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Old April 19th, 2008, 02:06 AM   #1
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reflective cup

We need to get some great footage of a cup - it's gold and reflects EVERYTHING. We tried surrounding it with black cloth then flooding it with light but it's still pretty average.

I'm thinking of trying dulling spray but that takes away the effect. watching the footage of this cup needs to be a religious experience. I need there to be a real sense of awe and wonder.

any ideas?

I've attached a snapshot of the cup for reference
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reflective cup-cup-005a.jpg  
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Old April 19th, 2008, 10:13 PM   #2
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This might be an odd thought, but how about using a large mirror and taping the cup's reflection in the mirror? okay It might sound nuts, but it's an idea. LOL.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 11:01 PM   #3
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not a bad thought - normally with the right angle you would only see the reflection but the cup itself is a sort of mirror and might reflect that ...

and even if you couldn't see the camera or the mirror - you would still see everything else.

I've been thinking of setting up some large lights and using a smoke machine to hide the rest of the room
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Old April 20th, 2008, 02:38 AM   #4
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Have you tried changing the shot to a lower or higher angle? If you went higher, maybe the top of the cup wouldn't reflect so badly - may compromise the shot though. Maybe an shot on full telephoto from a balcony would work -I'm imagining that reflections are OK so long as the camera isnt in shot?

Hope this helps
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Old April 20th, 2008, 02:39 AM   #5
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What kind of footage do you need? ie will the cup be on a table and the camera be moving around or will someone be holding the cup in the air and moving around?

Or will it be a static shot? In which case does it have to be a real cup or would a 3D CGI cup work as well?

Assuming the real question is how to keep the camera's reflection out of the picture, then here are some random thoughts.

Is there something that could hide the camera reflection like a pile of books on a table with just the camera lens aiming from between a couple of books?

If the camera were far eonough away in a dimly lit part of the room and zoomed in on the cup its reflection might not be so obvious. Maybe even behind some curtains with just the lens sticking out. Or shooting from outside the door of the room with no light on the camera

I remember using a view camera to take still shots of setups with mirrors in them and offsetting the camera and using lens shifts to get the camera reflection out of the picture but this wouldn't work so well with an object like this.

Shooting from a low angle (maybe even from below the edge of a table) and then fixing the perspective in After Effects or something might work to minimize the reflection.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 03:34 AM   #6
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for the pitch and any promo I'd really like to use a jib to swoop in on the cup - I need to gradually reveal the cup as in:

it's a figurine... no it's an oscar... it's from 1930.. Wow, it's Lionel Barrymore's oscar!

the cup will also be held in various recreations but only the camera reflection will be a problem then.

I'm looking at getting a photo cube to try out - that should get rid of the general reflections, I just need to hide the lens. I'm wondering about getting rid of that in post
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reflective cup-80cm_photo_cube_sb_1.jpg  
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Old April 20th, 2008, 08:22 AM   #7
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Without the specular reflections it isn't going to look very dramatic, Reflerction of the environment and the people standing around is what makes the cup look the way we all think of it.

In other words, I think you really want all the reflections - you just don't want to clearly see the camera and camera operator, tripod, jib, etc among the reflections.

If you're far enough from the camera the angle subtended by the camera etc will make it a pretty small reflection. And if the camera is in a relatively dark location, ie in a closet or unlighted hallway, it will be hard to pick it out of the reflection of the generally dark area around it.

So if the camera is far from the object in a darkish area and somewhat low, the odds of anyone seeing it clearly are not great.

Of course, this depends on the size of the camera and support to some extent, so the smaller the better.

Distance, darkness, and discretion are your friends in this case, so open the door to the next room, wear dark clothes, and turn off the room lights in that room, then stand there and zoom in through the door. Put people around it in bright clothes and make sure the lights on the room with the cup are on brightly and making lots of specular reflections.

I don't think you want a softbox around it
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