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Old March 3rd, 2008, 04:10 PM   #1
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The "Film Look" and glare

I've noticed that one of the big differences between video and film is that glare shows up a lot more in video. By glare I mean those super bright hot spots on shiny surfaces. Some may know them as phong highlights.

Anyone know of a good way to reduce glare? I got a polarizing filter but it didn't do any good. I thought I heard somewhere that you could spray surfaces with hair spray and that would cut down on the glare. Does this ring a bell to anyone?
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Old March 4th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #2
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I find that softer light sources are the best way to eliminate ugly highlights. To the contrast, put an open faced light five feet in front of your subject and you get exactly the "video look" highlights you don't like.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 05:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Robert Hruska View Post
I thought I heard somewhere that you could spray surfaces with hair spray and that would cut down on the glare. Does this ring a bell to anyone?
Is it actually hairspray, or some other aerosol product specifically made for that type of use, I can't recall... but it does ring a bell.
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Old March 4th, 2008, 05:53 PM   #4
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film handles highlights better than video - to reduce glare from shiny metal surfaces - use Krylon dulling spray:

http://www.adorama.com/MSD.html?sid=1204672815857115
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Old March 5th, 2008, 11:30 AM   #5
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That's good stuff and what we use most of the time. There are also permanent products that don't wipe off after they dry, called something like "matte spray".

It's nice to give some thought to where you're spraying, what direction the wind is blowing, etc. when doing large surfaces (I recently did a desk top, but did it on a break when everybody left the room).

But I agree with what Marcus wrote above. Dulling spray can be a useful band-aid, but big soft sources help the most! Video has developed its own look (nothing more artificial than a TV news studio), movies have mostly tried to emulate natural scenes and common light sources. The incredible latitude advantage film has over video allows them to light with big single sources and still see shadow detail on the weak side, however, that advantage continues to narrow as video gets progressively more exposure latitude. In the mean time, emulating the look of film has a lot to do with how you light (film-style) and how you adapt a film approach to the differences of video.

Like many people, my largest softbox is about 2.5' by 2.5'. This is good enough to light an interview in close quarters, but to place a subject in an environment, to block dramatic action in that environment with multiple subjects means a much larger key source. Getting big soft light - maybe a 2k or 5k hitting a silk in a 6x6' frame would be a classic approach. The less expensive way would be a 1k or 2k hitting a 3x5' piece of tracing paper hanging from a C-stand. This can do a nice job of emulating window light.

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Old March 6th, 2008, 07:45 PM   #6
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Thanks for all those tips guys. That Krylon stuff looks like just the ticket. I'll have to see if I can find a can of that around here.

Also, apparently, for future viewers, adjusting the "Sharpness" setting on your camera to a lower setting is said to help. Also, there are some filters that you can apparently buy, called Promist filters. I think they make the video less sharp also, so maybe you don't need one of those if you can adjust sharpness.

The lighting ideas are good, but I'm mostly thinking about situations where you're shooting outside, for example, and the sun is glinting off the cars and all the other shiny things.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 10:03 PM   #7
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How about bald heads? I've got one and I'm going to be shooting quite a bit of bald head guy interviews for an upcoming project.
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Old March 7th, 2008, 02:03 AM   #8
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How about bald heads? I've got one and I'm going to be shooting quite a bit of bald head guy interviews for an upcoming project.
Powder or some kind of makeup. There are makeup powders especially for this and maybe someone will name one.

You could also use a Bald Spray and make him unbald;
http://www.folica.com/Top_Coverage_fo_d937.html

You just spray the head and the stuff kind of bubbles up in a foam the color you choose, and some say it looks just like real hair.
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Old March 7th, 2008, 07:34 AM   #9
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Powder or some kind of makeup. There are makeup powders especially for this and maybe someone will name one.

You could also use a Bald Spray and make him unbald;
http://www.folica.com/Top_Coverage_fo_d937.html

You just spray the head and the stuff kind of bubbles up in a foam the color you choose, and some say it looks just like real hair.
I dunno. He's got a shaved head...we'd need a "bubble stylist" if we did that.
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