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Need lighting green screen in 8'x8' area

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Brandon Rohde
Need lighting green screen in 8'x8' area
on Apr 4, 2011 at 12:17:07 am

Hello,

I am looking to redo some of the lighting in a mobile broadcast trailer that we do some green screen work in. The problem is that we are very limited on room. Being in a broadcast trailer, we have about an 8' x 8' area to work with for 2 commentators sitting side by side. Using big diffusers is out of the question due to a lack of space. Can anyone help give some recommendations to make our setup the best possible? Also, is it OK to mix florescent with LED? Flourescent seems to be the preferred choice for the flood lights on the green screen, and LED is more compact so we can mount it as the subject lights. I am looking to implement this ASAP, so any help is appreciated.


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john sharaf
Re: Need lighting green screen in 8'x8' area
on Apr 4, 2011 at 2:10:31 am

Brandon,

As you already know, what you need are "thin" soft lights, that won't take up much space and also emit little heat.

I'd definitely recommend
Kino Flo florescents; 4'Singles or Doubles for the green screen and 2'Doubles and Fourbanks for the foreground key, fill and backlights. The newer "BarFly" units are even more compact and probably brighter, so I'd give them a good looking over as well.

By keeping all units of the same type (even conventional Kinos vs. the U-tubes) you'll minimize color mismatch, that's why I wouldn't mix the flos and LEDs. LED's for everything will certainly cost more to purchase or rent.

JS




JS



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Brandon Rohde
Re: Need lighting green screen in 8'x8' area
on Apr 4, 2011 at 4:56:08 am

Thanks JS. I am checking into those right now. I also came across the Reflecmedia kit just now, and that seems pretty ideal for what I am doing. The background lighting does not matter so much, just the fill lights. I have no problem with the lights on the subject, but I have a hard time getting light on the screen behind them. Also, due to space, the subjects are relatively close to the screen, which is not ideal. The Reflecmedia kit recommends about 18". Does anyone have experience with this setup? It seems to get some pretty good reviews around the web.

-Brandon


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Mark Suszko
Re: Need lighting green screen in 8'x8' area
on Apr 4, 2011 at 8:43:55 pm

Reflecmedia has some problems with the use of teleprompters over the lens, and unwanted reflections on people's eyeglasses and the like. Still, since it doesn't need supplemental lighting on the special cloth, it could work well for this setup, if the camera and talent is in the "sweet spot" cone of light the ring unit makes.

I always wonder how hard is is to light a green screen from behind itself, in small-footprint rooms like this. I've seen banks like that used in Hollywood FX films, translucent blue ro green back lit with tube lights.


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Todd Terry
Re: Need lighting green screen in 8'x8' area
on Apr 4, 2011 at 9:45:44 pm

[Mark Suszko] "I always wonder how hard is is to light a green screen from behind itself"

I don't think it would be too hard. A zillion years ago when I was in broadcast television I wanted a freestanding "monitor wall" prop in a production. You have to remember this was long before the days of plasma or LCD screens, or any big displays other than projection. We had these risers laying around that had been built as set pieces, carpeted platforms about six or seven feet square and about 10 inches tall. I turned one up on its side, and inside the honeycomb of floor joists underneath I put a bulb in each section (just plain ol' tungsten light bulb), then over the bottom (now the front) I stretched green paper (green kraft paper, like used on school bulletin boards). This became my big "monitor wall" and it worked like a charm. We shot talent in and around it, and keyed in the footage later.

This worked well, and it was very rudimentary as you might imagine... with just the household light bulbs and green paper. I've sometimes wondered about building a much better version with a bank of flos inside and a proper translucent green facing. It could be a lot thinner, too.

For small closeup greenscreen shoots we have sometimes used a 55" plasma monitor and just fed it a pure green signal. Much smaller, but exactly the same principal... and a perfectly even greenscreen that you don't even have to light.

Now you've got me thinking of building something....

T2

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



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Dennis Size
Re: Need lighting green screen in 8'x8' area
on Apr 5, 2011 at 4:58:59 am

About a dozen years ago I lit a virtual children's show called "The Wubulous World of Dr Seus". We used a verrry large RP screen rear lit with colored fluoros (the green Kino tubes are ideal).
The big issue is that you need plenty of distance from the screen to the talent otherwise two problems occur:
1) The light from behind becomes so strong the RP becomes a big backlight, creating a green "rim" around the talent ..... making a clean key difficult, and
2) If the talent is too close then the front light will wash the color of the screen entirely ...rendering it gray -- and very difficult to key.

DS



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Bob Cole
Re: Need lighting green screen in 8'x8' area
on Apr 5, 2011 at 8:11:52 pm

Disclaimer: my remarks are based on zero experience with this particular situation, but a lot of experience with green screens.

I assume you're going to test the whole chroma-keying process for production flow before committing to this. It sounds like a potential nightmare in that space and for that amount of production; you have to assess whether the pay-off is worth the added cost and time in post-production. Unless you are keying live.

For a space that small, you may want to consider a partial green screen area, or even 2-3 nice plasma monitors in the "set," over-the-shoulders of each correspondent.

Good luck and please let us know how it turns out. It's an intriguing challenge.

Bob C


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Jim Cunningham
Re: Need lighting green screen in 8'x8' area
on Apr 9, 2011 at 12:08:01 pm

The advantage of Reflectmedia is that it takes up very little space, and does create a very even key. However, it has a number of "gotchas".
Because the light ring creates its own shadow, you can get a thin but significant shadow all around the subject. You need to make sure your subject is just about touching the fabric. Refectmedia also can create a halo around the subject. If you go this route, I find it imperative that you get a good Chroma Key plug in. I tried many (including Ultramatte)and found Primatte Key Pro to be a real life saver.

Good Luck,

Jim



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