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  1. Member
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    Just got a new brown muslin backdrop (I'm used to shooting on a black background) The attached screenshot is from a test video with this background. It looks very drab and blah. Is this a lighting issue, or can color correction fix it? I'm using two home depot halogen shoplights aimed at the ceiling for light. Should I get a third light on the floor and aim it up at the backdrop and put the subject in front of that light? I'm using Sony Vegas 8.0
    Last edited by sdsumike619; 26th Feb 2011 at 20:30.
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  2. Member edDV's Avatar
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    You need a key light on the talent.

    Google 3 point lighting.
    Recommends: Kiva.org - Loans that change lives.
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    What is the difference between the softboxes and the lights with the reflecting umbrellas? Is one better for video than the other? I'm going to buy one of these 3 point lighting kits I think, go to be better than the halogens
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  4. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    1. Get a White card, and/or a Chip chart to help you white balance & color correct.
    2. Don't just get a 3 (or 4 or more)-point lighting kit, read up on the theory behind it. Directionality, local vs. universal/ambient, specular vs. diffuse, near vs. far lighting, color temperature, etc. Use models to learn if you have to.
    3. Alot depends on what kind of look you're going for...
    4. What color was this ceiling? That affects things, too.

    Scott
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  5. Member 16mmJunkie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    1. Get a White card, and/or a Chip chart to help you white balance & color correct.
    2. Don't just get a 3 (or 4 or more)-point lighting kit, read up on the theory behind it. Directionality, local vs. universal/ambient, specular vs. diffuse, near vs. far lighting, color temperature, etc. Use models to learn if you have to.
    3. Alot depends on what kind of look you're going for...
    4. What color was this ceiling? That affects things, too.

    Scott
    I second this advice...very important in getting a working knowledge prior to a project. Correct workflow is essential.
    Last edited by 16mmJunkie; 26th Feb 2011 at 08:45.
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  6. BuskerAlley.com zoobie's Avatar
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    why would you expect much with almost the same color background as the object?
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    Ok I did my research last night, and today I bought new lights according to a tutorial on youtube that was referenced on several other sites. I got three clamp lights, for the back light I got a dimmer to control the amount. I also have parchment paper to diffuse the light. My question now is how high (off the ground) should the key light and fill light be? The subject will be sitting on a regular task chair. Should the key and fill lights be above his head aimed down, should they be level with his face? Also, the backlight - I've read all kinds of stuff about positioning of the backlight. I'm in a pretty small room so there's no a lot of space to work with.. I'm excited about doing the video with these new lights!
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  8. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    TAKE EXTRA CARE TO AVOID IGNITING THE PARCHMENT PAPER!!!!!!

    The idea of key and fill lights is partly to mimic the way we naturally see light from the sun. It shines DOWN on us, but not often from directly overhead. In fact, it's not just the warm colors but also the lower angle (and lesser contrast) that give pictures at sundown their nice look. So, IIWY, I'd start with them being ~20-30 degrees above horizontal to the subject. See how that goes...

    Backlight works differently. You DON'T want the light low, or it would flare into your camera. High up as possible. That's one reason why studios have HIGH ceilings.

    Personally, I can't stand those clamp lights (difficult to control, bad color temp., no fine adjustment of spot vs. flood), but it will probably get you by when you're starting out.

    Scott

    P.s. PRACTICE on models (aka toys, statues, fruit, other still life) and compare.
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    Ok, thank you, yes, I'll take care with the parchment paper =)
    One last question, how far behind the subject should the back light be? or maybe it doesn't matter much since I can control the intensity?
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    I was pretty excited about how the picture looked in the camera viewfinder, until I captured it and looked at it on the computer. In the camera, the colors looked nice and vibrant, in the computer, they look dull.. Anyways, I've attached a frame with the new 3 point lighting setup. Does it look better? I was playing with the configuration of everything and this seemed to look the best on the camera LCD screen) I suppose color correction can correct the drabness of it.. But the lighting itself looks better I think?

    The other thing I notice with the 3 point lighting is that there are now shadows that appear on the backdrop behind the subject =(
    Image Attached Files
    Last edited by sdsumike619; 26th Feb 2011 at 19:24.
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  11. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    1. The diff between 3 and 4-point lighting is the addition of a high Background light (not to be confused with the Back or RIM light) placed above the subject and pointed downward toward the low end of the background. Makes those shadows blend in. Other thing you can do is move the cam farther, the background farther, and zoom in. That'll make the shadows lower, dimmer and (nearly) out-of-sight.
    2. A 5th light, known as a Pin light or a Pepper, could be used to throw a tiny spot on the area on/around the subject's face. It needs to be a very narrow throw (use barn doors or a gobo) and place it head-on near the cam (but not so near that it blinds the subject), but it doesn't need to be very strong/bright. Makes it "POP".
    3. Have the talent wear something else that matches her skin tone better.
    4. Don't have such deep folds on the backdrop - it is too complex and so is distracting, and will not compress as well.
    5. White balance is CLOSE, but make SURE you're using a white card to manually adjust white balance with (also good to use a chip chart to verify colors against).
    6. It's a little drab 'cuz you're sticking to a similar color scheme/range of tones - spice it up with some reds, yellows, blues.

    Otherwise, no too bad!

    Scott
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  12. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    BTW, What cam do you have and how are you capturing it?

    Scott
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    I added a little saturation and played with the levels a little and it made it look much better, especially the saturation. I think it will be good, I'll play with a background light too. Of course the other problem that I can never seem to overcome is that I'm looking at it on my LCD computer monitor, and don't really have a certain way of knowing if the settings on my monitor are correct..
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    Panasonic DVC80 and I'm recording the video to miniDV and capturing it with firewire with WinDV

    I attached pics of the 3 lights in my 3 point light setup.
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    Last edited by sdsumike619; 26th Feb 2011 at 20:29.
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  15. BuskerAlley.com zoobie's Avatar
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    lmao
    awful drapes...
    now all you need is a quality green screen
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    Last edited by zoobie; 26th Feb 2011 at 22:23.
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    They're not drapes, it's a $100 muslin from backdropexpress.com. It had a bunch of folds in it that I took out before shooting. Everything was looking good until we turned on the audio equipment and there was a bad power hum. We finally figured out it was the stupid dimmer switch for the backlight. So I had to can the backlight for this shoot altogether. What's the solution for power hums caused by dimmer switches?
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  17. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Specialty dimmers ($$). You might could get by with a lower wattage bult, but that starts mixing color temps. (but then so do most dimmers). That's why light kits are worthwhile, controllability including TEMPERATURE BALANCED (usually ~3200k or ~5600k) bulbs of various wattages.

    You should always work with a calibrated field monitor, otherwise you don't really don't know what you're getting.

    Your shadows on the supplied clip tell me that your brightness ratios are a little off. Try (on a scale of 1 to 10) a Key light = 5 or 6, Fill = 3 or 4, Back = 2. What are your direction/angles?

    That Panny DV should be able to give you a decent image, though.

    Scott
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    I figured out just now if I move the wires that the dimmer is on far away enough from the guitar that it eliminates the hum, kind of hassle but it should be fine. If I could get a light bulb where I didn't need a dimmer, that would be ideal.
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    Ok, now that the hum is gone, here's another frame attached to this message. I think this looks pretty good. I'm definitely a lot better than the original frame when I used the halogens aimed up at the ceiling. The folds are gone from the backdrop too. Also, this woman is not the subject, just using her for testing.
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  20. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Better.

    Shadows are still too high on the backdrop. Try moving subject a little more forward and raising the throw on the bkgd light (couple other tricks you could add here), maybe raise the angle of the fill a little.

    Rim light needs to be a little further back so it doesn't show on the foreground's front, just the "rim".

    Your 1st 3-point sample was a little flat, but this one isn't - it just has other problems.

    So, what you're going for here is a standard industrial/doc/interview look?

    Scott
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    I can see part of the problem is that the room I'm using is too small to have everything in the right place. So I think I will move the key and fill lights up higher. I'm really just looking for bright, even lighting. This isn't a hollywood epic I'm shooting, just an instructional video, there's no drama or moods or any of that..
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