FORUMS: list search recent posts

I could use a quick lighting critique!

COW Forums : Lighting Design

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Travis Roesler
I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 20, 2013 at 5:05:49 pm

Hey guys,

I thought that I had the perfect lighting schematic set up, and then my video guy tells me that I am overexposed on one side of my face. I personally think it looks pretty good, so I'd like to let you pros decide!

If you could give me some tips, I'd really appreciate it.

This is using a genaray spectro LED kit at nightime, and a basic 3 light set up.



Return to posts index

Rick Wise
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 20, 2013 at 6:02:03 pm

In post you could easily pull down the exposure a notch. Nothing on the face appears to be at clip.

Suggestions:
--raise your key quite a bit higher to drive the nose shadow down at a steeper angle. But not so high that your subject's eyes no longer catch the key.
--reduce your exposure until the hot side is around 60 IRE; alternatively, if you have zebras on your camera and you can set them to 70, adjust exposure so that there is just a HINT of zebras in the hot spots, usually the bridge of the now and a bit of forehead. Then reduce the fill side a bit; you have almost no difference between key and fill. But this is just a matter of taste.
--The background seems to be at clip in the area behind the subject. You might want to even out the lighting on the background so that it is consistent. Alternatively, darken it considerably and add some sort of pattern with a light through a cookie of your devising.

I see that you are using the Genaray LEDs. I have been intrigued by their round design. Are you using them raw, or through some diffusion? How do you like them?

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index

Travis Roesler
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 20, 2013 at 6:31:20 pm

Great suggestions and feedback!

1. Key Light raise - done... and good call.

2. So you would agree that my video guy that the key is slightly overexposed? I am shooting with an FS100 so I can definitely adjust the zebra stripes. I honestly think the key looks pretty good, I don't think that I'm losing too much detail in the face, so I guess I'll let the camera sort it out.

3. I actually already turned down the fill a bit to give my face more contrast, so I completely agree with that suggestion and already fixed it.

4. The background is meant to be slightly lighter right behind me... it makes me seem like a glowing beam of martial arts knowledge. I kinda like the gradient effect that it creates, so that was fully intentional. Before this, I was using a poorly executed green screen and just putting in a plain white background. Trust me when I tell you that this is a drastic improvement.

5. With respect to the genaray's, I really really like them. They are light, sturdy, durable, they lock into place like a rock, have remote dimmers (in addition to on-light dimmers), they don't put out much heat at all, and in general, I think that they are very well contructed.

The only COMPLAINT that I have is a very light squeal that is emitted from the light at anything brightness setting other than the highest and lowest settings. It doesn't appear that my mic picks it up, but it will wear on your nerves after a while. My solution is just to position my lights correctly at the highest settings and go from there.

This would be easy to remove in post production even if the mic did pick it up, but still, it's a little irritating.

They come with their own little diffusion sock that fits like a glove, and that's all the diffusion that I'm using currently. As far as I can tell, it's more than enough as might light doesn't appear too harsh.

I got these so that I could just secure them to the ceiling, and raise them when I want them out of the way. My goal here is to be able to flip and "On" switch, step in front of a screen, and be filming it 2 minutes or less. So far, it's coming along very nicely.

Thanks for your feedback, and I hope my genaray review helps!


Return to posts index


Travis Roesler
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 20, 2013 at 11:17:56 pm

Ok! You were absolutely right about a lot of things! Here's my next submission!



Return to posts index

Rick Wise
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 21, 2013 at 3:37:07 am

Thanks for the Genaray review. As for your new screen grab: Looks better but:

--note the shadows at the bottom of the frame. Why?
--Key still not high enough.
--Try moving the key further to the side, away from the camera to achieve more of a 'Rembrandt Patch" look. Look that up if you don't understand the term.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index

Travis Roesler
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 21, 2013 at 11:05:28 pm

Ok... I think I have it. Please note that the picture actually embeds slightly darker on the site than it actually is.

I really really really appreciate your help... the difference between this post and my first one is huge. I can't thank you enough.



1. Key all the way up to the ceiling.
2. Shadows virtually eliminated to create a smooth gradient in the background.
3. Researched the rembrandt patch, and you can SLIGHTLY see the "triangle" under my right eye... at least as much as my facial structure tolerates.

Any more "Patch" than that and my right eye looks unusually dark.. as my eyes are kinda sunken in.

I'm pretty sure this is my final product... I don't think that I'm going to get it any better than this!


Return to posts index


Bill Davis
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 23, 2013 at 7:09:19 am

Here's my 2cents.

I'm not fond of the glow behind the head being brighter than your subject. I get the "glowing brain of expertise" idea, but the reality is that the human eye is naturally drawn to the lightest object in any frame. To me that should always be the person speaking. Period. A brighter backlight makes me squint to see the person speaking and risks viewing fatigue over time.

I occasionally set up this kind of radial gradient look and I like it. Just with the brightest spot at least a full stop lower than the subject face and additional falloff or color moving away from the face.

Your call, but making any performer easy to look at is good. Making them even a tiny bit harder to see is less good,

Advice worth what you paid for it.

; )

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


Return to posts index

Travis Roesler
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 24, 2013 at 4:06:42 pm

Damn... I know this is good advice. Ok... let me reposition that top light to make it a little less bright around my head.

Thank you for the feedback... I also felt as if my face wasn't standing out enough.

---Trav


Return to posts index

Craig Alan
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 23, 2013 at 4:03:11 pm

I would tweak it some more. You want to see the catch in both eyes. It's ok to have an aura around your subject but overexposed is not a good choice. Try lighting your background with more diffusion. I think that will even out the b.g. so you don't have the shadow creeping up from the bottom. Get your subject further from the background. Use a back light to get a glow around the subject's head. A 300 watt fresnel should do the trick. Play with color correction in post - you might be able to improve this shot a lot.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index


Travis Roesler
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 25, 2013 at 1:11:53 am

Hey Craig,

Thanks for the heads up... I will throw another diffusion sock over the backlights and see what happens. I don't really have much room for an umbrella, which brings me to my next point... I'm pretty much stuck 3 or 4 feet away from the background! I'm shooting this in a relatively small office space, and my camera is back against the wall.

... 4 hours of tweaking later ...

I have my next shot... I'm going to post it as a response to the entire thread... if that's possible.


Return to posts index

Travis Roesler
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 25, 2013 at 1:14:44 am

Ok... I think this is it... jesus I hope this is it.

Please ignore the shadows on the edges... my paper has gotten a little wrinkled and I ordered a new role.



Return to posts index

Craig Alan
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 25, 2013 at 7:54:19 pm

Big improvement. I would have less background and more subject. Try cropping. The fact that you are close to the background without the right prime lens means your subject does not dominate the b.g. But a tighter shot would help and you might even try shooting at an angle to the wall which would create more space depending on the wall and the space you are in. You could try different lenses with that cam. You could rent what you need for a given shoot. Worth a shot.

You could also key the b.g. and replace it with the metal grid you a see in the other shots. I think that would look cool. A kind of mirror of the t-shirt. But these are all just my opinion. What you see is what you got. I certainly would not want to mess with the guy in the shot. To me getting your message across is the most important of all.

I am not a professional lighting designer as some of the guys here. But like you I have learned some things over time. One thing I really like doing and this might help you going forward - get a broadcast monitor and attach it to your camera. PLay with your image until you are happy with it. Turn the monitor so you can see it while you are adjusting the lights. You'll be surprised how little adjustments change the look.

http://www.shopfsi.com/BM210-Field-Package-p/bm210.fieldpkg.htm

All FSI monitors are equipped with a DVI-I Input allowing you to monitor both DVI-A and DVI-D signals. Most HDMI signals CAN be viewed on an FSI monitor as the DVI interface can support many HDMI signals. Typical HDMI outputs from computers, DSLRS, and other professional HDMI sources can usually be viewed on an FSI monitor. With respect to compatibility you simply want to keep the following things in mind:
You will need an HDMI to DVI cable or and HDMI to DVI adapter to view HDMI signals on an FSI monitor. This is simply a connection type adapter and not a converter, the video signal will be unaltered from its native format.

FSI monitors are an excellent choice for monitoring DVI and HDMI signals, especially coming from cameras that only have this type of digital output, because FSI is one of the few brands of monitors that provides full Waveform / Vector Scope functionality across all inputs, even DVI.

If you get something really cool while experimenting but there is a portion of the image that gets messed up by it then you learn why the pros have c-stands and flags and diffusion panels and the like. These accessories are not as expensive as new lighting gear and they really help you fine tune your images.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=matthews+c%3Dstands&N=0&InitialSea...
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?atclk=Brand_Matthews&sts=ma&N=42913440...

Open up your shot in the color correction window of FC and play with the mid tones. Get your face to come alive a bit more without overexposing the b.g. Also consider moving to FCP 10.1. The color correction is pretty simple for beginners to fool around with. Keying is easy too.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index


Rick Wise
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 25, 2013 at 9:23:15 pm

Your subject (you?) has fairly deep-set eyes. So now the light is not quite reaching into them. I'd drop the key just a bit, just enough so that the eyebrow doesn't shadow the eye. Or, add a very small light just over the camera on a dimmer. Bring it up just enough to lift the eyes a tiny bit.

I agree that a closer crop might work better. And going with a green screen and keying in backgrounds could be lots of fun. Caution: You may have trouble with green spill onto the subject in such a tight space. But if you have the time, worth trying. In such a case, add a bit of minus green (magenta, probably 1/4 strength) to your backlights to counter the green contamination.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index

Craig Alan
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 25, 2013 at 9:46:34 pm

If you blow the shot up, there is catch in both eyes though I agree the key seems a bit high - there is shadow over the subject's right eye and he center of the hair above the forehead is dark compared to the back of the hair. My guess is it would be more flattering to move the key to the subject's left side and a bit lower. And at this point even slight adjustments on the angle of the light will adjust the light on the subject.

PS Rick is a pro and can solve a lot of problems before he even begins fine tuning. It is also hard to light a subject if you are the subject. And you're not creating a still or a painting. So any given freeze frame can be overly analyzed. How about uploading a small clip say 5-10 seconds worth. If your subject is moving even a little the catch can move, the shadow can move, and the audience's attention can be on the movement and rhythm as much as the tone and color, not to mention the audio which is often more important in a talking head tutorial than the visual. One thing about shooting close to a wall is there is no sense of depth at all. It is a flat image. Except for the modeling you created with your light on the subject's face.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index

Rick Wise
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 25, 2013 at 10:38:24 pm

One more note, about the background. Instead of flat illumination, you could add a cookie to a light hitting the wall. The closer the cookie is to the light, the softer the shadow.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index


Travis Roesler
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 26, 2013 at 7:19:30 pm

Guys... absolutly fantastic suggestions.

I do have some keep sunken eyes... it prevents fists from getting in there ;-)

The purpose of the videos is to interject brief notes into my mixed martial arts video series at howtofightnow.com.

my most popular video is right here:







Either way, I leave myself a large frame because I like to move around, and I don't like when my hands get cut off in the shot. It just seems weird. I do little bits of demonstration and need people to be able to see my entire torso as well.

I am actually moving AWAY from green screen because I got sick of the Chroma Key, and I can't separate myself from the background enough that anything ever keys out really well... I'm doing this in a converted bedroom. I find that the shots look MUCH better when they are real, and not a product of a rendering process.

I will make these next adjustments and send you a 5-10 second clip of what I'm working with.

Thanks again guys for all of your time... you've made a huge difference in my product already.


Return to posts index

Travis Roesler
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 27, 2013 at 5:06:23 am

I'm going to start by adding the light near the camera.


Return to posts index

Travis Roesler
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:11:10 am

Rick, when you say "above the camera" do you mean right above the camera itself, or 'just above camera level from the same direction as the keylight'.

In other words? Is it only the key light eye that needs to be illuminated, or both?


Return to posts index

Rick Wise
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:42:46 pm

I mean right above the camera. I would suggest a light you can dim. I prefer a cheap Smith Victor 90UL (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/48733-REG/Smith_Victor_401007_90UL_Ad...) with an ordinary household bulb, a Smith Victor snap-on diffuser, and an inline dimmer. I bring up the intensity until there is just a hint in the eyes, both eyes.

By the way, I registered at your web site for some free martial arts instructions. At the age of 78 I'm a tad old for that kind of stuff, but knowing how to stop a fight with an instant choke is a nice additional tool to walk around with. Hopefully I'll never need to use it. Thank you!

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index

Travis Roesler
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:12:08 am

Also Craig, just hooked up a monitor... HUUUUGE help. I can actually adjust things efficiently now without trying to look across the room at a little LED screen. Thanks man.


Return to posts index

Craig Alan
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:47:35 am

I believe Rick is talking about mounting a small LED light on the camera itself which run and gunners use just to get a catch in the subject's eyes. Since it stays with the cam it is always pointed at the subject. Never used one but they do that one trick pretty well.

Understood about keying but I really only meant to get some themed texture to the wall behind you. I agree with your instinct to stay natural. So get a better b.g. than a studio white roll of paper. If you get a leko and a gobo

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=leko&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&sts=ma&...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=gobo+roscoe&N=0&InitialSearch=yes&...

you can project a grid pattern or a gate pattern or a thousand other choices. Another option is to gets digital projector and project footage behind you which is becoming more common these days as an alternative to keying.

Also were those outside scenes really shot with http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/cat-broadcastcameras/cat-nxcam/product-NEXFS10... ???

Unless the footage is horribly compressed I would expect way better quality. Again very effective footage but the images just don't pop.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


Return to posts index

Travis Roesler
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 27, 2013 at 9:52:54 am

lighting



Return to posts index

Rick Wise
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:47:19 pm

You could go on tweaking this forever, but hey, for what you want this video to do, I think you're just about there. Myself I'd add some shadow shape(s) on the background, and a bit of Smith-Victor eye-light. But lighting's what I've done almost all my life. Your mission is to teach martial arts. So I'd say, get back to doing just that!

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


Return to posts index

Travis Roesler
Re: I could use a quick lighting critique!
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:27:39 pm

Alright Rick thanks man! Well hey, enjoy the free lessons and I'm glad we got a chance to trade! I really appreciate all of your help, and I really do think the shots look good.

I'll try to add some shapes to the background in the future... maybe change backgrounds every time I put out a new program... we'll see.

Thanks again!


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]