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Lighting hands against a green screen?

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kat hayes
Lighting hands against a green screen?
on Apr 19, 2011 at 5:15:19 pm

I want to shoot video of my hands and some of my arms in front of a green screen holding markers and pens that I will later bring into After Effects to make it seem like I am writing on different boards. I will be using a HVX200 and KNO Flo 4-Bank and Divas. I have never done anything like this.

Can anyone provide any general lighting advice for doing this? How should I attempt to light this?

Thanks!



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Rick Wise
Re: Lighting hands against a green screen?
on Apr 19, 2011 at 5:27:38 pm

I suggest you do a bit of work yourself. Do a GoogleSearch for lighting green screen. Or a YouTube search where you'll find lots of tutorials, both about lighting and post manipulation. Tons of info posted.

Then do a shoot. Then if you have problems, come back with specifics and either the video or screen grabs that illustrate the problem.

It's not rocket science.

Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
part-time instructor lighting/camera
Academy of Art University/Film and Video (grad school)
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting hands against a green screen?
on Apr 20, 2011 at 4:52:11 pm

One of the things you want to think about is lighting the hands and arms to match whatever the lighting angle and type is int he final comp. If the final comp is an overhead view with light coming from a diffuse source out of view near the screen top, then you want to light the arms the same way, independent of the green screen.

I'm going to suggest something crazy for this particular gag you're doing, that if the view of the comp is indeed from above, maybe in this one case, you won't need to do much independent lighting of the green, just lay down one of those bright green posterboards on a table top and only worry about lighting the arms and hands. See what a test shot will look like. You can run a simple test with just a still camera shooting a few frames.


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kat hayes
Re: Lighting hands against a green screen?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 5:04:53 am

Thanks for your responses. Attached are a couple sample images of how I might want to shoot the video of the hands. Any ideas or suggestions for how to light this? I understand the basics of lighting it evenly for the green screen, I am just looking for any other general advice. Thanks!








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Todd Terry
Re: Lighting hands against a green screen?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 2:26:53 pm

I won't give any lighting advice, there are others here much more qualified than I am about that...

I will give you some camera advice though. Even if you had shot your sample against a greenscreen and if you had been happy with the lighting... you would have a very hard time getting a decent-looking key.

That's because your depth-of-field is so shallow... the drawing surface is sharp since that's where the point of focus is, but your hands and the pen are in very soft focus. Those very soft edges are going to make for a very difficult and ragged-edged key. Many of us are always trying for the shallow depth-of-field look, but in this instance you need a deep depth of field, with everything sharp to give you good clean edges. The solution might be as simple as increasing the lighting in the general scene so you can iris the camera down more (increase the f-stop).

If you are actually drawing on whatever surface will be your greenscreen you are obviously going to have a devil of a time evenly lighting your background as your hand will obviously cast a lot of shadows. One way to eliminate those would be to do the actual drawing on a piece of glass or plexi, and have the actual greenscreen some distance behind that. Or, you could come up with some sort of backlit greenscreen...a piece of glass covered with green vinyl might be an easy/cheap way to do that. Or lastly, since the shot is so tight, this might be one of those instances when a plasma or LED computer or television monitor would make a good greenscreen surface... just feed it a pure green signal. That would bear testing though, since the shot it so tight the pixels might show.

Just a few thoughts...

T2

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



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Mark Suszko
Re: Lighting hands against a green screen?
on Apr 22, 2011 at 9:16:09 pm

I'm wondering if she can get away with shooting this on white photog paper and luma keying it using transfer modes?


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