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Lighting for HD


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#1 Chris Cooke

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 06:44 PM

I'm going to be lighting and operating on an upcoming childrens show in a week and a half. Douglas Munro, CSC is coming down to DP. I'm very used to lighting for a 4x3 (1.33:1) frame and standard definition. There are a lot of last minute decisions being made on this production and I'm not quite as prepared as I would like to be. Does anyone have some advice for lighting HD and a 16x9 (1.78:1) aspect ratio (as compared to SD and 4x3). It hasn't been confirmed yet what camera's we're getting but I think it'll be three of Panasonic AK-HC930's.
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#2 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 30 September 2005 - 08:49 PM

I'm going to be lighting and operating on an upcoming childrens show in a week and a half. Douglas Munro, CSC is coming down to DP. I'm very used to lighting for a 4x3 (1.33:1) frame and standard definition. There are a lot of last minute decisions being made on this production and I'm not quite as prepared as I would like to be. Does anyone have some advice for lighting HD and a 16x9 (1.78:1) aspect ratio (as compared to SD and 4x3). It hasn't been confirmed yet what camera's we're getting but I think it'll be three of Panasonic AK-HC930's.


Hi Chris,
I wouldn't say that ligting for 16x9 varies that much from 4x3 in terms of style, obviously there may be more horizontally in one frame than you would be used to lighting on 4x3, but mostly it's a similar deal. In terms of HD vs SD I have found that on HD I tend to go softer with the lighting than I do on Mini DV for example. This is especially true for edges, on DV I have often pounded people with an undifussed par can for an edge an loved the result (though to be fair I usually use some kind of diffusion filter on DV), on HD edges that are too hot or harsh can look really, really bad!! thats not to say you should be scared of giving someone a nice edge, but be wary of specular reflection on HD, especially if they have sweaty or oily skin.
No doubt someone will disagree totally with me, but thats just my opinion, what I have learnt along the way from shooting HD.
Good Luck.
Cheers.
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#3 Dimitrios Koukas

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Posted 01 October 2005 - 04:49 AM

It's the frame itself, that needs the lights(especially for the general shots) to be further left or right of your frame,In a4:3 frame u can get your lights tighter and more near to the frame.
So considering maybe use bigger sources and have your lights further away as u used to do.
Also I believe that new HD cameras have better CCD latitudes, a thing that u will like.
Framming also is a different story, u will have more space in your frame, that means that if u are using the 1/3 rule, you must consider having to light more area on the frame adding more ''depth'' to your pictures.
I am not so good expllaining things so please forgive me if I am beeing confusing here.
I would be glad to answer more accurately in further questions.
Dimitrios Koukas
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#4 Fredrik Backar FSF

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 03:24 PM

no difference i´d say for a 16/9 frame really besides composition. look for you balance as you would in 4/3.
Don´t use the center-cross in the viewfinder as it may distract you and, as usual with video; watch out for those highlights! :-)
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#5 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 04 October 2005 - 04:16 PM

in lighting HD vs. film, it's an issue of lighting at lower ratios to adapt to video's shallower latitude.

for HD vs SD, you may not have to light in pools quite as much, or use backlights/kickers for spatial separation as much, but this is assuming that there will be shallower depth of field.

for 16x9 vs 4x3, there's no real difference, aside from personal aesthetics, and the obvious that the standard TV framing shots for full and wide will require more horizontally expansive sets & lighting.

you probably already knew all that stuff, but one big issue about HD is the sets & art direction. a lot of minor flaws and corner cutting vanishes in the limited resolution of SD, but will be apparent on HD. if the set has imperfections and the depth of field is wide enough to show it, you may end up tweaking your lighting to deal with it. if the art director has HD experience, they probably already know this, so no biggee. also, good makeup is crucial for HD (depending on the subject matter, of course). flawed skin/makeup seems to show up moreso on HD than film, though a good post colorist can help with that.

hope this helps,
jaan
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Wooden Camera

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The Slider

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Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

Visual Products