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Match white balance between an on-camera screen and the subject/lighting?

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Adam Leonard
Match white balance between an on-camera screen and the subject/lighting?
on May 29, 2019 at 8:45:00 pm
Last Edited By Adam Leonard on May 29, 2019 at 8:49:12 pm

So I'm still working on the studio from the previous post. We've just now introduced a large touch-screen monitor that professors will be using (not at the same time as the lightboard). The problem is that the lighting from the touchscreen monitor needs a radically different white balance than the subject, who is lit by the studio lights.

When I ran a bunch of tests, the monitor had a dark gray image displayed on it that was mirrored from a laptop. Setting the white balance to favor the subject holding a card made that background dark blue. Setting it based on a white image on the screen makes the subjects deep orange. The best result from manually adjusting the WB to something in between the two gave us slightly orange people and a bluish-gray screen background. We're hoping to get something more professional than that.

We have halogen bulbs and this model of TV. We know that working it out has to be possible, because people on TV news do it all the time. We tried changing the monitor settings, but it turns out that the monitor isn't very customizable, and in fact can only cycle through four or five preset settings. We're starting to dip into the ocean that is attempting to change it by changing the color settings or the Windows 8 laptop that it's projecting from.

So, what's the secret to getting the whitebalance to work in this situation? Thanks.


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Todd Terry
Re: Match white balance between an on-camera screen and the subject/lighting?
on May 29, 2019 at 9:07:58 pm

Well one "secret" is simply to use daylight-balanced lighting in the studio (56K LEDs, HMIs, daylight balanced flos, etc.), but since you have existing studio lights I'm sure you don't want to go down that (expensive) road.

My next suggestion was going to be to tweak your monitor settings... I know a couple of the TVs in my house have picture profiles that include "warm" settings. Sounds like you have already tried that.

The next suggestion would be to put color correcting gel over the monitor. You're right that you see "correct" looking monitors on the news all the time. I can't speak for the others here in town, but one of the stations here does just that, basically has orange gel over their on-set monitors. It looks gawd-awful terrible in person, but to the camera it looks right.

The gel you are looking for with be orange, known as CTO... and it's specifically for turning daylight sources into tungsten-balanced sources. You may not need full CTO, that might be way too much. It might be that half or quarter CTO is enough, or more than enough.

You could try tweaking the laptop output, but I wouldn't be overly optimistic about that.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Todd Terry
Re: Match white balance between an on-camera screen and the subject/lighting?
on May 29, 2019 at 9:13:20 pm

Oh, the other thing you could do it gel your lighting instruments, rather than gelling the monitor. In this case you'd do the opposite of my previous suggestion... rather than turning your daylight monitor into a tungsten profile, you'd be turning your tungsten lighting into daylight.

So rather than gelling the monitor orange, you'd basically be gelling your instruments blue. The gel you'd need in this case would be CTB.

But I generally advise against this, because you'd probably need at least half CTB to get decent balanced results... and that greatly greatly greatly reduces the output from your lighting instruments.

It is another option, though.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Adam Leonard
Re: Match white balance between an on-camera screen and the subject/lighting?
on May 30, 2019 at 7:04:52 pm

Thanks for the answers so far. The same coworker who accidentally stumbled upon the "just adjust the polarizing filter" solution to the glare problem in the previous thread found a YouTube video that recommended the free program f.lux for adjusting the colors/whitebalance of the original computer monitor. Then the big monitor screen had the right white balance, but was too bright. I fixed this by putting th emonitor on "eco" mode, which makes it a lot less bright.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Match white balance between an on-camera screen and the subject/lighting?
on Jul 24, 2019 at 9:07:19 pm

There's also tricking the camera by exposing a white card with a tint on it. A cheap way to test this is to raid the paint department at the home center for a variety of color sample chips and try balancing on those. But really you've already heard the best suggestions.


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