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How to achieve lightening effect (lightening and thunder). What light?


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#1 Akpe ododoru

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 01:55 PM

Am trying to creat a lightening effect (lightening and thunder) coming in through a window and also onto a small garding. Can someone please recommend the type of lights i need to acheive this.

Camera am going to be using is BMPC 4k because of the global shutter (but there is a chance it might be shot on a RED Epic)

 

Budget is much so can you please an affordable one

 


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#2 Jan Tore Soerensen

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 02:03 PM

Am trying to creat a lightening effect (lightening and thunder) coming in through a window and also onto a small garding. Can someone please recommend the type of lights i need to acheive this.

Camera am going to be using is BMPC 4k because of the global shutter (but there is a chance it might be shot on a RED Epic)

 

Budget is much so can you please an affordable one

 

Might be easiest to do it in post. Greenscreen the window, and do it in After Effects. 


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#3 Akpe ododoru

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 02:09 PM

Might be easiest to do it in post. Greenscreen the window, and do it in After Effects. 

Wouldn't really look good. Think its goin to look too fake


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#4 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 02:15 PM

There are four basic ways to achieve lighting:

 

1. Lightning Strikes units. Very good, industry standard. Expensive.

 

2. Atomic Strobes from Martin. Cheap and useful. Only problem is you can't control strike time like on the Lightning Strikes, so they're very quick to discharge and sometimes the shutter misses them and look a little less convincing. But certainly if you're on a budget, this is a good option.

 

3. Venetian shutters. You've seen those old war movies where ships send morse code by activating a fast acting shutter in front of a light? Exact same thing. These units are very often buried in storage at the lighting houses as they don't see much use, yet they are extremely effective and very cheap. If you're on a budget, this is an excellent option.

 

4. Carbon Arc lamp and manually striking the rods. This is old school and how they used to do it in the silent film era. Not many of these units working today, but if you have access to one, it's probably the most convincing look.


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#5 Akpe ododoru

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 02:39 PM

There are four basic ways to achieve lighting:

 

1. Lightning Strikes units. Very good, industry standard. Expensive.

 

2. Atomic Strobes from Martin. Cheap and useful. Only problem is you can't control strike time like on the Lightning Strikes, so they're very quick to discharge and sometimes the shutter misses them and look a little less convincing. But certainly if you're on a budget, this is a good option.

 

3. Venetian shutters. You've seen those old war movies where ships send morse code by activating a fast acting shutter in front of a light? Exact same thing. These units are very often buried in storage at the lighting houses as they don't see much use, yet they are extremely effective and very cheap. If you're on a budget, this is an excellent option.

 

4. Carbon Arc lamp and manually striking the rods. This is old school and how they used to do it in the silent film era. Not many of these units working today, but if you have access to one, it's probably the most convincing look.

Thanks a lot dude, will definitely go check these out


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#6 timHealy

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 10:31 PM

Adam's reviews is spot on. I'm a big fan of Atomic 3000's as he suggests for low budgets but make sure you get the Atomic Detonator to control them. The come in 120v and 208v AC versions (in the U.S. anyway.)

 

Depending how small your shot is, you may be able to play with some LED light fixtures that are DMX controllable.

 

But if you are looking for tried and true, down and dirty, and cheap, then go with the Atomics.

 

Best

 

Tim


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#7 Miguel Angel

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 03:06 AM

Some time ago I did this as a test when I was in college.



The lightning strike is a M18 with a venetian blind in front of it.
It was shot on Red One MX.

Have a good day.
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#8 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 04:21 AM

If you're on a budget, you could try striking a welding arc, however, you need to be careful about welding masks etc.I've used a  venetian blind shutter, it sort of works.


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#9 Akpe ododoru

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 04:26 AM

Some time ago I did this as a test when I was in college.



The lightning strike is a M18 with a venetian blind in front of it.
It was shot on Red One MX.

Have a good day.

Wow miguel thanks for the link, that was really good.

 

You mind telling how far the M18 light was from the venetian blind, and how and were did you install the venetian blind so as not to get any shake while opening and closing it


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#10 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 02:43 PM

Pretty sure Miguel means he used mechanical shutters made for film lights, or what Adam mentioned earlier as his #3 option. This one is made by Mole Richardson:

image.jpeg

They are made in standard sizes and fit into the barn door brackets on your light. Or I guess they can also work on a stand. There is a knob on the side that you use to open and close the metal shutters quickly.
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#11 Akpe ododoru

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 04:13 PM

Pretty sure Miguel means he used mechanical shutters made for film lights, or what Adam mentioned earlier as his #3 option. This one is made by Mole Richardson:

attachicon.gifimage.jpeg

They are made in standard sizes and fit into the barn door brackets on your light. Or I guess they can also work on a stand. There is a knob on the side that you use to open and close the metal shutters quickly.

Thanks dude

Will check to see if i can get one to buy (hopefully its not too expensive)


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#12 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 04:18 PM

Mechanical shutters are very expensive to buy, unfortunately. Like $2-4K USD. I wanted to buy my own too and park them at a rental house, but they rarely get used so I can't justify the cost. The best I can do is try to convince the rental house owners to buy one. It really helps if you are in a major market like LA since you can actually find oddball things like this to rent. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
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#13 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 05:12 PM

I wonder how much it would cost to make a 4x4 shutter system- you could just park it on a stand in front of the light...


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#14 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 05:39 PM

They are variations of the signaling blinds used on ships -- the main issue is that they have to be pretty heat resistant if parked in front of a big HMI and they shouldn't have light leaks when the blinds are closed.  But I'm sure that someone who is good with metalwork could build one fairly easily.


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#15 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 05:58 PM

They are variations of the signaling blinds used on ships -- the main issue is that they have to be pretty heat resistant if parked in front of a big HMI and they shouldn't have light leaks when the blinds are closed.

 

I remember seeing that done in Apocalypse Now (more specifically in Heart of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse,) possibly for the Dolong Bridge sequence.  The lights were about as tall as the operators.


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#16 Miguel Angel

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 06:26 PM

Hi!

I actually used normal venetian blinds made of wood.
The blinds have a frame around it so they can be placed on two tripods easily.

The frame is sort of what Satsuki posted here but more hand-made and it has two spigots (is that the right word) one on each side so you can position the blind with two tripods.

It is kind of a big venetian blind though! And heavy!

Regarding the distances I'm afraid I can't help you, I am very bad at remembering distances! It wasn't very far away from the window though.

Have a lovely day!
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#17 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 06:45 PM

I figure you could even source some Aluminum style plantation shutters-- granted the paint probably won't last very long on them; but certainly ought work.


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#18 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 06:50 PM

2. Atomic Strobes from Martin. Cheap and useful. Only problem is you can't control strike time like on the Lightning Strikes, so they're very quick to discharge and sometimes the shutter misses them and look a little less convincing. But certainly if you're on a budget, this is a good option.

 

Actually, you can control the strike time, but you'll need  DMX control via a lighting board to do it. Makes the whole thing more expensive and complicated, but it is possible.

 

I'd try to find the dimmer shutters. They work great, although they are noisy.


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#19 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 09:01 PM

In a real pinch have your gaffer (or key grip if you're in the States I think(?)), hold a flag up in front of the light, and spin it once or twice really fast to create the effect.

It's a destitute (rather than 'poor') man's solution. But you can get away with it in a bind. I'll try to find an example to post up for you.
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#20 andrew ward

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 02:23 AM

Creamsource.
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