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Non-white bouncing -- anyone done this?

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Todd Terry
Non-white bouncing -- anyone done this?
on Oct 20, 2009 at 4:00:07 pm

Hey gang...

I'm wondering about a way to deal with the challenges of mixing types of light...

We have the usual assortment of types of instruments... tungsten, flos, and HMIs. There are inevitable times when we have to mix-n-match, and run into the usual color temp difference issues.

When mixing tungsten and HMI, usually we are just using one 1200w HMI as a key and using the tungstens for other things.... backlights, fillers, specials, etc. I have blue glass filters for all of my tungstens, but of course they render an instrument almost useless since they cut output so drastically. Similarly, I have some blue "daylight" umbrellas, but they cut the output to almost nil as well. So I resort to what many people do, I suppose... throwing some gel on the HMI and clipping it to the barndoors with a few C47s. It works fine, balance is always good, and the output reduction is minimal.

But... I was just thinking....

Whenever we use that configuration, we are almost always bouncing that HMI... usually onto a white 4x4 bounce card in a Quaker clamp on a C-stand, the usual setup. But, what if the card wasn't white? If we could find some 4x4 foamcore of the appropriate color (light yellowish-orangish) then we wouldn't have to gel the instrument. It'd be the same results, just one less step to deal with. I guess it'd be similar to those pop-up reflectors that you can get with gold on one side.

Any downsides to this?... other than finding the exact right color for the bounce? Or is this just a solution in search of a problem?



T2

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






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Mark Suszko
Re: Non-white bouncing -- anyone done this?
on Oct 20, 2009 at 4:29:54 pm

I have deliberately done this off of colored walls, but not off of foamboard yet. I think it should work, but may take some experimentation as to determining in advance how saturated the color needs to be, and that's a trade-off, as the darker the color on the reflective surface, the less bounce it is going to give you.

Have you tried putting the gel on the bounce card instead of the light?


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Michael Palmer
Re: Non-white bouncing -- anyone done this?
on Oct 20, 2009 at 5:58:02 pm

Mark, I wouldn't add gel to the bounce surface, it will reflect back toward the set, plus it may double the gel output.

Honestly Todd, I don't think it is worth the time involved, yes the gel costs are what they are, but I don't think you will ever find the results you are looking for.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Mark Suszko
Re: Non-white bouncing -- anyone done this?
on Oct 20, 2009 at 9:19:53 pm

It would make a fun and free experiment to try it out in the studio.


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Rick Wise
Re: Non-white bouncing -- anyone done this?
on Oct 21, 2009 at 12:05:19 am

Todd,

I think your blue glass filters are way overkill. I've long found that when mixing tungsten with HMI/daylight, placing 1/2 CTB on the tungsten units does very well. Or, if there's no actual daylight in the scene, you can get more bang by placing 1/2 CTO on the HIM. 1/2 CTB cuts the light by 1 whole stop; 1/2 CTO cuts the light by 1/2 stop....

Correcting by only 1/2 seems to produce good results. Note that a full CTB overcorrects a tungsten unit to 5700K, and a full CTO on an HMI overcorrects the unit to 2100K. (Source: "Set Lighting Technician's Handbook, 3rd edition, by Harry C. Box, p. 166.)

But your painted foamcore idea sounds like fun. Perhaps you could put 1/2 or 3/4 CTO on a C-stand arm so that the gel covers only 1/2 of the foamcore; the rest receives raw HMI. Then try to paint a bit of the raw side of the foamcore to match the color of the gelled side(it will have to dry to be true....) No doubt several trials to get this even close to right.

Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
and part-time instructor lighting and camera
grad school, SF Academy of Art University/Film and Video
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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Todd Terry
Re: Non-white bouncing -- anyone done this?
on Oct 21, 2009 at 5:09:32 am

Yeah, Rick... thanks for the thoughts.

The blue glass filters I have for my tungstens aren't very blue, just lightly tinted... maybe not even as much as 1/2 CTB. They give a good color match to the HMIs, but do really drain the output. I haven't put a meter to it, but I'd swear they are sucking up well over a stop.... well over.

1/2 CTO on the HMI is definitely much more forgiving, outputwise. The half-stop loss is probably a good guess... doesn't even look like even that much to my eyeballs.

I frankly don't mind if a back/hair light is out of balance a lot of times... in fact sometimes if it is a tad too warm or a bit too cool it can be an interesting look. Ergo, I think I might indeed try painting a bounced to see what happens.

One of the things that I do sometimes (especially if it is a shoot where we are starved for time and/or gear and/or crew) is use a single 1200w HMI as both a back light and a key light. I'll put it well behind the talent on a high junior stand and shoot it into a 4x4 in front of the talent as a key. Usually by monkeying around with the instrument focus and barndoors I can get a nice back/side spill onto the talent directly from the instrument, while the bounce is the key. I did that completely by accident one day, and now do it lot. If I were to do that into a painted bounce, we'd get a tungstenish key with a more daylightish backlight. Not right for every setup by any means, but sometimes it might be a cool and appropriate look.

Thanks for the feedback.

T2

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






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Rick Wise
Re: Non-white bouncing -- anyone done this?
on Oct 21, 2009 at 5:16:42 pm

Todd, neat trick using the HMI as both back-light and key! I almost always use the key as both key and fill with a similar bounce idea, but I'd never thought of your solution!

Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
and part-time instructor lighting and camera
grad school, SF Academy of Art University/Film and Video
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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Todd Terry
Re: Non-white bouncing -- anyone done this?
on Oct 21, 2009 at 6:08:10 pm

Give it a try, Rick, it works well.

I can take zero credit for it, it was just one of those happy accidents one day. When daylight lighting I used to use a little 150w HMI that I home-built for a back/hairlight... but it was a royal pain in the rear because it was the only instrument that wasn't hot-restrike and no matter how much you preach DON'T TURN IT OFF somone inevitably does when moving it, leading to a 15-minute wait (and yes, sometimes it's me who forgets). So now I use the key instrument in back a lot. It of course gives a bit of a harsher/sharper output, but if I put it a bit to the side it can give a nice hair and side-of-face and shoulder spill... if I have any windows in the room that can justify its origin then it looks like a sunlight spill and works pretty well.

Come to think of it, about half the things I know how to do I learned by accident. The rest, from watching other good gaffers and cinematographers like yourself back in my former wannabe-actor days. From film school? Ummm... zero. Thanks, Higher Education!


T2

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






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Rick Wise
Re: Non-white bouncing -- anyone done this?
on Oct 21, 2009 at 7:00:55 pm

Todd,

Zero from film school? Too bad you didn't have access to where I teach.... But that was then, and now is now. On we go!

Rick

Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
and part-time instructor lighting and camera
grad school, SF Academy of Art University/Film and Video
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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Todd Terry
Re: Non-white bouncing -- anyone done this?
on Oct 21, 2009 at 8:14:10 pm

[Rick Wise] "Too bad you didn't have access to where I teach."

I WISH, Rick.

Heck, I'd take your classes now, if we weren't coast-to-coast.


T2

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






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Alan Lloyd
Re: Non-white bouncing -- anyone done this?
on Oct 21, 2009 at 3:13:14 pm

I've seen this done here and there. Once, in a very interesting way (though not as you describe): In a studio, I saw a very nice blue wall breakup generated by bouncing a fairly hefty instrument - a 2K, if I recall correctly - off a blue-gelled card covered with crinkled aluminum foil. Shiny side facing the light, of course.

I've also seen a gaffer, some years back, bounce an HMI off a gelled white wall to match the mix of daylight and fluoros in the room.

Whatever works - like I need to be telling you that.


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