Almost certainly, wouldn't be the first time. ;) In my defense, it's also 4:30am...
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#7 JD Hartman

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 06:35 AM

Shoot this at night, problem (mostly) solved. 


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#8 Shane Aguon

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 10:33 PM

First you'd have to kill all that window spill somehow. If you can't cover the windows, then I'd bring in large solids or even floppies around the set. As JD says, ideally they would be on the actual windows but if they can be closer to set then they can be smaller.

If you can get some bleached muslin from a fabric store, staple and stretch it over the false wall, then you have your 'ceiling.' This will do double duty of diffusing any direct sun from the skylights and adding toppy ambience. Maybe throw up the Divas over the muslin ceiling for consistent ambient fill.

Then I would pick a side to light from. Double up your diffusion frames and punch one of your HMIs into it for a soft sidey source. Suggestive of a large window on one side of the room.

Finally, I would take your other HMI and turn it into a direct sun source. It could be from the 'window' on camera left, a skip bounce off some muslin taped to the floor just out of frame, maybe even your own 'skylight' pounding into the muslin ceiling right above the furniture. Mix it up. This should help add some life and realism to the scene.

If you want to add the tungsten practical, you'll probably have a drill a hole in the fake wall to pass the cord through. You could put a desk lamp on a small end table and hide the hole behind it. Or get one of those tall IKEA paper lantern floor lamps which you can definitely hide a hole behind. Or if you have the time, go to the hardware store and buy a standard electrical socket cover, attach it to the fake wall, and pass the cord through it. Should look real enough if you dress the front of it with a wicker basket and some towels or something.

 

 

Thanks for the reply Satsuki - really got my mind going on the possibilities in this situation but I just didn't have the time or resources to try some of those things. The shoot was today and I decided to take a totally different approach. 

 

I decided not to fight the ambient light and I learned a lot in the process. The light spilling in from the big window and skylights weren't the enemy. I decided to embrace the openness of the room and enhance what was already happening naturally. I made this call because our sets looked pretty good with our lights OFF. 

 

The light spilling in was warmer than our Arri 1.2K HMI's, so I threw 1/8 CTO on both of them and it worked wonders in blending. I put the large Chimera on our key light and moved it in as close as I could to the set. The rental house didn't have the second large Chimera I requested so I decided to shoot the 2nd HMI into some bead board for fill. I used one KinoFlo Diva on the back wall for a little punch. The big 12x12 silk in the background was the photographers who was working on a different set. 

 

The setup:

 

https://www.dropbox....image1.JPG?dl=0

 

https://www.dropbox....image2.JPG?dl=0

 

https://www.dropbox....image3.JPG?dl=0

 

The result: 

 

https://www.dropbox....Set 3.tiff?dl=0

 

https://www.dropbox....Set 1.tiff?dl=0

 

https://www.dropbox....Set 2.tiff?dl=0

 

https://www.dropbox....Set 5.tiff?dl=0

 

https://www.dropbox....Set 4.tiff?dl=0

 

Overall, I'm happy with results but I can't help but wonder what I could have achieved by trying some of the ideas mentioned (shooting at night, bleached muslin ceiling, etc.). I'm sure I could have achieved more consistent contrast but I feel like the direction I took was the right call. Would love your feedback! 


Edited by Shane Aguon, 25 April 2016 - 10:35 PM.

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#9 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 01:19 AM

Looks pretty good! Perhaps a bit flat, but pretty good considering the circumstances. Nice job :)


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#10 JD Hartman

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 05:27 AM

If the check clears and they hire you again, you done good.


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