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Beautiful Naturalism


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#1 Shane Aguon

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 01:57 AM

I stumbled on this ad and now I'm absolutely obsessed with figuring out how the look was accomplished. To me, the lighting done on this ad is so well done and I'm hungry to learn how. This would be considered a high-key/naturalistic look right? 

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=0pa_7Y9ZUns

 

My apologies if you were expecting a link to a scene from The Revenant hah, it's the small things like this that I'd love to master as a DP. 

 

I'd so appreciate your take on how you think it was done. I'll take the first stab at it. I don't have a lot of experience with the big boy HMI's beyond a 1.6K Joker Bug or working on a high-budget production like this, so I'll be doing a lot of guessing here: 

 

https://dl.dropboxus...11.15.48 PM.png

 

In the above shot, I see a large source camera right, possibly a 4K HMI (fresnel? par?) shot through maybe an 8x8 frame of diffusion? I'd guess another 4K hitting the windows or maybe it's natural light because they have the curtains? Taking a closer look at it makes me think this was not an actual home and is a set. On camera left for fill, I'm guessing more soft light.. 1.2K HMI possibly bounced? I also see a subtle backlight. 4 foot 4 bank KinoFlo? Did they throw light on the background?

 

What troubles my mind how it all blends so beautifully. 

 

Next shots: 

 

https://www.dropbox.....34.22.png?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.....39.21.png?dl=0

 

These shots hurt my head. Beautifully done and I don't understand how. They obviously let the highlights in the windows go which I assume was acceptable because the curtain does mask any detail that may have been blown out (again, leading me to believe this is a built set). Where did they place the key to achieve this look? The entire room is full of light so I'm guessing it's a couple of 4K HMI's bouncing off the ceiling or white card, but where? The key/fill lighting ratio is beautiful. 

 

This look is obviously national spot quality so they have an amazing DP on a set, but how hard it is? Am I overthinking it? Have you accomplished something like this that you can share? 


Edited by Shane Aguon, 07 May 2016 - 02:00 AM.

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#2 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 02:32 AM

Honestly, I don't see anything to special about it. I'd say 90% of it, much of the lighting comes from available light being let in through the windows. You can see this in nearly every shot. Given how soft the image looks, it was likely shot close to wide open, which made it all the more brighter, and lended a soft feeling to it. If you look at the windows in nearly every scene, they are fully blown out. Shooting wide open would also explain the very shallow depth of field. 

 

I'll be straight up honest with you though, the thing the stood out the most was the set & costume design. The designers used almost nothing but pastel colors - walls, clothing, carpets, even the desks and furniture. That, in my opinion, played a large role in the overall look. Pastel colors, combined with the bright, overexposed images created that look. 

 

Here is another ad featuring the same cast and set/costume design. Here you can see a less overexposed image. Still the same focus on strong, day-light balanced side lighting.


Edited by Landon D. Parks, 07 May 2016 - 02:38 AM.

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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 02:43 AM

I think you're pretty spot on in terms of guesses. HMI pushing through a big soft frame for the key, another smaller HMI through a smaller frame for a kicker, and some daylight fill. Floppies and/or eggcrates on the frames to keep spill contained. Pretty simple. The rest is just location, art direction, wardrobe, HMU, and a low contrast curve in camera. I doubt it's a set. I'm guessing in the bedroom they used something like an HMI in a chimera or possibly a Skypanel through a 4x4 frame. Better to keep the light soft and directional rather than bouncing into the ceiling and having the light be too flat.
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#4 Shane Aguon

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 11:12 AM

Honestly, I don't see anything to special about it. I'd say 90% of it, much of the lighting comes from available light being let in through the windows. You can see this in nearly every shot. Given how soft the image looks, it was likely shot close to wide open, which made it all the more brighter, and lended a soft feeling to it. If you look at the windows in nearly every scene, they are fully blown out. Shooting wide open would also explain the very shallow depth of field. 

 

I'll be straight up honest with you though, the thing the stood out the most was the set & costume design. The designers used almost nothing but pastel colors - walls, clothing, carpets, even the desks and furniture. That, in my opinion, played a large role in the overall look. Pastel colors, combined with the bright, overexposed images created that look. 

 

Here is another ad featuring the same cast and set/costume design. Here you can see a less overexposed image. Still the same focus on strong, day-light balanced side lighting.

 

 

Great points. Yeah the content itself isn't anything special, it's just brilliantly executed which I appreciate. 

 

I think you're pretty spot on in terms of guesses. HMI pushing through a big soft frame for the key, another smaller HMI through a smaller frame for a kicker, and some daylight fill. Floppies and/or eggcrates on the frames to keep spill contained. Pretty simple. The rest is just location, art direction, wardrobe, HMU, and a low contrast curve in camera. I doubt it's a set. I'm guessing in the bedroom they used something like an HMI in a chimera or possibly a Skypanel through a 4x4 frame. Better to keep the light soft and directional rather than bouncing into the ceiling and having the light be too flat.

 

Thanks for the response Satsuki. You mentioned containing spill. For the key, what type of spill would they be trying to contain in the first photo I linked? I'm guessing spill on the background mostly. I'm just wondering if they flag the top and bottom of a big frame for a scene like that and why? I haven't seen eggcrates on frames before, is there a picture you can link?  


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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 12:28 PM

Lighttools: http://www.lighttool...ggcrates-do.htm

Basically it does the same thing floppy siders would do and keeps the soft light directional. I've seen them used on commercials where they'll setup a 12x12 frame in the corner of the room. Without the egg crate, the light will spread everywhere. Add the crate and the light will still be soft on the subject but most of the spill will be flagged off. Then you would keep adding lights only where you want them, modeling each subject as needed.

In the first wide shot on the couch, it looks like they have the space to use something like that. The key is soft but directional, it doesn't spill all over the side walls, it's contained to the couch and the subjects. So that was just a guess, but there are other ways of achieving the same thing.

As for topper and bottomer flags or nets, you would use those if you wanted to cut light off the back wall above the actors or on the coffee table below them. A large single or double net below the key light is not uncommon if you want to make the face brighter than the chest or hands.
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Visual Products

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Aerial Filmworks

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