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Old March 17th, 2005, 04:29 PM   #1
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dark lighting

i am having trouble lighting a shot i am trying to get. it is more typical in like a basement setting with one single light dangling that lights the scene with the viewer only being able to see for example the face of the person everything else around them being absolutely black. very specific and very directional on just a certain object. and this is also going to happen in a very small space. about 4ft wide, 10ft long, and only 4 1/2ft high. any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 04:40 PM   #2
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You need a wharehouse. More space all around and no windows to the outside. A maintenance barn is perfect. Since your shot involves a very short list of props and practicals any large space will do. It's just hard to do in a small basement where you will get reflected light in the scene...
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Old March 17th, 2005, 05:02 PM   #3
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Bigger room would be nice, but if that's all you have to work with, depending on your camera angles you may try to darken your background with a black sheet, assuming that your over head light is not too bright . But 4ft x 10ft is really tight. and did you say that the ceiling is only 4 1/2 ft high? shooting midgets..lol
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Old March 17th, 2005, 05:11 PM   #4
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it is the inside of a extended cargo van. so i can kill anylight coming in and only use what will be needed to light the shot. am i only looking for one light on this kind of shot coming from above to get the look? should this light be bright or very dim for said look?


it is one thing when you get an idea in your head but a whole project to get it on tape.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 05:12 PM   #5
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almost forgot what kind of camera angle am i looking for. i can come from any side,front,below. just not above obviously.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 05:13 PM   #6
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Couldn't you do this in post with a mask set to multiply?
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Old March 17th, 2005, 05:16 PM   #7
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could you explain a little more. i am pretty good with editing but just haven't been around enough to realize all it's capabilities
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Old March 17th, 2005, 05:17 PM   #8
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speaking of which i was messing around with ae6.5 trying to get the same effect with a spot light but it just didn't seem as good. i think it would look alot better if i could get it done while shooting.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 06:36 PM   #9
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I'm still sort of green when it comes to masks myself, but...
This will be easiest, if the camera has little movement.

You export a still into Photoshop, which should be in everyones toolbox. You then create a new layer, and paint your mask over the area you want to keep, leaving the areas you want to darken. Export the layer into your NLE, over the clip. You then select the mask, and in the options, choose either darken, or multiply. This SHOULD darken everything EXCEPT what you wanted to keep.

Anybody have anything to add or correct?
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Old March 17th, 2005, 06:41 PM   #10
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yea that is good for a still the camera won't have any movement but the person will be moving there hands when the put on some glasses
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Old March 17th, 2005, 07:09 PM   #11
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Any movement within the frame wouldn't matter. It's the framing that I was referring to. The guy could do a cartwheel, and the effect would be the same. Everything outside of the mask would be dark.

However, if you are doing a pan, you would have to move the mask across the screen, to simulate the stationary location of the light source. Are you following me?
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Old March 17th, 2005, 07:15 PM   #12
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yup i follow you now. that is pretty much the same thing i was getting with ae6.5 but it looks alot better in ae using the spot light. actually lighting the shot would get me my best results i think.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 07:44 PM   #13
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Maybe, maybe not. There are limitations to what DV will handle well.
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Old March 18th, 2005, 07:50 PM   #14
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Excuse me guys, but, if Adam says, "the viewer only being able to see for example the face of the person everything else around them being absolutely black," then you should shoot it in a larger space, as Jimmy suggested in the first reply. Black is black. Why shoot in a confined space when the viewer can't see that its a confined space?

Or, you can buy large sheets of black foamcore at an art supply store, to create your black environment, if you want. You will probably see the black "walls" when you shoot it, but in post you can pull your black levels down till you end up with stark black. I assume the bulb will be in the shot and be the only source of illumination. In that case you may want to knock down the camera side of the bulb with some "Streaks and Tips," leaving the other side clean to light your subject.

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Old March 19th, 2005, 02:45 AM   #15
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well i would love to shoot it in a large place but the illusion i am going for is going to happen when the talent walks out of the van. he is prepping to find a victim to kill(something like silence of the lambs) and the creepy part about it is he is in the back of a van parked out front of your favorite store getting ready and finding a victim. i would hate to shoot in a large place then cut to inside the van where the lighting would be totally different and the audience would definately know i shot in two different locations.

could you elaborate a little more on this streaks and tips technique?
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