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How do I make light a "bright sunny day" for stop motion animation

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Alina Postula
How do I make light a "bright sunny day" for stop motion animation
on Oct 12, 2011 at 11:29:16 pm

Hi,
I am shooting a stop motion animation and need it to look like a bright, dreamy, sunny day in the woods. How do I accomplish this? (preferably without 1000's of $ in lights, if possible). I see a lot of animations that seem like they are trying to get this and totally fall flat and look HORRIBLE! Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
The Bee


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john sharaf
Re: How do I make light a "bright sunny day" for stop motion animation
on Oct 12, 2011 at 11:59:15 pm

Shoot outside on a bright sunny day, rotating your set as the day proceeds to keep the sun in the same direction. An overhead silk might be nice to soften the shadow but still keep a directionality to the light. A 1/4 silk is especially good to keep a daylight type of (2 to 1) contrast. Without knowing the nature of your subject I could be all wrong though!

JS



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Alina Postula
Re: How do I make light a "bright sunny day" for stop motion animation
on Oct 13, 2011 at 4:10:18 am

Thanks! I'll keep that in mind!


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Mark Suszko
Re: How do I make light a "bright sunny day" for stop motion animation
on Oct 13, 2011 at 2:18:16 pm

You didn't say if your stop-motion was full scale or models.


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Scott Sheriff
Re: How do I make light a "bright sunny day" for stop motion animation
on Oct 13, 2011 at 5:34:12 pm

[Alina Postula] "I am shooting a stop motion animation and need it to look like a bright, dreamy, sunny day in the woods. How do I accomplish this? (preferably without 1000's of $ in lights, if possible). I see a lot of animations that seem like they are trying to get this and totally fall flat and look HORRIBLE! Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,"


You didn't mention the size of your set.
A bright sunny day is simulated by using a single point light source. Multiple sources will give multiple shadows. The size (physical size, not wattage) and/or distance should be set to approximate the same shadow you get on a sunny day. If your source is too close or too large it will reduce shadows and cause flatness, which you don't want. The main characteristic of a bright sunny day is a single, hard edge, dense shadow. Using a butterfly or any overhead increases the size of the source, which would simulate clouds and reduce shadow density. The height and angle the light is placed controls the 'time of day', and the 'season'.
The wattage of the light would be determined by the final distance from the set, and the surface area. To keep the sunny feel you will want a lot of light so you can use a smaller f stop to increase the DoF.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." ---Red Adair

Where were you on 6/21?


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Bob Cole
Re: How do I make light a "bright sunny day" for stop motion animation
on Oct 27, 2011 at 3:09:40 am

Natural light would be a mistake, because over the course of the hours it will take you to do the animation, it will change too much.

At the same time, duplicating an "actual" bright sunny day might be garish, with deep shadows. It sounds as though you want the "feel" of a bright sunny day, i.e. an upbeat, sunny, summery mood, which in Hollywood involves silks and HMIs. That could mean either frontal lighting, or heavy backlighting with lots of fill. Just avoid "high noon" lighting -- i.e. keep the lighting sources lower.

I'd experiment, if I were you, with whatever instruments you can afford. I'm guessing that for the bright mood you seek, you'll want is to have one big but lightly-diffused key from near the camera and a sharply-focussed hairlight to make the characters stand out from the background. Just avoid multiple keys, as the shadows will make for a very inauthentic mood. If all you afford for the key is a bunch of broads, pump them all through a big silk.

You didn't say why you disliked the other videos, but whatever they did - don't do that.

bob c


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