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Studio Lighting setup - Wattage / Kit recommendations?

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guy jones
Studio Lighting setup - Wattage / Kit recommendations?
on Jul 4, 2011 at 8:55:05 pm

Hello, what would you suggest as a minimum wattage for a greenscreen single interview sized setup? This will be my first real setup so I want to get it right! I'm looking at a 3 light setup, possibly 3 softboxes, for instance I was looking at this:

http://cgi.ebay.ca/2400W-3-LIGHT-PHOTO-VIDEO-STUDIO-SOFTBOX-LIGHTING-KIT-/3...

Any recommendations of specific budget kits or configurations would be very much appreciated, thankyou
Guy


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Alan Lloyd
Re: Studio Lighting setup - Wattage / Kit recommendations?
on Jul 7, 2011 at 2:09:31 pm

It's not very likely that you will find a kit that does a good greenscreen setup, even for a single "talking head" shot.

Why?

You're lighting two different things. First, you want a nice, even level across your greenscreen. Somewhere in the 40-50 IRE range is ideal, as it's a good midpoint of exposure and saturation/purity. And you want your interview subject far enough in front of that screen that you won't be getting any bounce or spill, which will make edge cleanup a rather nasty, tedious exercise.

Then you want a nice flattering lighting job on your person du jour, ideally a softbox for a key, something for fill at less than key intensity, and a good, not too "butch", hair/back/rim light for separation.

I have done clean greenscreen stuff with three heads but it's a real 3-D puzzle and placement and spill management are critical.

What I'd do is two small (300-400W) heads with white silk diffusion on opposite sides of the greenscreen, with the silk spreading the beams out evenly across it. Then light your subject with a Rifa or Chimera and a 400-600W head for a key, and two small (100-200W) heads for fill and rim.

Also, I still use tungsten.

I didn't see any mention of "high CRI" on the lamps in that kit you linked to, and that's critical. (CRI = Color Rendering Index, in other words, accuracy and full-spectrum balance.) If that kit worked as well as the seller says, "everyone + dog" would be using one.

Oh, and make sure you're using a truly pure green behind your subject. It makes compositing much easier.


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guy jones
Re: Studio Lighting setup - Wattage / Kit recommendations?
on Jul 8, 2011 at 12:26:06 am

thanks all valuable info - so at least 4 lights as a minimum.


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Alan Lloyd
Re: Studio Lighting setup - Wattage / Kit recommendations?
on Jul 8, 2011 at 2:56:40 am

It's more than just the number of heads you have in play. It's the intensity and (hard/soft) character of the light.

And for the greenscreen, it's having the light as even as possible across the backdrop. That's where the "silk" diffusion comes in. It spreads a beam out directionally and makes this a much easier process.

The kit you linked to has three softbox heads of the same size. A softbox is good for an interview key, not so much as a greenscreen light. And I suspect the stands and softboxes are not terribly well-made, they really can't be at that price point.

For a single-subject greenscreen backdrop, I think I'd look at putting a setup together without buying a set kit. Kits rarely mesh well with the real world until they're added to extensively.

And the worst part is the cheap stands. Quality usually means you only have to buy something once.

Me? I'm not rich enough to use cheap stuff!


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Mark D'Agostino
Re: Studio Lighting setup - Wattage / Kit recommendations?
on Jul 8, 2011 at 3:33:42 pm

I pretty much am with Alan on this. My "kit" for location green screens includes 2-Arri 1K fresnels, (I'd love the bucks for 2 Kinos for this), with light diffusion cross lighting the background at an angle to minimize reflection back to the talent, (that angle of reflectance stuff). I also add a chroma green gel to those and that really does help. I light to about 50IRE and try to be sure it's not brighetr than the key. My back/rim is typically a 450W Lowell Omni with diffusion and 1/4 magenta. My fill, if I use one, is almost always a bounce card. Chimera 1000, or 500W, (tota) is my choice of key. My green screen is a Wescott green screen. Now this is all based on not trying to match the lighting for the background. My preference is to know my background first so I can light the subject accordingly. That's usually a luxury. One more thing, if you're in a room and can't get all the ambient daylight out then add 1/2 blue correction to all the lights if you're using tungsten.

Mark D'Agostino
http://www.synergeticproductions.com


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guy jones
Re: Studio Lighting setup - Wattage / Kit recommendations?
on Jul 10, 2011 at 7:49:09 pm

Thankyou for your answers, nothing like waiting for a while to get more informed!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000AJB80/ref=ox_ya_os_product

so this is what I'm starting with -

Smith Victor KT900 3-Light 1250-Watt Kit


I hope this is a good start, they've got a good rep and it's not totally dirt-cheap, so I expect to add to this, perhaps there are some suggestions?


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guy jones
Re: Studio Lighting setup - Wattage / Kit recommendations?
on Jul 10, 2011 at 9:57:32 pm

this is very interesting, I haven't heard of using green lighting on the greenscreen - which must make it even more green! - and I guess the magenta helps 'clash' with the green creating a stronger outline? I will definitely be trying this myself thankyou.


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