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Small Light set up for Chroma Keying using reflecmedia

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Joe Quirino
Small Light set up for Chroma Keying using reflecmedia
on Mar 29, 2010 at 1:00:09 pm

Hello,

I am going to be doing a lot of chroma keying using a reflecmedia lite ring. The question I have is what is the best way to light the subject? Most of my shooting will be done in a small office room so a small light is crucial.
Current I am using 2 Arri 650 Fresnel with softbox but Those lights are, in my opinion, too big and bulky for what I am doing. Also I would like to get something that is easy to haul around

I am using a Panasonic HPX 3000 1080p camera, which is decent low light, the reflecmedia lite ring, in a room around 12 x 12. I am not going to be doing full length shots, most are waist up.

What lights do think would work. I am up for anything.

Any suggestions would be great. thanks in advance for your help.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Small Light set up for Chroma Keying using reflecmedia
on Mar 29, 2010 at 2:00:30 pm

You might look up the how-to for Walter Graff's "Graff Lights".
With reflecmedia and the LED ring on your lens, youare supposed to be able to light the person without worrying about the background at all. First consideration may be to light in a way the matches the intended replacement background as far as the direction and intensity of light.


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Rick Wise
Re: Small Light set up for Chroma Keying using reflecmedia
on Mar 29, 2010 at 5:18:50 pm

I have not used this unit. From their web site, it looks to me that the light right is designed to both light the talent and the background. I suspect you could add a directional key, hard or soft, turning the light-ring's effect on the talent into fill light. However, you would then have to stop down to accommodate the key and then the background would be too dark. I suspect you cannot add any lights to this system unless you also boost the background with additional lights that spread evenly over your green or blue drape/wall. If that's the case, why use the light ring at all?

If you do NOT modify the light from this system you end up with very, very flat frontal lighting.

Hopefully someone who has actually used this rig, or a similar one, can chime in with more information.

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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Joe Quirino
Re: Small Light set up for Chroma Keying using reflecmedia
on Mar 29, 2010 at 5:39:01 pm

Hi

I have used the reflecmedia ring 100's of times. You only need to light the subject. It is great. I am just looking for something small to light the subject. Thanks for the response.


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Small Light set up for Chroma Keying using reflecmedia
on Mar 29, 2010 at 5:12:46 pm

Check out the fluorescent models from Cool Lights: http://www.coollights.biz/softlight-fixture-series-portable-models-c-25_32....

Jason Jenkins

Flowmotion Media

Video production... with style!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Small Light set up for Chroma Keying using reflecmedia
on Mar 29, 2010 at 5:32:58 pm

Rick, reflecmedia works in a unique way, it is not like a typical ring light system used by stills guys and not like lighting chromakeys with paper or cloth. The curtain that comes with the system is coated in retro-reflective beads that only shoot the green or blue LED light right back at the lens and only from unobscured bead fabric. If distance-wise you are in the "sweet spot" of that retro-reflector cloth, you can light a successful chromakey with just a candle flame for the talent lighting.

They DO have some particular areas where they make trouble, though. You can't use the ring light with a prompter, also, they tend to sometimes make reflections in eyeglasses or other polished surfaces if you use the camera too close. On the too-far end, the beads don't return enough sometimes on a very distant shot without supplemental lighting, which has to be right at the lens.

The cloth is amazing stuff, basically the same as the Kryptonians wore in the Chris Reeve Superman movie. You can leave wrinkles in it and drape it and it still returns a pretty good reflection of the color LED source back into the lens... but not much off-axis, which is at once a feature and a possible annoyance. Feature in that your talent lighting has very little ability to interfere with the bead fabric. Bad though if you need to go big, you can't light as well from the sides and the cloth is WICKED expensive.



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Rick Wise
Re: Small Light set up for Chroma Keying using reflecmedia
on Mar 29, 2010 at 5:47:33 pm

Mark, thanks for the input. So, how can you key the talent since the ring lights both the person and the drape at the same time? Wouldn't additional directional light on the talent force you to stop down, and render the background too dark? Or, given the bounce-back quality of the drape, do you have a wide range of OK exposure to pull a clean key?

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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Mark Suszko
Re: Small Light set up for Chroma Keying using reflecmedia
on Mar 29, 2010 at 7:01:31 pm

The LED's have enough fall-off that at working distance, only the retrobeads catch the green and hurl it back at the lens. The ring has a rheostat as well so you can crank the intensity up and down. Contaminating your skin tones generally is not an issue unless working at less than arm's length. NFL films has used it and they seem to like it. For me, the cloth makes it too damn expensive. It would be tempting to try to home brew a system using scotchlite or the scotch bead-containing road paint for high-vis highway road stripes. But right now I can do an entire studio in green for the cost of the 2-man wide-shot size reflec cloth. Surely our neo-capitalist Chinese friends could make it cheaper?


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Dennis Size
Re: Small Light set up for Chroma Keying using reflecmedia
on Mar 29, 2010 at 11:09:43 pm

MARK.....excellent analysis of the system. I would have just said it's a pain-in-the-ass and not to bother using it.
I did testing with it a few years back and found it too expensive, and too limiting for the standard greenscreen stuff we need to crank out all the time.
That being said, in answer to Joe's original question, the ARRI 650's are more than enough light. Since you need to work relatively close I would keep the softbox but recommend lamping the 650's down. If the bulkiness of the fixtures with the softboxes annoy you, then use 300w or 150w fresnesls with diffusion.
Frankly, if I had a choice I would go with two 1'x 1' LED 3200K flood Lite Panels. That'd save aggravation; weigh next to nothing, create no heat, and require no power (to speak of).
DS




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Mark Suszko
Re: Small Light set up for Chroma Keying using reflecmedia
on Mar 30, 2010 at 3:14:20 am

Thanks Dennis. One other neat thing about the reflect cloth with those tiny corner-reflecting glass beads is that angle of incidence does NOT equal angle of reflection, so if you tried to wash the cloth from the side with an Arri, or you just hit it with stray spill, your lens wouldn't see that. The spill is retro-reflected back into the instrument that sent the light. The cloth nearly always looks a creepy shade of gray everywhere but from the POV of the lens and light ring, where it bursts into green or blue.


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Alan Lloyd
Re: Small Light set up for Chroma Keying using reflecmedia
on Mar 30, 2010 at 11:33:28 pm

Mark - I don't think 3M sells such things directly to end users. They - like most major manufacturers - will generally want someone in that position to go through their normal reseller channels.

That said, it is the stuff in question, and someone must sell it. Though I question how much less expensive it's going to be. Microbead manufacture, though an established technology by now, is still far from a trivial undertaking.

As a sidebar, the first time I saw this was as a process shot rig using 16mm film in Chicago back in (I think) the late 70's. And I have a client with two of the rigs today.


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Garry Jones
Re: Small Light set up for Chroma Keying using reflecmedia
on Apr 1, 2010 at 10:29:41 am

Check out various Studio Lighting by visiting here http://www.photostudiosupplies.com/lighting.php

Also you can find chrmakey at here

Photo Studio Supplies
http://www.photostudiosupplies.com/


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