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Light for Hidden Identity?

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DAFsr 1
Light for Hidden Identity?
on Feb 21, 2006 at 8:45:29 pm

My client wants me to set up an interview where the subject is "in the dark" so their identity remains hidden.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do this?
The room I am working with is rather small, so that will probably work against me to.

I tried searching this forum but didn't come up with anything. Maybe I didn't use the right search words.

I can probably increase the "hidden identity" darkness in post, but I want to start with the best video I can. I've seen this done on other programs, but haven't really paid attention to how it might of been done.

Any help or direction on where to look for answers would be greatly appreciated.

David


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Frank Otto
Re: Light for Hidden Identity?
on Feb 21, 2006 at 11:09:52 pm

Separate the interview from the background. Light the background only using as much light as you need to totally overexpose it. Back down the iris until the background is just around 87ire or until the zebra goes away. Your foreground subject should be in sillouette.

Position them in front of a window, expose for the window - again, they should be in sillouette when the exposure is correct.

Light them, but only shoot the shadow. Profile or near profile is best - lets you see lip and jaw movement.

Hang a sheet between you and the subject and light them from the back so the shadow hits the sheet.

Backlight the subject and let the light flare into the lens - this will sillouette the subject and give a halo effect or, depending on the light used, a rock concert beam effect.

Worst case scenario - put the subject outdoors - shoot subject low and into the sky for background, expose for the sky.

Cheers,

Frank Otto



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DAFsr 1
Many Thanks!!!
on Feb 22, 2006 at 1:16:10 am

Frank,

The shoot is tomorrow morning and I never got around to posting the question. Thanks for the quick turn around. Everything you said makes a lot of sense. I have a lot to try and because of you now I'm confident I can pull it off.

Thanks again.

David

Dual 2.5 G5 {OS 10.3.7}
4.5 GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL
DeckLink SP
ATTO ExpressPCI UL4S
Medea Video Raid RT320
Sony UVW-1800
Pansonic AG-DV2500
FCP Production SuiteHD 4.5
Media Cleaner Pro 6
Squeeze 4.2 (PC)
ViewSonic 19" LCD
Optiquest 21" CRT
Bella EZ Keyboard


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Frank Otto
Re: Many Thanks!!!
on Feb 22, 2006 at 8:30:58 pm

You're welcome, David. Let us know how it works for you.

Cheers,

Frank Otto



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DAFsr 1
Re: Many Thanks!!!
on Feb 27, 2006 at 8:10:13 pm

Frank,

I finally got a chance to look at the footage today from last week's shoot. I think it's going to work well. The room was small, so it was a little tough to set up, but there was a pretty big window in the far end of the room. I had the subject sit in a chair near the camera with the big window far behind. I also threw about 3,000 watts of light on the back wall area and window. I had the subject sit so their profile was silhouetted. It looks nice. I may have brought the iris down too much just before shooting, but I won't know until I actually edit the footage. I had everything set up before the subject got there, than 2nd guessed myself just before we rolled tape.

But thanks to your advice, the shoot did go smoothly. I have one more to do in the next month, so by that time, I should have it down pretty well.

Thanks again.

David


Dual 2.5 G5 {OS 10.3.7}
4.5 GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL
DeckLink SP
ATTO ExpressPCI UL4S
Medea Video Raid RT320
Sony UVW-1800
Pansonic AG-DV2500
FCP Production SuiteHD 4.5
Media Cleaner Pro 6
Squeeze 4.2 (PC)
ViewSonic 19" LCD
Optiquest 21" CRT
Bella EZ Keyboard


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Frank Otto
Re: Many Thanks!!!
on Feb 28, 2006 at 4:03:30 pm

Sounds like it went well. The ol' second guessing thing is sooo common...many times after wasting time, I go back to the first set up.

But you've seen how it works. Now that you have the concept you can play a bit - add gels, add rim, etc. Don't forget the sheet trick.

Isn't lighting fun? It's where the art is.

Cheers,

Frank Otto



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DAFsr 1
Re: Sheet Trick
on Feb 28, 2006 at 4:27:11 pm

Frank,

I don't think I understood the "sheet trick".

Are you actually shooting the sheet that shows the shadow?

David

Dual 2.5 G5 {OS 10.3.7}
4.5 GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL
DeckLink SP
ATTO ExpressPCI UL4S
Medea Video Raid RT320
Sony UVW-1800
Pansonic AG-DV2500
FCP Production SuiteHD 4.5
Media Cleaner Pro 6
Squeeze 4.2 (PC)
ViewSonic 19" LCD
Optiquest 21" CRT
Bella EZ Keyboard


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Frank Otto
Re: Sheet Trick
on Feb 28, 2006 at 11:36:39 pm

Yup....Place a standard white bedsheet between the camera and the subject and backlight the subject. It will cast a "cameo" type of shadow that you can easilly see on the other side.




Cheers,

Frank Otto



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Walter Graff
Re: Light for Hidden Identity?
on Feb 25, 2006 at 7:26:54 am

Great response Frank! I can not tell you how many times folks try to put folks in silhouette with a simple back light only to have the person become readable on TV. I have been known to do it myself till I switched to the screen idea which guarantees security for your subject.


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Frank Otto
Re: Light for Hidden Identity?
on Feb 27, 2006 at 4:25:38 pm

Thanks Walter...I had the same issues - I slapped a light up for a quickie hidden id thing - got back to the station and watched as the editor adjusted the image to get the detail in the shot. Her response was I had failed to light the interview right, but she'd correct it for me so it'd be ok.

Occasionally I'd also cross light the subject with different gelled light - it gives a color rim to the shadows...a bit of an edgy look.

Thankfully, in my current position, I have to make everything as identifyable as possible.

Cheers,

Frank Otto



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