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Old February 2nd, 2007, 08:41 AM   #1
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Recommendations on lights for green screen work

I am looking to try my hand at doing some green screen work. The space I am working with is fairly small about 10' wide x 20' deep and the screen is about 8' wide'. The type of work would be tight 3/4 body shots with space mostly on one side to take advantage of the green screen options.

I already have a Rifa 55 that I planned on using to light the subject and am looking for recommendations regarding lighting the green background. Presently I am considering either 2 Pros or 2 Omnis. What do you guys think would be better for this situation? Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 10:49 AM   #2
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If you want to use tungsten, Lowel makes lights almost specifically for that purpose - the Totas. If you look in their instruction manuals, you'll see the configuration for "cyc" use. You can almost perfectly light that size screen with 2 totas. Cheapest, easiest way to get what you want. Just make sure you lamp everything down as much as possible, or that room will get HOT!

Place them about 10' from the screen, level with the top of the screen, and horizontally space them so their centers fall just outside the thirds of the screen. Aim them to point at the bottom edge of the screen, and close the bottom reflector until the light basically stops there. Open the top reflector entirely. If you mount them to the ceiling, don't forget to put some cinefoil above, or you could get a VERY hot ceiling. That's basically it though, and if you meter things out, you'll find that the entire screen is within 1/3 of a stop of everywhere else.

Or if you have money to burn, Kino makes specialty green tubes for this purpose. Either way, it'll work.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 10:58 AM   #3
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The Totas are good for this. Use 500 watt lamps and buy the gel holders because you probably will need to diffuse them with your limited space. Also a roll of black wrap to keep the light from spilling onto your subject.

However, the Omnis would be a better purchase because they're a lot more useful for other shooting you might do and easier to deal with. If you use light diffusion gels on them, they'll spread out wide and even enough to do the same thing.

The Rifa is nice for keying the subject, and you can probably use a reflector for fill, but you'll need a backlight too, and the Pro would be great for that.
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 01:42 PM   #4
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Thank you both for your feedback, I think I know which way to go now and the light diffusion gels are a great tip. Cheers!
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Old February 2nd, 2007, 09:29 PM   #5
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You will indeed need to use some diffusion on them, Totas have a hot spot without.
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Old February 13th, 2007, 02:57 AM   #6
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Can I ask a question re the Totas (sorry if I'm hi-jacking!)...

I've done a bit of predominantly green screen work using two Totas. But with my inexperience I set them at the sides of the screen on stands with the Tota horizontal and some diffusion in a filter holder. This still gave hot spots on the screen.

So, if I mount them up high like suggested, will this help eliminate the hot spots? (because of the reflector design)

I was also using 800W lamps (UK 240V). AFAIK, Lowel only do an 800W lamp for 240V. I did find the background too hot (light wise). I have got some cheap 500W lamps (designed for security lighting) that I've also tried but not sure if these are a good idea or not? Should I be using an ND/diffusion filter or scrim maybe instead?

How do you mount the Tota's up high - two stands and a bar of some kind - I don't have anything like that (yet).

The last question, and maybe the trickiest - I've also done full length chroma key with some success but lighting the floor and areas around legs/feet was a nightmare and needed a lot of attention in post. How would you effectively light (or not) this area using the kit mentioned?


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