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Ben Raymond
portable green screen lighting?
on Jul 5, 2009 at 12:51:53 pm

Im trying to work out a way to shoot a tricky low light night exterior scene that will require various actors shot at different frame-rates to be composited...

Thinking a portable green screen that can be carried around to follow the actors would be the best way to go. Just cant work out how I will evenly light it?

Does any one know of a self lit or backlit green screen, or has any one rigged up something similar with any success?

cheers


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John Fishback
Re: portable green screen lighting?
on Jul 6, 2009 at 7:34:13 pm

Please explain more specifically what you're trying to do. Why you think a green screen will help as opposed to simply shooting the actors on location. Why different frame rates? Is this for effect as in over or under-cranking?

John

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Ben Raymond
Re: portable green screen lighting?
on Jul 7, 2009 at 12:01:40 am

Thanks for the response,

Yes, Im hoping to shoot the scene on location with a busy sidewalk undercranked for background plate and the foreground (people crossing frame) shot over a screen closer to the camera and then have an actor overcranked and walking between the crowd, hopefully with no one crossing the foreground.

Hoping I can combine the three shots for an interesting effect...

The idea of a smaller moving green screen is so I can keep the light as natural as possible, and to isolate the parts of the frame I want for the composite, like the actor?

I was considering just having the actor walk really slow, but i dont think the effect will be the same?


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John Fishback
Re: portable green screen lighting?
on Jul 7, 2009 at 1:54:30 pm

Why not shoot your field background scene first, and then shoot on a stage. Are you thing of having the green screen on the street to get shots of the foreground people crossing? That would be extremely hard to light and control. If you can get some extras, shoot them against green on the stage (or any controlled area as sound doesn't appear to be an issue). Lastly shoot the actor on green. You'll have two greenscreen shots with which to composite your scene. The challenge will be to light the greenscreen extras & actor to match the background.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.5 QT7.5.5 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor
ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE Enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5

Final Cut Studio 2 (up to date)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Mark Suszko
Re: portable green screen lighting?
on Jul 10, 2009 at 4:54:25 am

I see what he's driving at by wanting to shoot all the elements in place and not shoot the greenscreen on stage: while you can do that, it involves some trickier calculations to get the camera angles to all line up and look correct, more futzing around in the compositing program. If you were made of money you shoot this with a motion-controlled camera and you don't have the same problems (different problems, but maybe not as bad).

The challenge is in trying to light a green screen at night, on a real location, one that's a public space and not too flexible, without changing the surrounding lighting situation.

The overly-expensive ChromaFX retro-reflective bead cloth and LED light rings might work for this, they tout it as friendly to available light situations, but it may blow your budget if you need bigger cloth. Also, their "throw" on the LED rings is not all that far.

If I can ask a crazy question back, why chromakey in the field when you have all that free and contrasty dark around; could this be done easier at night or dusk with a luminance key and just a white sheet on a butterfly frame, walked behind the actors by a grip? In the old black and white early days, lumakey was what they used for *everything* in special effects and for title supers. Heck, we were still using them for title supers when I was learning TV at Loyola in the 70's. And editing 0ne-inch in the eighties. Had to, if you wanted to key a font the Chyron didn't have a ROM chip for.

:-)




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Dennis Size
Re: portable green screen lighting?
on Jul 10, 2009 at 5:28:26 pm

Ahh .... I yearn for the "good old days".
It seems like things were so much easier and simpler, and there was much more enjoyment from the "hands-on" experience!

DS



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Chris Eller
Re: portable green screen lighting?
on Jul 25, 2009 at 2:07:31 am

Ben,

This is an interesting post and it triggered a memory from the still photography side of my brain. Lastolite makes these self supporting backgrounds that are translucent and lit from inside; think of a tall, rectangular softbox. You could use chroma color gels on cool lights (these are designed for strobes, not hotlights) and get a nice backlit chromakey background.

Here's a link to the products:

* http://www.lastolite.com/hilite-backgrounds.php

They may be overkill, or not big enough for your project; but they could be pretty useful.

--
Chris Eller
* Advanced Visualization Lab - Indiana University http://www.avl.iu.edu/
* Chris Eller Photography, LLC
* Starrynight Productions, Inc.


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