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Green screen lighting questions

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Mike Cooper
Green screen lighting questions
on Jul 31, 2008 at 5:59:53 pm

I want to light myself so I can be placed against animated backgrounds. However, there will be times when I will need to pick-up items and demonstrate them, such as, iPods, laptops, etc. How can I light the set for those items also so they do not reflect green onto them or me?

Thanks in advance.



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Rick Wise
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 1, 2008 at 2:30:17 am

Doing so can be difficult. It will help if you can see a monitor that shows the shot. You will need to tilt these highly reflective items so that they do not pick up the green. A soft slightly warm backlight may help. An alternative is to set a screen slightly to the side that neither you nor the products crosses. In post you can drop anything you want in that sections of non-green screen.

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


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Mike Cooper
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 1, 2008 at 6:55:02 am

Thank you for your response. If you do not mind, I am going to ask a couple of follow-up questions for clarification:

1. Why will tilting the item help them not pick up green?
2. How will a "soft slightly warm backlight" help?






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Rick Wise
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 1, 2008 at 4:32:04 pm

1) Any reflective surface is like a mirror. Flat surfaces are relatively easy to tilt so that they are not reflecting any green. Rounded surfaces are a bear as some part of them seems to be always reflecting the green. If the object is small enough, you can hold it in front of your body to reduce the chance of reflection. You need green ONLY behind you. You can black off the rest, then fill in the black in post with green -- that helps to reduce reflections.

2) Never backlight subjects in front of green screens with hard, bright lights of any color. However, a light, soft, warm backlight helps reduce green spill by neutralizing the green spilling on you/the objects, a bit.

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


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Mike Cooper
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 1, 2008 at 5:36:13 pm

You mentioned:

"You need green ONLY behind you. You can black off the rest, then fill in the black in post with green -- that helps to reduce reflections."

1. What do you mean by "black off the rest?" What is being "black" off and with what?

2. I want to later place different animated backgrounds that will change behind me. What style of lighting should I light myself? I have an Arri lighting kit with a 1000, 650, 300 and a 150 and a relatively small working space.

Thank you.




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Rick Wise
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 1, 2008 at 7:06:00 pm

1) Hang black devetine (cloth) over the green screen that is NOT behind you.

2) A small working place is going to give you lots of grief, because to keep the green off of you, you want to be as far as possible from it. Ten to fifteen feet separation is sort of a minimum. You also want to light the green screen with one set of lights, and you with another. For now, "style" is too grand a word to use. Your problem is to get a clean key.

The first rule of green screen is it must be lit evenly. That means placing at least two lights, one to the left, one to the right, at about 45º to the screen. Since you have only 4 lights, and each one of different intensity, your job is more difficult.

Do you understand 3-point lighting?

Do you have scrims to reduce the intensity of each of the units (a complete kit will have them -- round gizmos with wire across them, usually a green rim (1/2 stop or a "single") and red rim (1 full stop, or a "double.")



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


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Mike Cooper
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 1, 2008 at 7:32:54 pm

I was planning to be around 5-7 ft away from the green screen based on my limited working space. Should I abandon this location all together or can it be made workable? I really do not have another working space, so I would like to do whatever possible to make this work. My alternative is to do this project without the green screen portion.

I understand the basics of 3-point lighting. I was thinking of using one light on either side at a 45 degree angle and one light in front of me that would have a reflector that would bounce the light onto me.
I have scrims though I am not sure which of my lights I would use them based on my situation.

I am also not opposed to buying additional lights if it will help. Can I do what I need with my current lights, if not, can you recommend lights, whether Arri or some other manufacturer that will make this project work?

Thanks for all of your assistance!!!!



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Rick Wise
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 1, 2008 at 11:39:05 pm

What are the dimensions of the room?

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


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Mike Cooper
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 3, 2008 at 7:16:05 pm

There are two ways I could set the room up. I thought it might be easier to take some pictures of the room and show the measurements this way. Thanks for your help!

Room Setup #1
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12384299@N02/2728504159/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12384299@N02/2729328866/

Room Setup #2
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12384299@N02/2729335578/



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Rick Wise
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 3, 2008 at 11:43:49 pm

The more distance you have, the easier it will be for you to control green kick back. However, I see almost no room left-to-right to place your lighting units. Perhaps going at a diagonal would be your best bet.

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


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Mike Cooper
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 4, 2008 at 12:51:54 am

1.) What additional lights or accessories, if any, could you recommend for my setup? I want to be able to do this green/blue screen work and simple interviews also.

2.) I came across this company http://www.reflecmedia.com/video/products/chromatte/index.htm

they claim this product will allow you to work with a blue/green screen with a single light attached to the camera. Do you know anything about it?

Thanks.



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Rick Wise
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 4, 2008 at 6:29:53 pm

1) You want to light the green screen with 2 identical units, set at 45º to the screen. You could use Kno Flos, or any other unit set to flood, and back far enough to light the screen evenly. Your talent you want to light with a key, a bounce fill, and a small backlight. The screen and the talent need to be roughly at the same exposure.

2) I have not seen or used this solution. One thing is clear: it's designed to use with their ring light. Essentially, that light casts zero shadow of your talent onto the fabric. I suspect that for this to work, you must use such a ring light. Otherwise, the light kicking back from the fabric will be uneven. That means, you must light you talent in a full frontal manner. It may be that you can augment the flat front lighting with a side light to get some ratio. However, that will probably require you stop down for the talent, and as a result, your screen may be too dark. This looks to me to be a bad solution. However, I have not used it.

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


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Mike Cooper
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 5, 2008 at 2:12:58 am

1.) Just curious why you suggested Kno Flos? Are florescent better for this?

2.) I'm thinking of buying an extra Arri 1000 to light the green screen, so I will be using two 1000s for the screen. I could use diffusion to make it match the key.

3.) I am thinking of of using the 650 for the key and a 350 for the backlight.


Does this seem like it will work, or should I just purchase two 1000s so I have the same exposure for the talent and the screen?

Thank you!




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john sharaf
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 5, 2008 at 2:35:47 am

I've always lit the screen to be under the foreground. If I set the faces at 60ire, I'll make the screen 40ire, and never had any complaints. This way a hold over from shooting film. Another advantage is that there is less green spill onto the foreground.

JS





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Rick Wise
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 5, 2008 at 2:48:34 am

John, indeed your exposures sound good to me, though I have found some post houses want a hotter green.

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


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Rick Wise
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 5, 2008 at 2:46:41 am

We commonly use Kino Flos for green screen. But your two 1Ks will work fine if you can diffuse them, and also scrim then down enough so that the screen is not too "hot" in relation to the foreground.

Actually, I'd be tempted to key with the 1K through a thick diffusion set well forward of the unit; probably add a double (red) scrim to the light; buy another 650 and light the green screen with the two 650s, and use the 150 for a back light.

That is, unless the green screen is huge, in which case having a couple of 1Ks to light it might be the better idea.

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


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Mike Cooper
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 5, 2008 at 3:03:38 am

I would like to stick with Arri since I already have some, so unless there is a good reason to go Kino Flos, I'm going to order some more Arris.

1. What did you mean by "I'd be tempted to key with the 1K through a thick diffusion set well forward of the unit"

What did you mean by through a thick diffusion set well forward of the unit? Do you mean using diffusion attached to the barndoors?


Thanks.



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Mike Cooper
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 5, 2008 at 3:46:26 am

From reading more into Kino Flo, it really makes sense for me to consider them since I am shooting in such a small space -- they will be a lot cooler and require less power, so less chance of blowing a circuit.

1. It seems like they come in different watts than incondescents. Based on what I need to do, can you recommend a kit from this page:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=sort&A=search&Q=&sortDrop...

Thanks.



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Todd Terry
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 5, 2008 at 4:17:51 am

[Mike Cooper] "From reading more into Kino Flo, it really makes sense for me to consider them"

Depends on what your other usage might be. If you plan on doing a lot of this exact kind of work, Kinos might be the way to go... great for greenscreen.


T2

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






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Mike Cooper
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 5, 2008 at 4:22:47 am

I want to do green screen and simple interview type setups. Could you recommend a good kit from the BH site link above for everything I might need for $4k or less?



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Rick Wise
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 5, 2008 at 6:20:40 pm

Probably the easiest units for you to handle would be either two Kino Flo Diva 200, or two Diva 400. There are cheaper alternatives -- look up CoolLights, FloLight, and also browse through B&H fluorescents -- sort low-to-high and start looking around $300 and up. However, in the long run, the Kino Flos will probably serve you best. The off-brands tend to have a green spike. In fact, even the Divas have that problem when burned facing down -- not something you will need to worry about for your green screen, however.

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


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Mike Cooper
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 5, 2008 at 7:08:49 pm

I'm looking at this package:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/489865-REG/Kino_Flo_KIT_D42_120U_Diva...

It has Two Diva 400 Fixtures. When working with a kit like this, does the concept of 3-point lighting still apply? I am noticing that these kits do not come with the same number of lights as the Arri light kits so I am just wondering what else I should be looking into for this kit. If I purchase these two 400 fixtures what will I be able to do with them? Light my green screen and then use the Arris to light the subject? Or should I buy some additional Kino Flos for the key and backlight?

Thanks for your patience!!!!



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john sharaf
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 5, 2008 at 7:54:14 pm

Mike,

My greenscreen lighting kit (for portraiture in front of screen) is all Kino Flo. This way I keep the "set" cool and am able to use practical power without worrying about blowing fuses. Assuming an 8x8 screen, I'll use 2 # 4'Two banks on the screen, left and right, another 4'Twobank over the screen as a backlight (this will seperate both the head and shoulders) and then a 4'Fourbank as key and another 4'Twoback as fill if necessary.

Obviously I prefer the 4' Kino's, especially for key as the large source size makes for a very soft light and by switching tubes on and off allows for total control of exposure and ratios.

The problem I have with Diva's is mixing them with the conventional Kino's, they burn at a different color and change color when they heat up. I prefer to keep everything the same color.

Now you could do essentially the same thing with 2' Banks, but remember that it takes a 2'Fourbank to equal the output of a 4'Twobank.

Good luck!

JS





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Rick Wise
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 5, 2008 at 9:18:48 pm

"If I purchase these two 400 fixtures what will I be able to do with them? Light my green screen and then use the Arris to light the subject? Or should I buy some additional Kino Flos for the key and backlight? "

Yes, use the arris to light your subject. Or, if you have access to lots of funds, get a Diva 400 for key, and a 200 for backlight. (And a 4x4 sheet of foamcore to bounce fill from the key.) Also, get a few c-stands, a couple of flags, a variety of grip-scrims, and a few sheets of 1/4 CTO (orange), 1/4 CTB (blue) for starters.

Finally, you could also go the classic Kino Flo route, two 4x4s for the green screen, plus another one for key, and a 2x2 for the backlight. Add the c-stands etc.

Note the Diva package you list does NOT seem to include bulbs.

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


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Rick Wise
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 5, 2008 at 6:13:55 pm

"What did you mean by through a thick diffusion set well forward of the unit? Do you mean using diffusion attached to the barndoors?"

No, definitely NOT on the barndoors. Hang the diffusion, such as 1/2 grid or full grid, on a c-stand horizontal arm (or find some other way to suspend it)well in front of the 1K -- like 3-4 feet in front. If you want on even softer look, place a sheet of opal on the barndoors as well.

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


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Douglas Toltzman
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 5, 2008 at 9:47:28 pm

I have a tutorial on Toolfarm that illustrates a shot using the minimum amount of green screen.

Link to tutorial

Also, I agree with lighting the green screen below the foreground for a couple of reasons. One of them is that you can choke the key to avoid keying objects that are brighter than the background (at least you can with my chroma-key software, Vkey2). That way, your green reflections will be brighter than the green screen, allowing you to avoid keying foreground objects. Then by using green suppression (also built into Vkey2), everything will look quite natural.



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Ramandeep Dhillon
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 6, 2008 at 6:07:56 pm

for indoors i will recomend blue screen,
we are hosting tv shows for last 4-5 years in front of blue screen (blue color painted on a wall)with only 3 lights, 1k for bluescreen and 2 500s for key and fill of the host, more distance from screen more easy it is.
and we use canopus edius for editing and the keyer is awesome, you click once and you are done, never had any problem in the past(except if someone wears blue for the interviews)


Ramandeep Dhillon


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Dennis Size
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 7, 2008 at 5:28:00 am

This has been one of the wildest -- and I think longest threads -- I've seen in the FORUM in years..... and I would have thought the greenscreen lighting "horse" would have been long since beaten to death.
One thing it certainly does prove to Mike is how many different ways there are to light something.
That being said I'll throw my two cents in...in the form of a question. Doesn't anyone use the good old fashioned inexpensive scoop anymore? It'd only take three 10" fixtures to nicely light the greenscreen - or bluescreen - and they can be bought used for probably around $50 apiece. Mike could just use the ARRI fixtures he already owns, and diffuse the hell out of them to light his talent. If he wants to go wild and put in a couple backlights/sidelights he could just buy a couple of cheap PAR 38's and he's off and running.
The other option is to spend a lot of moneyand buy a few Divas, Image 80's, Parabeams, Brightlines (or whatever) and go wild. Normally when I light something I base it on the space, the client's needs, his ability to pay for the job, and the abilities of the in house crew to maintain it. Did everyone look at the "studio"? It's not exactly the Sony Sound stages.
One word of advice Mike....keep it simple until you get a complete understanding of lighting and it's uses. You'll be happier.

DS



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Rick Wise
Re: Green screen lighting questions
on Aug 7, 2008 at 4:59:28 pm

All great advice.

I had completely forgotten about Scoops. One of my favorite gaffers loves to light green screen with scoops, while another prefers space lights. Note that the larger ones (16" and up) use halogen bulbs, which last much longer and maintain color temperature, unlike photofloods for the 10" size.

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


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