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Whiteboard Lighting

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Joseph Demme
Whiteboard Lighting
on May 19, 2010 at 8:45:48 pm

I'm going to be filming a Math training video next week, which is basically a teacher standing next to a whiteboard. He will be writing on the board and using small blocks as an illustration.

How should I light the whiteboard so that the blocks have the least amount of shadow, while still allowing the teacher to maintain eye contact with the live studio audience?

We will be filming it with the Panasonic HMC150, and have 3x 1,000 watt tungsten lights and some low watt lights as well.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Whiteboard Lighting
on May 19, 2010 at 10:30:53 pm

Soft sources from angles above and far off to either side, so his shadow, if any, is thrown far outside of the framing of the shot, and not across the board. Usually, whiteboards don't need any extra lighting anyway; the guy does sometimes need some fill, though.


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Lloyd Morgan
Re: Whiteboard Lighting
on May 25, 2010 at 3:00:52 pm

Marks advice is spot on. One thing to be wary of with whiteboards is that they will reflect your lights, and this can impair the visibility of the writing or diagrams on the board. Good luck.

Lloyd Morgan Productions
http://www.lloydmorganproductions.co.uk
Video Production Dorset UK


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Mark Suszko
Re: Whiteboard Lighting
on May 26, 2010 at 9:14:41 pm

really the best whiteboard surface would be flat matte, but it is hard to find a combination of surface material and marker pen that get along and remain easily erasable. So don't go scuffing up the board with sandpaper: it's been tried :-)


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Joseph Demme
Re: Whiteboard Lighting
on Mar 9, 2011 at 5:45:48 pm

I completely forgot to write my follow-up to this; my apologies.

We ended up with this setup:
2x Panasonic HMC150s (1 center, 1 on the right)
3x 1,000 watt tungsten lights with soft boxes

Key Light: Placed in the center by camera 1, above the whiteboard
Fill Light: Placed to the right by camera 2
Back Light: Placed to the left of the whiteboard

It works really well. The key light reduces the shadows of the blocks on the board significantly, and the fill/back lights accentuate it nicely.

Problems:
1. The key light creates a hot spot on the whiteboard if it's not high enough
2. The whiteboard is flush against the wall, so the back light placement was limited, and wasn't kind to the teacher's bald head. Makeup and diffusion countered it nicely.

Thank you all for your help & advice.


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