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Old September 24th, 2004, 03:06 AM   #1
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Silhouettes?

well, I am doing one video for a rock band, and we will try to recreate 80's look ...
In 80's videos, there is lots of silhouettes of girls dancing and doing all kinda stuff (Scorpions - Rhythm of love for example. and there is silhouette fight in Kill Bill vol1 too - I am sure you have idea what it is) and we want to shoot something like that for our work.

I need some advice, what is best way to light and shoot that? Curtain, girl dancing behind it and strong light shining behind her towards the camera?
Or, without curtain, turning off all the lights and lite only background?
(these two effects are slightly different. doesn't matter, I will choose the way which is less complicated to light)
Or, I dont' know...
Anyone already did this kind of effect before?
any help appreciated
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Old September 24th, 2004, 04:26 AM   #2
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Neboysha,
With the shadow on curtain method, at least you will get a "pure" silhouette and is the method I think I'd go for.
However, with the contrast/gamma control available in post production these days, the other method will work as well...

Robin
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Old September 24th, 2004, 05:18 AM   #3
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thanx for reply Robin...

what do you think, will it work with regular curtain that people put on windows, or should I try with some other fabric, or... ?
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Old September 24th, 2004, 05:49 AM   #4
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Well, for a start, it's got to be big if you need to throw shadows of dancer/dancers in motion. The bigger it is, the more light (from one source) you're going to need as well. It needs to be thin enough not to soak up the light, but opaque enough to "hold" a shadow - net wouldn't do the job. I'm not sure what the best material would be - you need to do some research and try out different materials. If it's going to be a problem, then you might be better off finding a large enough white background somewhere - even a wall - and using that...

Robin
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Old September 25th, 2004, 10:35 AM   #5
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There are a few ways to do the silhouette thing.

You can light a wall, curtain or screen and have the talent do their thing
in front of that "in the dark". In this method, the talent is not casting a shadow,
but is simply unlit and dark against the lighted screen/wall/curtain.
This works well when you want a nice clean silhouette.

A second method is to get a lighting instrument to hit the talent
and cast a shadow on a wall, screen or curtain. I usually like to
use an instrument whose light can be sharply focused. A source 4
ellipsoidal usually works well. Depending on the size of the shadow
you want, you can choose a 26, 36 or 50 degree barrel. The shadow will
be a bit soft on the edges, so sometimes I use a projector which seems
to make a sharper edge and can project all the funky background images
you can create.

A third method is to set up a rear projection screen and projector
or single sharp light source and have the talent
dance between the projector and screen with the
camera positioned out in front. The talent can even come in front of the
screen and be rear lighted which can be another cool look.

A forth method is to use a combination of #1 and 2.
Position the camera and talent such that
the talent can be be both unlit in front of the camera but can
also move out of the "unlit camera framing" and into the light source that
casts the shadow on the screen. Obviously, when the talent moves into the light
source you don't want them in front of the camera or you'd see them
lighted as well as their shadow. This method is really cool because they can go from
being a normal sized silhouette and then a quick instance later when they
move out of that framing and into the light source, they suddenly grow or
shrink depending on your light positioning and talent "blocking."
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Old September 25th, 2004, 11:18 AM   #6
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I think it would also look cool, to back lite the dancers with a strong light, and introduce a little fog. You would have light flairs and streams from around the dancer as well as the sillouetted look.
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Old September 27th, 2004, 03:41 AM   #7
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cool advices people, very, very useful!
thank you very much
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