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Old August 9th, 2019, 10:02 AM   #1
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lighting a converted studio

I "inherited" designing a news studio for my school. I am an editor - not a designer. So, if anyone here can help, I would greatly appreciate it.

The "studio" is a converted classroom. The news set is approx 16' wide by 10' deep. The anchor desk is about 8' wide and is about 4' from the background. The lighting grid is approx 8.5' tall. The biggest issue is that the lights can only be placed about 6' horizontally from the desk on the grid (there is an AC duct running down the middle of the room). To go further back, the lights have to be placed at about 7' from the ground.

Here are the lights I have to work with -
3- Ikan LBX40 - https://ikancorp.com/shop/lighting/i...w-dmx-control/

4- Ikan LBX20- https://ikancorp.com/shop/lighting/i...w-dmx-control/

4- Ikan Helia150

Several Ikan onyx 2x1, 1x1, half x1

Any help on placement would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by Rory Lane; August 9th, 2019 at 12:13 PM.
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Old August 9th, 2019, 10:54 AM   #2
Obstreperous Rex
 
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Re: lighting a converted studio

Rory, you've done a good job describing the set, but I'm wondering if you can upload a floor plan of the room? Even if it's a just simple drawing.

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Old August 9th, 2019, 11:23 AM   #3
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Re: lighting a converted studio

We need the floor plan and the lighting grid details so we can see things like angles and beam spread. Have you any adjustment in height? 8 and a half feet is extremely low and moving things away means the cameras will cast shadows. Keeping in mind the ideal down angle is around 45 degrees - this is quite problematic. You will almost certainly need more lights so you can split the news desk into areas - not one fill but multiples. You might also need to reintroduce a few keys, because the size of your lights and the closeness means they will be mega soft, and you need some modelling - small LEDs or 650 Fresnels.

The height is a killer - all the angles will be very shallow - a nightmare to light evenly because the width and depth are pretty decent. 8ft does mean you can adjust the lighting without steps!
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Old August 9th, 2019, 12:17 PM   #4
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Re: lighting a converted studio

Thanks for the replies!

I uploaded an approximate drawing. It is not perfect, but hopefully, it will help.

The height can not be adjusted. It is not an ideal studio because it is just an old converted classroom.

As mentioned, I have several lights and I can buy more if needed.
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lighting a converted studio-studio-layout.png  
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Old August 9th, 2019, 12:22 PM   #5
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Re: lighting a converted studio

Great - the desk - how many people seated at it?

My initial thoughts are the Fresnel 45 degrees to one side as key, the smaller panel 45 to the other side and then the larger panel in the middle. The smaller panel you have do they need to light the set walls - whatever they are, or perhaps could be used as hair lights facing down from the rear. the grid allows a fair number of positions. I'm assuming that you have a DMX control as you'll need to balance all this lot - especially the big panel.
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Old August 9th, 2019, 12:24 PM   #6
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Re: lighting a converted studio

2 most of the time. 3 occasionally
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Old August 9th, 2019, 02:48 PM   #7
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Re: lighting a converted studio

Yes, I have full DMX control. The walls are backlit so I will not have to use any of these lights

I have adjusted the drawing to what I think you are saying. Is this correct?
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lighting a converted studio-studio-possible-lights.png  
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Old August 9th, 2019, 05:25 PM   #8
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Re: lighting a converted studio

Yes but be prepared to move them in towards the centre and along the bars towards the subjects if the angles is too shallow as it will glare in their eyes. This also means the shadows thrown on the wall will be lower and less obvious.
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Old August 9th, 2019, 05:36 PM   #9
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Re: lighting a converted studio

Thanks Paul!!
Now when you refer to the angle of the light being shallow, what does that mean?

Last edited by Rory Lane; August 9th, 2019 at 10:39 PM.
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Old August 10th, 2019, 12:54 AM   #10
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Re: lighting a converted studio

Ideally the lighting mimics the sun. We worked for years on ideal angles and the most common that worked well was 45 degrees, plus or minus a little. The key from 45 degrees down on one side and 45 degrees from the centre line creates strong shadows on the nose and eye sockets like a summers day, but the shadows need filling from the opposites side with soft light. This gives you detail in the shadows but depth. With a spaced two person scene where they are facing each other a little like an interview, you'd use a scrim in a redhead to let the top be the key for one person and the fill for the other, so two keys. In news now, we have to create shadows, and fill them, so we can uses smaller sources and a centre line big fill.

If you go out on a summer day and wait till near sunset, the angle has gone down and shadows lengthen, the eye sockets and nose shadows look in-natural and we start to light nude the nose and chin, places usually less bright. In a room wide and long but not tall, the lights are frequently not high enough to generate the right angles, and you are doing sunset lighting which looks odd, and casts shadows on the wall behind. Hence why you need to go closer so they can tilt down, to cast shadows where the camera can't see them. If you have seated subjects with their heads at say 4'6"' th a 6' camera operator's head may be in the beam from a distant light at a shallower angle. If you pull a camera back for a long shot, it will be out of the light, but that's a big restriction, and limits how you use the space. Physically closer with the lens wide, means more room is available.
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