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Techniques for best recreating day scenes indoor at night


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#1 Ron Fya

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 03:16 PM

Hey guys,

I was wondering if you can share your best techniques to recreate a bright day look indoor during nighttime ... when you cannot setup hmis lighting up through windows and only need to work with max 1k/2k lights inside the room.

Sometimes I feel that bouncing from the ceiling doesn't cut it .... and if bouncing from walls is not an option, (like when they are colored or blocked with furniture), what is left ? Book light? Other tips ?

Cheers
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#2 Bruce Greene

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 06:20 PM

Hey guys,

I was wondering if you can share your best techniques to recreate a bright day look indoor during nighttime ... when you cannot setup hmis lighting up through windows and only need to work with max 1k/2k lights inside the room.

Sometimes I feel that bouncing from the ceiling doesn't cut it .... and if bouncing from walls is not an option, (like when they are colored or blocked with furniture), what is left ? Book light? Other tips ?

Cheers

Can you put your 1k or 2k lights through a window?  Or are you on the 12th floor?  When you can't see a window in frame, it can be a tough sell. If you can light through the window, put tracing paper or frost gel on behind the glass and let them blow out so the light lights most of the room.


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#3 aapo lettinen

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 06:57 PM

you can use anything white to bounce the light from outside the picture area and you can even tape white materials to the colored walls or ceiling if needed. 

 

the light motivation is the biggest problem as Bruce said.  If it is absolutely impossible to put any lights behind the windows and the window direction is seen, it might be possible to use white curtains in front of the windows and make a "fake white window frame" behind them out of big squarish lights like wall-o-lites or a bunch of led panels. 

 

2k:s should easily be enough for a small set.

 

Do you have any scout photos and references, it would be much easier to suggest different approaches if seeing what kind of location you have and the kind of look you are after?


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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 01:12 AM

This shot in "Big Sur" was done at night:

bigsur34.jpg

 

Basically a soft side light with a hot slash of hard light at the bottom.

 

But you'd have to frame out the windows if you cannot put light outside them, though I once taped a bunch of vertical Kino tubes to a glass window at night and then pulled the curtain sheers over them -- you could make out the hot vertical lines of light from the tubes but it looked like sunlight was causing those stripes.


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#5 Ron Fya

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 01:19 PM

@Bruce

No I cannot place anything behind the windows, they're too high. That's a shame because I like lighting outside-in through windows taped with diffusion like you said.

 

@aapo

Nice trick faking the window with a bunch of LED panels behind a curtain ! Will remember that one.

 

@David

You may have unveiled one big piece of the puzzle here! I will for sure try adding a slash of hard light next time. I only ever tried just hard or just soft in those cases. Maybe mixing hard & soft is the way to go for added realism.

 

Thank you so much for your insights guys !


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#6 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 09:19 AM

If you shoot windows at night, there are a few tricks to use. If you see out of a window at an angle, put a white board there and put some light on it. That will look like a blown out exterior.

 

Also, a common mistake is to have light come in directly through window, maybe a 10K (or in your case a 2K) but then not have any ambience from the top spilling on the window frame and sill. So normally, I put a shelf of bboard/Poly over the window on the exterior, and light that as well. Then that replicates the ambiance in the sky that would be there had it been daylight. If you don't have that, it will always look like night.


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#7 Ron Fya

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 12:32 PM

If you shoot windows at night, there are a few tricks to use. If you see out of a window at an angle, put a white board there and put some light on it. That will look like a blown out exterior.

 

Also, a common mistake is to have light come in directly through window, maybe a 10K (or in your case a 2K) but then not have any ambience from the top spilling on the window frame and sill. So normally, I put a shelf of bboard/Poly over the window on the exterior, and light that as well. Then that replicates the ambiance in the sky that would be there had it been daylight. If you don't have that, it will always look like night.

 

 

So this specifies the David Mullen'post: daylight is properly recreated by combining a harder light (like the sun) and a softer light (like the sky).

Moreover I like also your tip about using a bounce board as a blown out window lookalike in the inside.

 

Thanks !


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#8 Ron Fya

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 01:11 PM

That said, I have another question.

Let's say you need to need to recreate a daylight high key look in a room that has quite some depth with windows away from the end of that room.

 

In that case what is your favorite way of bringing up the level of the far backend of the room? What kind of fill light would you use for this ?

 

Just as previously, sometimes I feel that bouncing off the ceiling feels too artificial. Especially if the ceiling is in the frame.

 

Cheers


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