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Old March 7th, 2006, 03:56 AM   #1
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Low Light?

Hey guys, I'm going for very low light in a dark room for a moody effect. (DVX 100b) I am using a single light source and that source is only on the actress.

The actress has 40% lightness on her according to the Waveform in DV Rack. (This is the max lightness in the frame.) On the Sony production monitor (CRT), I see very little crawl in the black behind her. I see some grain, but it is minor and has a "film grain" look to it.

Anyone have any experience with very low light in post? Will there be trouble later?

Thanks
Paul Coleman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 7th, 2006, 06:35 AM   #2
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I would guess that the problem you might have would be viewing in uncontrolled environments. People watch TV during the day, for instance. "Dark" sets are rarely dark at all. The appearance has more to do with lighting ratios and which areas of the screen are dark. If part of your talent's face is really dark and shadowy, the scene will seem dark even if parts of her features are fully lit. Move the light more to the side or partially behind the actress to make it seem darker. Assuming you know the terminology, turn off your key and fill and just use a kicker and you will still be able to see an outline of the talent. Bring the kicker forward and it will start casting shadows on facial features.
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Old March 7th, 2006, 01:08 PM   #3
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I generally agree with Marcus.

Kudos for using DVRack, it will really help you for this type of situation. You're going to need more than 40IRE on a caucasian actresses highlights. Do try lighting from the side and bringing up to 80IRE. Control spill with barn doors or flags so you're not lighting the background with that source. Then, do some background lighting... up to 35IRE? A few BG highlight areas up to that amount?

To make the visual effect of "darkness" you need to provide some light. Darkness will be suggested by high-contrast, low color saturation, and few sources.
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Old March 7th, 2006, 09:53 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, great advice. We are controlling the light with a cone of cinefoil. I think I'll try further closing the cinefoil but increasing the light for a higher IRE.
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