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Suggestions for Overhead Diffusion

COW Forums : Lighting Design Pros

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Neal SicklesSuggestions for Overhead Diffusion
by on Jan 30, 2011 at 1:07:46 pm

Hi, I'm making a video and I have to light a subject outdoors and will need to diffuse the light overhead as he is standing. I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a set up for diffusion.

I'm considering the Westcott 42x42 Scrim Jim, but think it may be too big for one stand or that there may be other conventional ways, such as the Chimera Panels, but am not sure what is best. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Neal


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Todd TerryRe: Suggestions for Overhead Diffusion
by on Jan 30, 2011 at 5:29:59 pm

My favorite outdoor diffusion material is also easy and ultra cheap.

We buy lots of this stuff at the local fabric store...

http://www.hancockfabrics.com/Clear-Vinyl-Frosty-width-004-Clear-Vinyl_stcV...

It's a translucent vinyl, basically shower curtain material. Where we buy it, it's only about a buck and a half a yard. Optically, it's very similar to Lee 250, or maybe not quite as diffuse which is often a very good thing. It lets a lot of light through, yet really softens shadows beautifully.

We usually put it in 4x4 Hollywood frames or 6x6 overhead butterfly frames, but you can mount it in lots of ways to diffuse the light on your subject.

If you don't have any frames, you can also make them yourself out of cheap electrical conduit and elbows for just a few bucks each. We've made tons of our own, here are some images from a tutorial I did while back...



... and the benefit of these is that unlike most of the commercially available frames these collapse, and pop up ready to use in about five seconds.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Neal SicklesRe: Suggestions for Overhead Diffusion
by on Feb 1, 2011 at 11:24:00 pm

Hi Todd, thanks for the tip. I'm having difficulty finding your tutorial on those frames. Can you add the link, please?


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Todd TerryRe: Suggestions for Overhead Diffusion
by on Feb 2, 2011 at 1:24:04 am

[Neal Sickles] "I'm having difficulty finding your tutorial on those frames. Can you add the link, please?"

I would, Neal, but I have no idea where it is. That was ages and ages ago, for another non-COW forum that don't even participate in any longer.

It should be almost completely self-explanatory though from the pictures above. Just go to the hardware store (Home Depot or Lowe's) and buy 1/2" electrical conduit and 90° elbows, and cut the conduit to make a 4' square. Using the set screws on the elbows, permanently attach the elbows to two sides of the square, leaving the other sides free. Weld a 5/8" post to one side (we use long bolts but cut off the threads, you can see the bolt head in the picture). To make the whole thing collapsible we run 1/4" elastic shock cord through the whole thing, so it will "pop up" and stay assembled (just like a collapsible tent pole). That's all there is too it.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Neal SicklesRe: Suggestions for Overhead Diffusion
by on Feb 6, 2011 at 5:17:42 pm

Thank you for this, Todd. A little DIY goes a long way. Especially when Chimera charges $140 just for a frame (42x42)!


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