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Scene Relighting

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Ryan Zernec
Scene Relighting
on Dec 15, 2009 at 5:50:55 am

Hello,

I'm editing a scene where a bunch of guys walk into a room and have a conversation with a hologram in the center of the room. Unfortunately, the footage was shot with all of the overhead florescent lights on the entire time, with no change and no effect lighting. Ideally, when the hologram is activated I would like the overhead lights to dim and the light from the hologram to reflect off of the guys' faces and clothes. Does anyone know of any way to achieve this (or know of a tutorial that I overlooked)?

Thanks!


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Scene Relighting
on Dec 15, 2009 at 6:21:53 am

This is very, very easy to do. It will just take a very, very long time.

First, you'll want to rotoscope each person. Then use those masks in combination with other masks to isolate the brightness/color correction to just the part of their bodies that are facing towards the hologram. This could be a series of masks on an adjustment layer, or you could put each person on their own layer...really, there are endless solutions to this.

This tutorial covers adding in light from muzzle flashes, etc to a scene. You'll want to do this, but instead of just for a split second, you'll want it for the entire length of your scene.

Have fun!

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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david bogie
Re: Scene Relighting
on Dec 15, 2009 at 3:21:01 pm

q[Ryan Zernec] "I would like the overhead lights to dim and the light from the hologram to reflect off of the guys' faces and clothes. Does anyone know of any way to achieve this? "

Michael's suggestion is the only thing that actually accomplishes your effect in post. Every object in the room will receive light from the hologram so they all must be roto'd.

This is a classic example of really poor direction and planning, though. If you have never done rotoscoping, you have no idea how difficult this effect is going to b. If you need any degree of realism, as if the scene were shot properly with on-set, motivational, and practical lighting effects, you're looking at literally hundreds of hours of work.

What you're going to need is a mask that will be used to apply your lighting effects to your characters, it doesn't not have to be created by hand-rotoscoping but that is the only way to achieve any believability. If you have some time, shoot a test sequence with a flickering light source shining on the faces and bodies a couple of stand-ins.

A hologram of Hans Solo is not a point source light, it's more like a tall skinny balloon with a light in it. If the room in which he is standing while he is being scanned for the transmission is completely illuminated, then the light source, the hologram, is a huge object. The light emanating from these two different hologram images is quite different and will have dramatically different effects on the stand-ins and on the shadows their bodies cast onto the objects in the room.

The best way to deal with this project is to reshoot it.

bogiesan



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Scene Relighting
on Dec 15, 2009 at 4:14:54 pm

Michael and Bogie nailed it, so here's the third similar response. Are you spotting a trend?


Dave's Stock Answer #2:

When you're out on a shoot, and you say, "we'll fix this in post" without knowing PRECISELY HOW you're going to fix it in post, don't shoot it! You'll only end up shooting it over again.

Since post typically costs three times the cost of production, fixing something in post is not a way to save money, but rather a way to spend more of it.

And, before you say "well fix it in post," always consider who's doing the work, especially if you're the one doing the editing.


Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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David Johnson
Re: Scene Relighting
on Dec 15, 2009 at 10:59:37 pm

Hey Dave, Could you put your "stock answer #2" on a big ole billboard that's viewable through every window in my building for all the YouTube-schooled genius Account "Executives" who insist shooting video is just a matter of turning on a light switch and pointing a camera at something ... then, are upset when their budgets are blown because the editor spent hours correcting the shots in post for 3 times what it would've cost to just shoot them right? Hmmm, do I sound bitter? ;~)


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Scene Relighting
on Dec 15, 2009 at 11:05:54 pm

Feel free to copy it and print it up if you wish.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, yes? Apparently, the guys in your building know just enough to be dangerous. I feel your pain.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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David Johnson
Re: Scene Relighting
on Dec 16, 2009 at 4:02:18 am

Thank your for granting usage rights, sir ... you're a gentleman and a scholar. And, I have an idea for you ... a series of fix-it-in-post t-shirts ... one has an image of a shooter with the lens cap on his camera and one of the 'dangerous' types standing next to him saying "just fix it in post" ... on the other side of each one is "Dave LaRonde's Stock Answer #2" ... they'll go like hotcakes!

But, ugh ... sometimes I wish I could delete my posts ... especially those from when I've just left meetings with the 'dangerous' types. I know random rants aren't good in a public forum, but sometimes ranting to others who understand is the only thing that keeps me sane! lol


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Scene Relighting
on Dec 16, 2009 at 4:36:38 am

There was a film I worked on where I kept getting called upon to fix stupid things in post.

The crew eventually made me a t-shirt. The front said, "We'll fix it in post." And the back had a picture of me wielding a gun saying, "I'll fix YOU in post!"


- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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david bogie
Re: Scene Relighting
on Dec 15, 2009 at 7:35:57 pm

visit CHRISH DESIGN (find it yourself).

Our most recent course for lynda.com is Lighting Effects in Post, created for After Effects, Motion, and Final Cut Pro. These are detailed walkthroughs of one of our favorite techniques: using footage of abstract, animated patterns and lights with blending modes to add excitement to other clips. In this course, we spent a lot of time explaining our mental process of why we would choose one lighting clip over another to complement specific shots, plus showed ways to modify the lighting clips to make them even more suitable for the underlying shot.

bogiesan



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Ryan Zernec
Re: Scene Relighting
on Dec 16, 2009 at 10:41:14 pm

Thanks for the advice, guys.

Contrary to popular belief, I DO realize that this should have been shot differently and I DO know how hard/time-consuming rotoscoping is. I looked at my footage, realized that's what I would probably have to do, and decided to check with you fine gents to see if there was a simpler way that I didn't know about. The lecture on production planning was not necessary. No one, myself included, ever said "we'll fix it in post". Doing things this way was a last minute idea... the guys in the scene were originally supposed to be listening to a speaker-phone, Charlie's Angel's style, hence the lack of practical lighting effect. And due to the nature of this project (and the poor communication in my production department) there is not time to reshoot things. I wish there were. But as it is, the project is looking better than I'd thought, and since I dread rotoscoping I think I'll stick with what I've got. No one watching this will notice the lighting anyway, it was more to satisfy my own personal vanity and perfectionism.

Thanks guys!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Scene Relighting
on Dec 17, 2009 at 3:42:16 pm

[Ryan Zernec] "I looked at my footage, realized that's what I would probably have to do, and decided to check with you fine gents to see if there was a simpler way that I didn't know about. The lecture on production planning was not necessary"

Oh, quit whining.

It's a sad fact of life around this forum that we get all too many clueless high schoolers who consider AE as the software equivalent of a magic wand. So we give 'em lectures. For all we knew about your situation, you could have been another one.

If you knew you had a house fire on your hands, you should have said so in the first place. We've all been there ourselves, and we would have indeed spared the lectures.

Forthrightness is a virtue, not an impediment.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Ryan Zernec
Re: Scene Relighting
on Dec 17, 2009 at 9:00:21 pm

Not whining, sir. Just explaining my situation. I even thought my reply was pretty good-natured, considering. I apologize if I offended, it was just an honest question.



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