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Old July 12th, 2007, 02:58 PM   #1
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lower budget chroma key studio lights

The community media access project, where I'm killing time/ working over the summer, till i start back at collage; has started to build a big chroma key wall:-

http://img.waffleimages.com/b35a6cc2...t/blueroom.jpg

(I know my photograph sucks, i was rushed as we were closing early, and i can't be bothered to do any more touching up in ps.)

The dimentions of the walls are as follows:

( height * width )

3.7m * 4.8cm - left wall

3.7m * 6.05m - backwall

3.7m * 4.32m - right wall

6.05m * 4.80m - floor


I need suggestions, ideas and solutions for lighting the space so that we can start using it and further down the line when funds allow get a professional lighting rig installed.

Access above will be a slight issue but we will probably build a frame out of aluminium scaffolding to hang the lanterns on anchoring it to the wall on the left (above the blue screen, directly in to the brickwork) and on the right and back on the walk way behind the screen.

my thoughts so far are to use chinese lanterns probably about 8 suspended above the blue screen

What are your thoughts?


The centre is in Glasgow and is vastly under utilised. Also i'm NOT in charge of this project, if i had been it would be finished by now, or at least painted.


thanks for your help and advice,

Duncan Grieve
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Old July 12th, 2007, 07:31 PM   #2
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What is the construction of those walls? Don't paint it yet. The first thing you will need to do is round off all those corners unless you are only intending to use the back wall.
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Old July 12th, 2007, 09:22 PM   #3
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Chinese lanterns... The poorman's spacelight! Yes, go for the chinese lanterns or 200w 8U bulbs suspended every few feet. Actually, the 8U bulbs without diffusion may work just fine for you. Also I agree with Marcus, better round off the corners and the transitions to the floor. Pro cycs of course are made from fiberglass or other kinds of similar materials and have a curved transition to floor and on all corners. No sharp angles anywhere which only create shadows and more trouble for keying later.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 05:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Marcus Marchesseault View Post
What is the construction of those walls? Don't paint it yet. The first thing you will need to do is round off all those corners unless you are only intending to use the back wall.
the walls are plaster board (sheet rock for the Americans) on a wood frame, with a skim coat of plaster on top so the walls are smooth, the floor and the corners still need finished as you said.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 06:44 AM   #5
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Duncan,
I think you've missed the point here. The room needs to have no corners, as in where the sides and floor join has to be radiused. From the rooms / studios I've seen the radius need to be at least 18", a bigger radius is probably better. The idea is that when it's lit you cannot see where the floor ends and the wall starts or where one wall joins the other.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 08:56 AM   #6
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Here is a link to building a cyc that could be converted to your drywall construction. Just line the curved ribs up with the studs and switch out the thinset mortar with powdered plaster that sets in about an hour. If you build a thick bed of regular drywall compound, it may take forever to dry. You need to do a lot of layers before it will be smooth, so compound that sets like cement will speed things up. Make sure to clean your tools between each batch. For the final layers, use an easily sanded lightweight drywall compound.

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mrwiz...o/cyc/cyc.html

I haven't built a cyc before, but this is simple curved wall construction using metal lathe.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 09:18 AM   #7
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I've done a bit of plaster restoration around our quite old home and in my searches for plaster bits and pieces I found a number of places that still make cornices the very old fashion way on a long table with a former. If you're lucky you might find someone who has or who can run you off a large radius cornice which would do the job with minimal hassle. One you've got the cornices you simply mitre the joins and glue them into place with cornice cement. The mitres don't have to be precise as you can easily patch them with cornice cement. Using cornice cement is very easy although for large cornices a few hands to help would be good. Once it makes contract with dry plaster it sticks very quickly as the dry plaster sucks the moisture out.
Once the cornice is in place you'll still have a small edge but that easy to fill out with regular plaster.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 09:42 AM   #8
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Duncan,
I think you've missed the point here. The room needs to have no corners, as in where the sides and floor join has to be radiused. From the rooms / studios I've seen the radius need to be at least 18", a bigger radius is probably better. The idea is that when it's lit you cannot see where the floor ends and the wall starts or where one wall joins the other.
I understand that, the boss doesn't, since this is a public forum i won't get in to the office politics. I had no input to the design, i'm only trying to make the best of a bad job.

your suggestion about the cornice is one i hadn't considered, i'l give it some thought and research over the weekend.

Thanks again
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Old July 13th, 2007, 10:02 AM   #9
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If you use netting all along the wall and down those ribs that form the curve, plaster of paris would probably be better and tend to dry much quicker than drywall mud. In fact, if you put one of those acrylic additives in the plaster it will have much much more resistance to cracking then plaster alone. With some patience, you could really make a smooth cyc that could be used for just about any effect you like from white limbo, black limbo to green screen and the regular neutral gray effect too.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 04:33 PM   #10
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Thanks again, after meeting with one of the managers i now need to get quotes for lights, dimmers, rigging the whole nine yards; from the low(er) cost solutions to the high end ones, i'll take a few more photos and probably spend tomorrow on the phone, aranging for people to come and quote.

Thanks again and any suggestions are welcome.

If any one wants to use it drop me a line in a month or so and we can work something out

Chears, Duncan
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