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Green and White Room

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garth plummer
Green and White Room
on Dec 30, 2013 at 12:07:17 am


Im plan on building a 30 x 30 x 15 greenscreen and a 30 x 30 x 15 white room with cyclorama wall. I planned on installing a lighting grid. I wanted to know if anyone has any suggestion on how i should setup the lighting and what lights i should use.

Do you think Metal Halide 400 watts will work? Six of the over each room?

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john sharaf
Re: Green and White Room
on Dec 30, 2013 at 1:23:37 am

Hi Garth,

Do you intend to grow pot or vegetables on your two stages? If so Metal Halide is an excellent choice. If however you want to do photography I'd suggest there are much better technologies.

As you can see from the chart below (thank you Wikipedia):

Standard "Hylux" Color Corrected
Metal Halide Metal Halide White HPS
4000K 5500K 2300K
CRI - 65 CRI - 90 CRI - 90
White is White is White is
White Bluish-green Yellow

The so called "color corrected" metal halide lights at best burn at 2300K, so that if you were to use proper tungsten movie lights to light the foreground, the backgrounds would be either ye;;or (for the white set) or warm green for the chroma set; neither of which is a pleasing situation.

If you're thinking of lighting the foreground and the background with metal halide, you'll find yourself in the realm of having to jury rig or manufacture your own lighting instruments, which will most certainly be inferior to commercially available units.

I can only surmise that your intention in this thought process is to save money, but you must consider that whatever professional lighting equipment you rent, lease or purchase will be amortized over time by the budgets of the projects you produce. Lighting equipment, especially the sort that never leaves the studio can last for decades.

The considerations you must make therefore are; efficiency (low power consumption, as the electric bill can be higher than the cost of the lights), long globe life, cool burning (to minimize heat that would make your talent sweat and require expensive air conditioning) and units that are designed for the purpose you intend (flood, wash, keylight, backlight, etc).

Right now we are in the midst of the LED Renaissance where there are now many choices from diverse manufacturers. The things to consider are "high CRI", lamp design and price. My favorite units these days are those made by CINEO, namely their "TruColors" which have a unique design whereby the color correction to the LED's is made by a "transfer panel" in front of the light. This way the color doesn't change over time or even during an extended shoot as many other LED lights do that have the correction painted on the globe.

I would also recommend Kino Flo, especially to light the background walls, as these units are cool, cheap to run and the globes last a long time. They are typically used in this situation.

Another good choice is the Mole Richardson Space Lights.

Going full circle, your selection will undoubtedly be determined by cost, so you have to determine that intelligently; don't just pull a number out of the thin air. Figure how many lights you'll need in various scenarios and go from there.

If you need help, the best idea is to hire a Lighting Director or Gaffer for a consultation. who's familiar with these types of sets and let them plot the grid. They'll likely do this for very little money (a half day's pay?) or sometimes the lighting sales vendor might offer to do this if you can convince them you're for real.

I'm sure other will chime in with similar suggestions, so good luck with your project!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Green and White Room
on Dec 30, 2013 at 1:56:56 am

Fluorescent tubes are ideal for lighting green screens, as they are flat. diffuse sources, run cool and don't use as much power as tungstens. Kins are popular, but Videssence are cheaper and IMO work as well. Even cheaper is to go with industrial flo lights and a little DIY work. If you buy cheaper tubes and they have a green "spike" in their output, well, IMO it's not going to hurt the chroma green wall very much. The important thing to remember is to light the green completely separate from the actors. The Actor's lighting should have high color fidelity.

I'm not convinced that LED lights for green screens have reached the point where their output is worth their cost. As part of the subject lighting, I think they have a place, particularly for the ability to change colors without gelling.

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Dennis Size
Re: Green and White Room
on Dec 30, 2013 at 4:00:36 am

I LOVE cineos too John. What a great fixture, with an excellent quality of light. I doubt if Garth will ever want to spend that kind of money however.

GARTH: Why 2 rooms? Why not properly outfit one space with a white cyc and the best equipment your budget will allow? Are you aware of what the grid and power installation for two different rooms will cost you? You can easily mount greenscreen material at the top of the white cyc and pull it down when you need it. The lighting can remain the same.

P.S. Metal Halide fixtures are defintely the wrong way to go.

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garth plummer
Re: Green and White Room
on Dec 31, 2013 at 2:48:26 pm

Let me explain a little more. This is a 10,000 sq ft warehouse that i will be building these rooms. Client will be able to rent either the white or the green room simultaneously. I was thing of having fixed light in each room and we can still add addition hanging light on the grid if clients need more lights for project. I see everyone is say use the kino flo lights. I was looking at the kino flo light and if i put 8 300w that would be $6,000 per room. Do you think 8 of them will adequately light 30x30x15 room?

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