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Reducing/eliminating whiteboard specular glare

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Kartik Subbarao
Reducing/eliminating whiteboard specular glare
on Jul 6, 2017 at 5:46:17 pm
Last Edited By Kartik Subbarao on Jul 6, 2017 at 7:04:59 pm

What are the most efficient and high-quality methods you would recommend for reducing/eliminating the three areas of whiteboard specular glare in this video? The spot near my head might be particularly challenging since my head moves into and out of that area during the video:







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Dave LaRonde
Re: Reducing/eliminating whiteboard specular glare
on Jul 7, 2017 at 3:12:50 pm

May we presume you will take precautions to eliminate this unfortunate lighting situation in subsequent videos?

If so, I recommend using After Effects to rectify this one-off aberration. You can use the Rotobrush feature to isolate the subject from the background, which will allow you to alter the video levels of the background. Don't expect to use Rotobrush intuitively -- take advantage of the many professionally-produced tutorials.

I also recommend segmenting the video in separate AE compositions to facilitate Rotobrush work. If you're lecturing on artificial intelligence, I'll assume you can figure out how to do this for re-assembly in Premiere Pro.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Kartik Subbarao
Re: Reducing/eliminating whiteboard specular glare
on Jul 7, 2017 at 5:52:36 pm

Thanks Dave for the pointer to Rotobrush in After Effects, I'll check it out. Right now I'm considering different ways to handle this situation going forward. If it turns out to be relatively easy to clean up or at least mitigate the glare with video-editing tools, then that might be more appealing over doing a lot of trial and error with different lighting setups (right now I'm taking advantage of plenty of natural sunlight, which is where most of the glare comes from).


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Reducing/eliminating whiteboard specular glare
on Jul 7, 2017 at 6:33:45 pm

Using software to correct a lighting problem may seem appealing at first blush.

But I think anyone who shoots video for a living would agree on this -- in the long run, it is always better to take the time to resolve lighting problems prior to shooting.

Unless, of course, you happen to enjoy spending time fixing the shortcomings of the video. In which case, all bets are off.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Kartik Subbarao
Re: Reducing/eliminating whiteboard specular glare
on Jul 7, 2017 at 7:26:00 pm

It's a fair point -- another idea I'm considering is replacing the glossy whiteboard with a matte whiteboard, or possibly putting matte posterboard over the current whiteboard, which could cut down the glare. I tried draping a white cloth behind me, but didn't like the unevenness/wrinkles and the hassle of setting it up and tearing it down each time. The wall behind the whiteboard is uneven in places, and I like the smooth look that the whiteboard provides. So I'm exploring various combinations of pre/post options to see what might work well.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Reducing/eliminating whiteboard specular glare
on Jul 7, 2017 at 10:10:29 pm

I only watched a minute or so of that video. Do you actually use that white board? If not, why is it there, I guess.

At the moment, I like the matte white whiteboard idea. But it doesn't beat lighting the subject separately from the background, i.e. the whiteboard.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Kartik Subbarao
Re: Reducing/eliminating whiteboard specular glare
on Jul 8, 2017 at 1:26:15 am

The whiteboard area in my home office has the best kind of space and lighting for these kinds of videos. As I mentioned, behind the whiteboard is a wall that isn't too uniform, so I like the smoothness of the whiteboard (albeit not its glossiness in this context).


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Reducing/eliminating whiteboard specular glare
on Jul 8, 2017 at 3:41:37 pm

Oh, you're just using it for a background! Do yourself a BIG favor -- get another background.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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andy patterson
Re: Reducing/eliminating whiteboard specular glare
on Jul 7, 2017 at 8:49:38 pm

[Kartik Subbarao] "What are the most efficient and high-quality methods you would recommend for reducing/eliminating the three areas of whiteboard specular glare in this video? The spot near my head might be particularly challenging since my head moves into and out of that area during the video:"

I was hired to operate cameras and the one subject was a black male and the other subject was a white female. Just like yourself they were in front of a white board. I told the guy in charge I cannot get the black guy's face with detail without the white board being way over exposed. The guy in charge of the shoot had us draw on the white board to get ride of the over exposure. It helped a little. The bottom line is we had to re-shoot the entire thing. If you are dark complected don't use a white board as a back drop. That is why they have grey backdrops. Having said that I don't think it is terrible. One of the color corrections filters should be able to clamp down on the white highlights some what.


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Kartik Subbarao
Re: Reducing/eliminating whiteboard specular glare
on Jul 8, 2017 at 1:28:03 am

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Andy. I was playing around with the Lumetri curves as well, that's another option I'm considering.


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