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#1 Edward

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 09:50 AM

Hello, we are about to build a live studio space in a museum and the room it will be in has been designed with a huge window that lets in the daylight - we suggested that the room was dark, but the museum were afraid that this would put visitors off from entering the studio to watch the live programmes! They don't want to use curtains either as they want people to be able to see in from outside during the show. What I am wondering is whether or not we should go for daylight or tungsten lighting for the studio, and what to do about the window? I was thinking a big ND gel to cut down the light? One of the consultants suggested colour correcting the daylight to tungsten with a gel over the window? Any advice? Thanks, Edward
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 11:08 AM

Hello, we are about to build a live studio space in a museum and the room it will be in has been designed with a huge window that lets in the daylight - we suggested that the room was dark, but the museum were afraid that this would put visitors off from entering the studio to watch the live programmes! They don't want to use curtains either as they want people to be able to see in from outside during the show. What I am wondering is whether or not we should go for daylight or tungsten lighting for the studio, and what to do about the window? I was thinking a big ND gel to cut down the light? One of the consultants suggested colour correcting the daylight to tungsten with a gel over the window? Any advice? Thanks, Edward

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If the light coming through the windows will always be providing some of the (fill) light in sets you are photographing, you really need to match the light coming through the windows to your set lighting. So, you can either use HMI or other daylight type sources on your set, or use the equivalent of a CTO on the windows and light with tungsten.

It may be possible to specify an orange-colored glass that filters the daylight to a lower color temperature.
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#3 Edward

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 11:31 AM

If the light coming through the windows will always be providing some of the (fill) light in sets you are photographing, you really need to match the light coming through the windows to your set lighting.  So, you can either use HMI or other daylight type sources on your set, or use the equivalent of a CTO on the windows and light with tungsten.

It may be possible to specify an orange-colored glass that filters the daylight to a lower color temperature.

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Thanks John, that is what I was thinking. What I am not sure about though is whether I should go with daylight lighting or for tungsten with colour corrected windows. The cost might answer this question, however if we colour correct the windows we could then no longer use daylight lighting in the studio as we would always have a tungsten fill light coming from the corrected daylight! I guess that what I really want to know is if there are any advantages to using either tungsten or daylight, or does it really not matter? What do people tend to use for talk show events in a studio? Does either produce a better image? Does one type of light tend to be more efficient than another? I have seen several news shows set in studios overlooking various cities - is this done with a blue screen or is there really a window in the background? Edward
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#4 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 12:47 PM

I guess if the windows are as large as you imply, going with daylight set lighting makes the most sense. With film, you can either use a daylight balanced stock (the preferred approach), or tungsten balanced film with an 85 filter.

Whether it's film or video, it's important to match the color quality of the windows and your lights.
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#5 Lars.Erik

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 01:11 PM

HMI will give you a bit more light output than tungsten.

Tungsten tend to be warmer than HMI. Making the studio a bit less comfortable.

HMI will be a more expensive approach than tungsten. HMI lamps cost more.

Are you going to see the window in any of the shots? If so, if you don't want any reflections, put on a Lee Scrim filter first. Then the ND/CTO. The scrim filter will take away a lot of reflections. The Scrim will eat about 1/2 f-stop.

If it's a large window, you might want to think about using ND/CTO with these small balls of glue in them. When you press the gel to the window, the balls pop and place a glue to the window, making it stick. Did a 10-week shoot in a studio, with BIG windows, ND about 25 of those. With normal ND. Never again! It's a big issue making them stick for a long time.

A word of caution on windows. They are not made with film and video in mind. Meaning some windows have a little magenta in them sometimes, other green. Seen this myself a few times. If they have this, you might need to colour correct your studio accordingly.

And as John stated, with a window in this size, it's important to colour correct them.

Good luck on your project.
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#6 Michael Nash

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 04:22 PM

In general, lighting with tungsten lights and putting CTO on the window is the cheapest and easiest way to deal with this kind of situation. But if you have the budget, you could also light the studio with HMI's and daylight balanced Kino-flos.

The TV show I recently finished shooting had a studio space with big windows that overlooked a courtyard and the hills beyond. I came onto the show mid-season and inherited the lighting setup from the previous DP. He had balanced everything to daylight, and installed ND9 hard gel (big acrylic sheets that are tinted to the proper color and density) on the windows.

It worked well but there were a few problems --

1) The heat was unbearable on some days, since most of the units were tungsten gelled full blue and with diffusion. Balancing this way you're generating a lot more heat and drawing more power relative to the output you're getting. Mixed in with the tungsten units were some kinos which don't get that warm, but it's more expensive to outfit the whole studio with enough kinos.

2) You CANNOT see into the studio from the outside with ND9 gel on the window. The exposure difference on a sunny day is so great that the window just becomes a big mirror from the outside. But without the gel, the light level inside would have to be rediculously high to be able to expose any detail outside the window.

3) The hard gel became a liability when the weather changed. On sunny days the exposure balance between indoors and outsdie was perfect, but on overcast days the view outdoors became a dark, gloomy mess. Somtimes I would bring down the interior lighting a little to compensate, but there's only so far you can go with that. Besides, it's kind of inefficient to chase the weather with all your lights, rather than just changing a scrim or gel on the background. Unfortunately the hard gel was well-rigged into the set, so swapping it out for one day wasn't an option.

For your situation I'd first consider if the cameras need to see out the window, and if not how much window light "contaminates" the set. That will tell you what light levels you need to accomplish and how much ND you'll have to add to the window. It sounds like the whole reason for having the window is so that passers-by can see into the studio, so putting heavy ND gel on the window would totally defeat that. So matching light levels is really going to be your biggest challenge -- if it's bright enough to see in from outside, it's going to be cooking inside!

Sometimes exposure becomes an issue as well -- when you balance for daylight your cameras have the internal 85 filter in, cutting down the camera's sensitivity by 2/3 stop. If your light levels are low, you might be fighting to hold focus on the long end of the lens. That may force you to add more light, hence heat, expense, and so on.

I think that morning show in New York (GMA? Today? -- I've never really watched it) balances for tungsten, and has CTO on the windows. I've seen other shows with "window sets" balance for daylight, and use ND. Most of those local news sets use a background, either a translight or rear projection. It's hard to get a studio with a perfect skyline view from the right angle!
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#7 Tim J Durham

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Posted 31 August 2005 - 10:20 PM

Hello, we are about to build a live studio space in a museum and the room it will be in has been designed with a huge window that lets in the daylight - we suggested that the room was dark, but the museum were afraid that this would put visitors off from entering the studio to watch the live programmes! They don't want to use curtains either as they want people to be able to see in from outside during the show. What I am wondering is whether or not we should go for daylight or tungsten lighting for the studio, and what to do about the window? I was thinking a big ND gel to cut down the light? One of the consultants suggested colour correcting the daylight to tungsten with a gel over the window? Any advice? Thanks, Edward

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If it's an art museum (or any museum), you need to be careful not to generate a lot of heat as this is NOT good for art work generally and paintings in particular. When i was at CNN we, for a time, had Videssence fixtures lighting all of our studio shows:

http://www.videssence.com/lounge.html

Unlike Kinos, they are made to be hung from a greater distance from the talent and have much greater output and very little heat output. Nobody much liked the way they looked so they were taken out, but I think the LD just wasn't used to them and couldn't get them to look right.

For your application, you really should call them. Tungsten fixtures put out A LOT of heat and you can substitute the Videssence for them pretty much one to one, with massive heat and power reduction as benefits.

Gelling the window is no big deal. I don't think it ever looks good shooting out a window anyway, so why let that be the determing factor? Light the set, then take care of the window however you have to. Don't let the tail wag the dog.
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#8 Edward

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 04:23 AM

Thanks for the advice everyone - I think we are going to light the set with a few Kino Flo Image 40 lights as we don't want it to get too hot and then we can easily change the tubes at a later date without having to change the lights if we want to switch from daylight to tungsten. I'm hoping we can set it up so that the window isn't in the shot, but I am sure that there will be light spilling into the studio space. What would be nice is if someone made windows like those sunglasses that get darker as it gets lighter outside. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? Edward
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Visual Products

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

CineLab

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

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