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Lighting person to match animated background?

COW Forums : Lighting Design Pros

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Rick PearlLighting person to match animated background?
by on Dec 4, 2008 at 6:41:38 am

1.) How do you light a person that will eventually be placed over an animated background that will have dark and light values while the background animates slowly?

2.) How can you measure if the lighting level of the screen is about a stop lower illumination than the foreground using just a Zebra?

Thanks, I am still fairly new to all of this.


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Michael PalmerRe: Lighting person to match animated background?
by on Dec 4, 2008 at 3:56:41 pm

1.) How do you light a person that will eventually be placed over an animated background that will have dark and light values while the background animates slowly?

I believe you will be shooting this person on a green screen and there is much posted here on proper techniques for this. There are no rules to where light comes from and it can even move during a shot depending of the action of the animation. If you're just shooting a head and shoulders on green screen decide on the look, as you mentioned dark so try the key light from the camera left or right side, then add enough fill from the opposite side so the person will cut out against the background.


2.) How can you measure if the lighting level of the screen is about a stop lower illumination than the foreground using just a Zebra?

I would use a light meter, you can use an ambient light meter that measures the amount of light falling on an area of the set from a certain direction or use a spot meter to read the level of light reflected back to the camera lens. I mainly use my eyes and I believe the green screen should be at least a stop less than the Key using a spot meter. The biggest no-no when lighting green screen is over lighting it to a point the green bounces back onto your subject, you must control each light and have proper separation keeping your subject far enough away from the green screen. Remember to give enough light on the subject so the editor has an image to work with even if there is a significant amount of contrast between the Key and Fill lights. It is amazing what compositing/editing softwares can do these days. Have fun.





Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Mark SuszkoRe: Lighting person to match animated background?
by on Dec 4, 2008 at 11:17:00 pm

I think in most recent cameras the zebra bars can be adjusted in a drop-down menu to trip at whatever level you want to set. Some cams have 2-part zebras where you can set an independent high and low, or an overall and one just for skin tone, etc. So consult your manual for your specific camera and come back with moer questions.


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John FishbackRe: Lighting person to match animated background?
by on Dec 5, 2008 at 11:38:50 pm

We always use a waveform monitor to set levels. A light meter is fine, but the scope shows you the entire green screen and the level of light on it. When the line representing the video signal is straight across, the screen is lit evenly.

John

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