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Old September 3rd, 2014, 01:30 PM   #1
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Lighting for audio/video home studio

I'm in the process of having an addition put on my home. The bottom level, contiguous with a walkout basement, is a 16' x 22' audio/video studio (the walls are brick and cinderblock so inner dimensions 14' x 21' x 8' 6" high)

Primarily, I'm going to be shooting a weekly show, likely with the Panasonic GH4, with the camera at one end, one or two people sitting at a desk talking, and a green screen wall in the background.

I'm trying to figure out what to do for lighting. Have been planning on using 3 floor lights (side, fill, and hair) for the talent and two separate lights for the green screen, I'm happy to follow some DIY videos and make my own soft boxes to keep costs down.

Also came across this: LED Low Bay - 54" LED Low Bay Apollo - LPPEnergy.com
Had never heard of the site or the company.
Spoke to a rep who recommended four of these LED light for the ceiling - each panel is about $365.

Would welcome any suggestion on lighting (both for free-standing lights and ceiling lights).
I'm doing a de-coupled ceiling to minimize sound leakage from and to our sun-room which will sit above the studio. Trying to minimize any intrusions into the ceiling. And someone from the soundproofing company had mentioned LED lights, which is how I happened upon lppenergy.

Thanks for any suggestions.
which I still need to purchase
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Old September 4th, 2014, 07:31 AM   #2
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Re: Lighting for audio/video home studio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Penczak View Post
I'm in the process of having an addition put on my home. The bottom level, contiguous with a walkout basement, is a 16' x 22' audio/video studio (the walls are brick and cinderblock so inner dimensions 14' x 21' x 8' 6" high)
If you can, go higher -- 12' ceiling would be nice. That would give you enough room for a lighting grid. Hanging lights from a grid in a studio is immeasurably nicer than filling the room with light stands. Go look at your local newsroom set -- almost every TV station gives tours. Look at how they light it. You'll get the idea.
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Old September 4th, 2014, 10:30 AM   #3
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Re: Lighting for audio/video home studio

Thought I'd replied to this - but must not have gone through.
In terms of height, it wasn't feasible to get proper ceiling height because there's a room above my studio that needed to be level with adjacent rooms and digging deeper would have caused major water issues according to our builder.

In terms of options, I might be able to pick up some used Kino Foto Flo 400 lights for roughly $700 each.

After talking with a rep from B&H considering:
Impact VA902 Fluorescent Cool Light Two Fixture Kit VA902-2KI
to light the greenscreen, and for the talent, either
Genaray SpectroLED-14 Three Light Kit (120VAC/12VDC)
or
gesps500bq | B&H Photo Video


Also waiting to hear back frm someone at VideoLighting.com (anyone know if they're reputable?)
They suggested some LED panels with CRI 95 or so.
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Old September 5th, 2014, 12:30 PM   #4
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Re: Lighting for audio/video home studio

Don't recommend light stands. They consume outrageous amount of floor space. I used 3/8 threaded rod in four corners and ran 1 1/4" galvanized electrical conduit in a square 3' in from the walls. The threaded rod lets you fine tune the height of the pipes.

Each pipe extends past the rods at the corner to within 6" from the wall. I found this very flexible and have a gaggle of fixtures hanging all over for different scenes. Velcro straps make cord management easy yet flexible. I also rigged edison sockets in each corner to provide light in the studio without burning my good lights. One switch toggles between room lighting and video lighting.
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Old September 5th, 2014, 03:32 PM   #5
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Re: Lighting for audio/video home studio

Hey Lee,

Can you explain that in a little more detail.
This is a home studio that I can build to suit, and I'd be happy to rig something up that saves on floor space and avoid the need to buy a bunch of stands.

I'm trying to avoid doing anything to the ceiling (which is suspended on clips away from the joists for sound proofing).

The room is 14 feet wide and I can certainly mount stuff semi-permanently onto the side walls.

I'm planning to have the camera on one end,
and a 6-8 foot desk usually with two people sitting at it, roughly 10 feet from the camera, leaving about 8-10 feet to the back wall with the green screen.

Planning to use a key light and fill light roughly 45 degrees off to each side, and then two separate lights for the green screen. (was told by someone at a lighting company that I probably wouldn't need a hair ; back light given this setup, since there would be enough light reflecting off the green screen (not sure if that's accurate or not)
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Old September 6th, 2014, 03:35 PM   #6
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Re: Lighting for audio/video home studio

Lighting is about painting with light. you need to control spill. The last thing you want is green reflection on your subject. Softboxes with egg crates are the ideal.

My grid is in a home studio smaller than yours. Each corner is like the photo where the intersecting pipes extand another 3 feet past the threaded rod. Hanging is standard approach. You could secure them to joists and extend through the drop ceiling. If you have a standard drop ceiling, you can think of the framing as a grid and use these:
Matthews Drop Ceiling Scissor Clamp with Baby (5/8") 429678

I've used them as well for a studio with minimal lighting that didn't change very often.
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Old September 7th, 2014, 01:25 AM   #7
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Re: Lighting for audio/video home studio

Leave the ceiling unfinished. Then you can get away with murder hanging lights. There are wall plates with baby pins on them - just mount those wherever you want to hang a light. Go straight to the joist. No reason not to.

Impact 3.0" Baby Pin Wall Plate SRP-115 B&H Photo Video

Hard to tell you how many lights you'll need because it's hard to know how much green screen you'll have and what you'll be shooting in there. I would want to get the talent at a minimum 6' away from the screen, I would personally have two low bay lights on the ceiling illuminating the screen and two on the floor illuminating the screen, then at minimum one key light for the talent and one back light for the talent. If you have two talent or a desk or something, I'd double all that.

I am old school and started in this business when keying a green screen was a total pain. I learned to shoot with white backdrops, black backdrops, "Olan Mills" backdrops, and whatever I could borrow from the lobby of the hotel we were staying in. Green screen has a certain appeal, i.e. "you could put anything behind them!", but IMHO it's limiting because whatever you put behind them ... it looks like it was shot on a green screen. Consider painting the back wall (or the cyc, whatever you're putting in) white, and hanging a black curtain in front of it. Splash some colors on the black or white, or build a couple of sets out of 2x4s on wheels. Put faux brick siding on one side and something else on the other. You can get a lot of flexibility out of a couple hundred bucks from the Home Depot.
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Old September 7th, 2014, 01:51 AM   #8
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Re: Lighting for audio/video home studio

Les - thanks for the explanation of your setup.

Mike - Can't leave ceiling unfinished or will ruin my soundproofing - and height is only 8 1/2 feet, so limited there as well. I like the idea of mounting arms to the side walls and having lights fixed to those. Or may simply go with lights on stands to start - 2 for the talent, 2 for the greenscreen. May get some backdrops as well so not necessarily limited to greenscreen. .
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Old September 7th, 2014, 04:56 PM   #9
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Re: Lighting for audio/video home studio

Side mounted lights will be too low. Shadows will be wrong. Hairlights need to be behind and above talent. Lighting from the wall will give you nose shadows that go across the cheek instead of falling on the nasal labial area. Ditto fill. Check out posts by Nino Giannotti. or look for tutorials here:
EFP Lighting
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Old September 7th, 2014, 05:42 PM   #10
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Re: Lighting for audio/video home studio

Les - thanks for that info, and I'll check our the posts and any tutorials on that site later tonight.

While there's nothing I can do about my ceiling height, and I would like to minimize any intrusions into the ceiling to keep the soundproofing intact, I could mount some sturdy bolts or eye bolts into the joists and have those protrude down from the ceiling, Could maybe use those to help with a rig that would allow the lights to shine down from above.

I don't have any background in photography, so any tips (or links to sites with good info) are appreciated.

Thanks,
Rob
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Old January 29th, 2015, 01:49 PM   #11
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Re: Lighting for audio/video home studio

To avoid not attaching anything to the ceiling there is another option. Make a "bridge crane" and run it on a pipe track attached near the top of opposing side walls. (do a search for bridge crane)

The pipes along the wall would have to be parallel to each other and set off from the wall a few inches to allow for the truck to clear. For the "truck" at each end of the bridge crane, do a search for "DIY dolly" and there are lots of hits. For wheels, skate board wheels seem to be the best bang for the buck.

If spanning the 14" room one could use a large diameter EMT then suspend a smaller EMT off of it, diameter to suit the clamping system.

Potentially, there could actually be two or maybe even three bridge cranes on the same wall track.

The problem I've had with using light stands is they're easy for people to trip over the legs and the wires that run across the floor.
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Old January 29th, 2015, 04:46 PM   #12
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Re: Lighting for audio/video home studio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Penczak View Post
...

I'm trying to avoid doing anything to the ceiling (which is suspended on clips away from the joists for sound proofing).

...
Can you explain how a suspended ceiling contributes to soundproofing?

Fran
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