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Lighting a display in the background?

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stan welks
Lighting a display in the background?
on Jul 22, 2008 at 5:32:57 am

I want to light myself standing in front of a computer monitor and later mask out the screen from the monitor and add video to it in Final Cut. The monitor will be behind me and I will be lit with a key, a reflector for the fill, and a hair light. Should I do anything to also light the display?

Thanks.


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Rick Amundson
Re: Lighting a display in the background?
on Jul 22, 2008 at 3:38:25 pm

As long as the shot is locked off (no movement) there is nothing you really need to do special. If you use a soft key light on the monitor, you could always layer the reflection it creates back over the top of the footage you insert to make it seem more realistic.

Best of luck!

Rick Amundson
Producer/Director/DP
Screenscape Studios
Bravo Romeo Entertainment
http://www.screenscapestudios.com
http://www.bravoromeo.com
http://www.indeliblemovie.com


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Richard Herd
Re: Lighting a display in the background?
on Jul 22, 2008 at 5:11:28 pm

A piece of green construction paper over the monitor makes it easy to key out.



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Rick Wise
Re: Lighting a display in the background?
on Jul 22, 2008 at 5:21:41 pm

If you do not stand directly in front of the monitor, and do not move the camera, you can paste in video later in post. However, if you stand or cross in front of that monitor, you will need to cover it with green (or blue), light it to key, and then use chromakey to replace the green with video. Note that it's usually difficult to light a green-screened monitor cleanly -- no shadows around any of the edges. If the monitor surface is curved, that adds to the difficulty the job: it's hard to make the green cloth stick seamlessly on a curved surface.

There is one other option: run the video you want live while taping. Remember that TV monitors are roughly daylight color temperature (around5,500K) so if you want to include live video you need to light your scene with daylight units. You can, however, use 1/2 CTB (daylight blue) on tungsten lights and get a good, warm look. We do that all the time.

Rick Wise
director of photography
Oakland, CA
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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Rick Amundson
Re: Lighting a display in the background?
on Jul 22, 2008 at 5:57:08 pm

I, too, would try to stay away from keying out the monitor as it is sooo difficult to get good, clean edges. However, another idea for the keying the monitor is to just run a full resolution green/blue desktop image so you don't have to worry about taping, using cloth, paper, etc on the screen.

Rick Amundson
Producer/Director/DP
Screenscape Studios
Bravo Romeo Entertainment
http://www.screenscapestudios.com
http://www.bravoromeo.com
http://www.indeliblemovie.com


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Todd Terry
Re: Lighting a display in the background?
on Jul 22, 2008 at 7:15:28 pm

[Rick Amundson] "just run a full resolution green/blue desktop image"

Oh that's a genius idea.

Keep in mind that you might need either a clearscan-capable camera or may have to adjust the monitor's refresh rate (Display Properties > Settings > Advanced > Monitor) or you may get visible scan lines. The problem will be worse if the monitor is a CRT, less so if it is LCD.

If the shot is locked down and no talent violates the screen edges of the monitor, doing it in post via an image matte would probably give better results. You wouldn't have to worry about ragged edges from a less-than-perfect key, and if the monitor isn't razor sharp (say, it's in deep background) your image matte could have soft edges and you could also soften the material that goes in it for more realistic effect. I've matted in a lot of TV screens, usually with track mattes or image mattes. I've found if you don't matte it in at 100% opacity (say, maybe 70%), it looks much more realisitic and you can even get some bleed through of reflections on the blank screen... so you don't have to add them later.


T2

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






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