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Old April 27th, 2008, 05:30 PM   #1
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Help with analysis and the "how-to"

Here are a few frame grabs that create a look for a scene. I want to achieve something similar.

1) these are consecutive shots, and if you noticed there's a break in the lighting continuity. shot #2 shows a band of light across the eyes, while the shot before an after don't. What are your thoughts on this? I didn't notice it until I grabbed the frames. is it a no no?
2) How can I recreate this look with lights?

3) A cup of coffee to anyone who can name this movie.
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Help with analysis and the "how-to"-pdvd_003.bmp   Help with analysis and the "how-to"-pdvd_004.bmp  

Help with analysis and the "how-to"-pdvd_005.bmp  
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Old April 27th, 2008, 10:11 PM   #2
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If you didn't notice the difference until you looked at individual frames, it's ok in my book. I mean, a movie is shot and edited to be seen in motion, not frame by frame, so if you didn't notice anything wrong seeing it the way it was intended to be seen, I would say it's perfectly fine.

As to how to recreate this look, my analysis is as follows (according to the first shot):

Large source frame right as key. That's got the left half of her face lit and a good portion of her body lit (note the shadow cast by her left hand).

Another source of similar (almost as strong as key) intensity serves as a backlight. This is lighting her right shoulder and hair (you can see the forward-cast shadow of what is probably some of her hair in a bun, and also the shadow of her head on her chest). This source may be the same that's lighting the floor behind her. Not sure about that part

Regarding the slash of light, that's likely done with a sort of gobo in front of the source - a rectangle cutout carefully placed.

Anyway, that's my take. Good luck with your attempt.

~~Dave
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Old April 27th, 2008, 11:33 PM   #3
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What you're looking at is the result of pretty sophisticated production techniques. It's not just lighting that's creating this overall look. It's a combination of lighting, set decoration, art direction, and more.

If you're just interested in the lighting, check out the reflections in the fingernails in 005 and the shadow transfer zone at the knuckles on the same hand.

But if you're really interested in creating video that looks this sophisticated, check out the subtle details like the white hanging behind her head to provide head shape separation in 003.

And how the director placed both the white frame left mass and the controlled open-faced fixture on the right in order to balance the frame geometry 004. Light sweeping across the frame working with her head tilt and eye direction and the eyeliner brush to lead your eye across the frame.

Or perhaps take some time to appreciate the dimentional floor light surrounding the girl (again in 004) adding overall shape and depth to the shot - or how the director or LD got the subtle red inner collar glow to complement the red square she's holding in 005.

Really, this is pretty sophisticated stuff.

Nice examples to work towards.
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Old April 28th, 2008, 12:05 AM   #4
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Regarding frame 04, I noticed the narrow rectangle of light sweeping across her eyes seems to be coming from the lantern frame left. Yet in frame 03, you can see that frame is far in the background so that defies the laws of physics but since the camera is showing you a light source with no perspective to the subject, you assume the lantern! Brilliant camera trickery!

Also, I included the next shot in the sequence which is a short dolly. What's interesting is that the previous shots showed the room to be lit by a big soft spot, but from this new angle the room seems fully illuminated. What, someone flick a light switch? Also notice the lantern in the foreground is now miraculously extinguished. On the face of it, these would be continuity gaffes but somehow these guys make it all work.

Okay question, how did they create that big soft spot of light in frame 03 that creates a semicircle of dark and light? Is it from the key or a separate light?
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Old April 28th, 2008, 02:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
how did they create that big soft spot of light in frame 03 that creates a semicircle of dark and light? Is it from the key or a separate light?

That kind of edge transfer is usually the sign of a fresnel lens at work.

So I'd bet on a big cinema fresnel. Since it didn't splash too much into the background, I'd also suspect they have it on a big SCR dimmer and that pulling it down is part of what's shifted the whole scene so warm.

But the color temps might be from gels and I might be totally wrong.
This is just a guess.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 03:00 AM   #6
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By any chance, is the movie the Swordman II starring a pre-Hollywood Jet Li?
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Old May 12th, 2008, 04:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Yin View Post
By any chance, is the movie the Swordman II starring a pre-Hollywood Jet Li?
Yes it is! With the fabulous Bridget Lin!

It's a true classic of the genre!
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Old May 13th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #8
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Although I thought the scene looked familiar, it wasn't until your fourth screen cap that I felt pretty sure about it.
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