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Old January 16th, 2007, 02:55 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 49
Flat light neseccary for green screen shoots?

Hi all,

I'm considering a green-screen approach for an upcoming shoot, where we minimize the amount of set building by relying on digital backgrounds added in post.

What's holding me back is the 'flat' look of so much green-screen work. Basically, it seems that all the three-point lighting techniques that give actors definition get thrown out the window when people shoot them against green-screen.

Is this because folks are hedging their bets, with the idea that a 'neutral' look on the actors prevents odd continuity errors with the light sources used in the backgrounds? Or is it essential to create the flat lighting in order to pull a successful key?

My thought is that the actors should be lit so that they look good, regardless of the green-screen in the BG, and the lighting for the background should then be designed so the sources occupy the same relative position as those used in the live action shoot. Conversely, if the background 'drives' the light plot, then the foreground should be lit to match. But all too often, I see neither taking place - just flat lighting on the foreground which results in a cut and paste look.

Am I wasting my time trying to light people properly when doing heavy green-screening?

Alex Bowles is offline   Reply

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