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Old May 13th, 2009, 06:38 PM   #1
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What kind of lights do i need for the following video recording:

I have to video record 3 subjects in a small room. They all are seated in front of a chroma key screen. The subjects are all aligned in one line facing the camera (canon XL2). The 3 subjects are 3-4 feet away from the chroma screen and 4-5 feet away from the camera.

Now, i have a set of two soft box lights (500 W each). I need to buy extra flood lights to light up the subjects. But before buying them one of you experts need to tell me the proper technique (nothing too fancy) but still if some one can tell me what lights to get and how many so my subjects can be light up properly (there shoulder profile etc.)

Furthermore, i do not have a big budget. Please let me know of a cheap and effective technique and lights.

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Old May 13th, 2009, 07:28 PM   #2
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May I suggest, gel your softboxes with primary green gels and use them to light the background evenly. (The gels eliminate any off-color content from the background and make keying easier). Move the people further from the background, they are too close (will get spill, a green halo -- and make shadows -- and that will make a clean key difficult). Light the subjects independently of the background with whatever lights you can work that don't light the background and/or cast shadows on it. If you can afford fresnels (rent?) they would be nice for backlight and for keylights if you put diffuser gels in front, and they are controllable...failing that, try some 10-inch reflectors with large incandesent bulbs and diffusing gel...$10 at home depot, plus the gels and bulbs, of course....and watch how you aim them....hth.../Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
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Old May 18th, 2009, 02:06 PM   #3
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I concur with that. You really have to get the subjects farther from the background. Light the background evenly (within 1/4 stop). Light the subjects separately. I'd use a backlight and a soft key and fill, making sure there are no shadows on the green screen. On a wide shot like that it's probably best to light the subjects a little flatter than normal. I always like to keep the green screen about 1/2-1 stop hotter than the subject's key.

A fairly cheap and decent backlight would be an Omni Tota with a 500 watt bulb and the optional clip-on barn doors, and you'd probably need to diffuse it just a little with gel you can clip to the barn doors. If you can afford a 300 watt fresnel that would be better but only if your ceiling is high enough to get the light far enough away so it spreads enough for all 3 people, otherwise use more than one backlight. Good backlighting is fairly critical for good chromakey.

You might consider renting if if you don't have the money to buy the lights you really need.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 07:48 PM   #4
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florescent drop ceiling lights

I created a great set of green screen lights by mounting 4 tube drop ceiling lights on vertical poles and angling them at the green wall. Then you can use your nice soft boxes for your subjects. The lights can be purchased at home depot or lowes for about $50 each.

Give it a shot
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