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Lighting reflections

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Alan BalchLighting reflections
by on Mar 26, 2015 at 4:42:06 pm

This isn't specifically related to Premiere, but you all have given me a boat load of advice in the past and I continue to get a lot of mileage out of the assistance I get on this site so here goes.

By looking at my posted picture, you probably already know what my question is.

Is there a way to shoot my interviews so my lights are not reflected in my subjects glasses?
Furthermore in this case, is there a way to remove said reflection in post?

Thanks!



Alan Balch
• • • • • • •
Videographer/Carle Foundation Hosptial
alan.balch@carle.com


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David Roth WeissRe: Lighting reflections
by on Mar 26, 2015 at 5:56:17 pm

Short answer is, even an expert would have a very tough time, and you, having asked the question are clearly not at that level, and you would never be able to get even close to making the fix unobtrusive. You have way too many hurdles to overcome: she's moving, her eyes invariably blink, etc, etc, etc.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Kent BeesonRe: Lighting reflections
by on Mar 26, 2015 at 6:04:18 pm
Last Edited By Kent Beeson on Mar 26, 2015 at 6:04:51 pm

On future shoots, try setting the lights much higher above talent and a little bit further away - aim them down at a 45 degree angle


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Ht DavisRe: Lighting reflections
by on Mar 26, 2015 at 10:38:08 pm

In post, you would duplicate the video, adjust the contrast until that reflection is almost completely faded, and then paint in proper color in that area using AE and rotoscope the adjustment to move along the whole video. Then you would add the fix into your original by using an overlay mask, and applying it only to the affected area (again rotoscope for the mask). That's the only way I can see. To replace with proper values, you should be able to use photoshop techniques to blend a few pixels on a mask in your dupe video. If you do it correctly, you can probably just do it to a mask in your main comp and rotoscope. Again, this is something you hope you never need, but when you do, you hope it only happens once, and when it happens twice, you're glad you put in some time to figure it out the first time...

The others had great suggestions for dropping the reflections. Try keeping the lights off to the side far enough so you aren't standing right in their reflection path.
Example:
If you had two main lights, one on either side, each one on the reflection path of the other, with the beams crossing, then you would want to be behind the area where the beams cross one another. Because the beams would get wider moving toward the subject (the person you're shooting), moving the lights farther away widens the beam, and, as less of the available beam hits the subject in comparison to the background will result in softer light, and less reflection. Higher lights also fixes this, as the light reflects in all directions but scatters. This will soften going down the subject, but adds sharper highlights on hair and facial structure (wrinkles etc). Moving cameras a little higher and farther at the same time will fix reflections most effectively.


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Joe Barta IVRe: Lighting reflections
by on Mar 26, 2015 at 9:17:35 pm

When you have the camera and interview chair set up, sit in the chair, point both arms forward toward the camera lens. Then move both arms horizontally 45 degrees, left to the left and right to the right, then up 45 degrees. This is the starting angles and positions for your lights.

For most people's glasses that should be enough to keep the reflections of the lights out of the way or at least away from their eyes. Raise the lights up a bit to fine tune them. If the subject moves their head all around when they talk you will still get some reflection, but reflections are part of the natural world. If their glasses have lenses that are rounded on the front side, you'll have a tougher time.

Also, for a more pleasing shot, make the light that is hitting the subjects cheek that is closest to the camera 1/3 to 1/2 as bright as the other. This will add some "modeling" to the face and it won't look as flat.

Bonus tip: Your green screen looks very good. If you are using a muslin/cotton cloth background get a bottle of Downey Wrinkle Remover. Spray it on the minor wrinkles you have, smooth it with your hand and pull the cloth tight, it will come out flat as a board. It makes your set smell nice too.

Joe

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Alan BalchRe: Lighting reflections
by on Mar 26, 2015 at 9:48:55 pm

Joe,
Thanks so much for your advice.
I hadn't thought about using my arms as a way to direct my lights. I can dim my fill light by turning it around so less light bounces on the subject. That will probably help add some "modeling" to my subjects.

As far as my green screen, it's a cotton sheet. it's very helpful to hear you say that it looks good. I tried several different light styles before saying "Hell with it, as long as it keys cleanly I don't care!" :-)

I'll take your advice about the Downey wrinkle remover. My green screen is in an old operating room at the hospital I work at so making it smell less sterile is a good thing!

Alan Balch
• • • • • • •
Videographer/Carle Foundation Hosptial
alan.balch@carle.com


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David Roth WeissRe: Lighting reflections
by on Mar 26, 2015 at 10:25:10 pm

Nice tips Joe, and easy to remember your methodology for achieving 45-degree light positioning. I'll credit you when teaching it to students.

BTW, I've never seen nor heard of wrinkle remover, other than for faces that is, but I'm gonna look in the Downy section next time I go to the market. Too bad it doesn't work on faces... :)

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Joe Barta IVRe: Lighting reflections
by on Mar 27, 2015 at 1:30:41 pm

It is a shame the wrinkle remover doesn't work on humans, but it will make them smell better if you can sneak in a spritz.

I don't remember where I had heard of the wrinkle remover idea, but it has sure saved my traveling green-screen show. I stuff a 12x12 green muslin into a small bag for productions on the road. When I get to the location it is the first thing I set up. The cloth looks a relief map of the Rockies at first. I spray it all over. Pull the sides tight and add some weight to the bottom to pull the whole cloth taut. After about 15 minutes it is remarkably flat with only a few spots to spray a second time. It doesn't work on synthetic or foam backed chroma-screens.

Thanks for the in-class credit David, it's always good to share what we know.

Joe

Living the SuiteLife!
Stuff for editors http://www.cafepress.com/suitelife

http://www.facebook.com/pages/SuiteLife/1524456414462851?ref=hl


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walter biscardiRe: Lighting reflections
by on Mar 28, 2015 at 5:56:53 pm

Alan as others have noted, definitely raise the lights a touch.

In the future, have the subject tilt their eyeglasses down just a touch. Sometimes you have to put a little piece of tape or paper behind the ears to lift the back of the frames up just a touch. That slight downward angle can buy you a lot of non-reflective room during the shoot. I learned that trick from an amazing DP.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
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Biscardi Creative Media

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Alan BalchRe: Lighting reflections
by on Mar 30, 2015 at 2:33:27 pm

Thanks for the helpful tip, Walter.
I hadn't thought of putting tape behind the glasses before. I had another shoot Friday and raising the lights helped tremendously.

Alan Balch
• • • • • • •
Videographer/Carle Foundation Hosptial
alan.balch@carle.com


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