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How to make an Infinite White Background Cheap....

composite1's picture
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From the Matrix's 'Construct' to Auto Trader's 'Virtural Dealership' to those weenie Mac commercials, the Infinite white background signifies an expensive and professionally made film/video production. Now you too for a fraction of what it would cost the pros can make your own Infinite White Background. Check out this video from Videopia to see how.

Lighting Infinite White from Videopia on Vimeo.



Luis Maymi's picture
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Joined: 09/26/2008 - 4:58am
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Nice video. This can also be done with greenscreen by chroma keying and then adding a White Solid. Of course, it does not look as amazing as the one presented in the video, but is a quick and cheap way to do it if you already own a greenscreen. The problem with this method is lighting the talent without over lighting the greenscreen and of course the keying process.

-

"The meaning of a movie are the characters, the life of the movie is the music, but the magic is in the editing" –  http://www.lomaymi.com


birdcat's picture
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Eric is awesome (he's a really nice guy too!) - I have all of his vids on DVD from when he was at Digital Juice (DJTV - Actually I have all of DJTV). His new website - Videopia - is one of my regular sources of information.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com



composite1's picture
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Yeah, the 'Telly' bit was over the top. I like many working pros have been invited to submit work to the contest. I just couldn't get past the idea of having to 'pay $150 for the trophy' if I won.

Grinner, please elaborate on your remarks. It's obvious that you disapprove of the video I would like more info as to why.

Other than that, I thought for the amount spent and the availability of the components the info will be very helpful to intermediate to pro videographers looking to getting similar work done without the pro cost.

Sarge, you're right. Greenscreen is a more likely way to do it if you have the means available. The beauty of this setup is it works just as well for other colored backgrounds including green if the shooter doesn't have a portable setup.

Birdcat, yeah he's not a bad source of info though I am 'irked' with him as he 'punked' out with his version of 'Mac vs PC' video. On the one hand, he had finally said the words that needed to be said but to paraphrase Grinner, his lame attempt at humor killed the overall message.

The most valuable item I got from the video was the construction of the pvc light stand. I went out and priced the parts and can build one with variable sizes for less than $60. I've also used those aluminum clamp lights as fills for greenscreen work. Eric mentioned doing your homework when buying compact flourescent bulbs (CFB's) and he's dead on. I use them exclusively in kit lights and they are great because they through out less heat than standard tungsten bulbs. However, though they come in standard and daylight intensities be advised that standard CFB's are about 1000K (Kelvin) less than a traditional 3200K bulb. Daylight CFB's average 1000K+ more than a traditional 5000K bulb and instead of having a 'reddish' tint they have a harsh blue tint. Believe it or not, both types of bulbs work well long as you understand the limitations and expose for them properly.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


grinner's picture
Last seen: 6 years 8 months ago
Joined: 12/29/2007 - 2:56am

Well, instead of just explaining how to make a cheap cyc (lenolium hung with two c-stands works great) the dude babbled on and on, making the viewer skip to the meat. Throughout that there were elemts from spots that not only didn't add anything to the piece... they pointed out how bad the lighting on the trainer was. It was a matter of bouncing a little more white from the left in this case.

A purcahsed trophy set it up appropriatly. I'd consider this an example of what not to do from start to finish.


composite1's picture
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Grinner,

Yeah, I caught that. There was an inconsistency between the full-length and close-up shots when it came to lighting. As for the 'babbling', I guess it makes it more 'palatable' for the newb's watching. I still think the info was good though. Just so the newb's know, a good 'C' stand starts at $100+ each. So if you're working on the cheap, the PVC setup is good and more modular. I did a test with those clamp lights used in the video and because of the weight of the light fixture and bulb, you'll need something to add grip to the clamp so it won't tilt down on it's own.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


Videopia's picture
Last seen: 5 years 3 months ago
Joined: 06/07/2009 - 11:02pm

Woah, kinda harsh there Mr. Hester, dontcha think?! I'll take the shot on the Telly, but the rest? Really?

(1) "piracy of elements" all clear on Fair Use (the clips are used as
illustration or example). You can read up on copyright and Fair Use
here: Fair Use in the Digital Age
(2) Horrible lighting? That bad? I wouldn't call it genius LD, but I don't
think it's horrible for a guy lighting and shooting himself, with a
consumer camcorder on a strict budget, in his one car garage.
(3) "Babbled on" maybe you' ve got a point there, but I covered a lot of ground in 4:37 seconds, no?
(4) I like your idea of hanging an 8x12 foot piece of linoleum. You were
thinking 8x12, right? I realize you don't want to babble on and on, but
your post was short on details.
(5) I don' t like your idea of using 2 c-stands. Cha-ching: minimum of $200 there. Add in the $60
sheet of linoleum and you' ve already exceeded my total budget for this
project. And you haven't purchased paint or even a single light yet. I
guarantee my "horrible lighting" will be infinitely better than your 2
c-stands + linoleum solution in your dark garage.
(6) "I'd consider this an example of what not to do from start to finish."
Again, wow, harsh. So what would you do, from start to finish, on a
$250 budget, starting from scratch? Keep in mind we'll be shooting with
a consumer camcorder and, since the Videopia total budget from Camera
to Computer is $5,000, we won't be editing on a dualie Mac Pro with
After Effects + Keylight. The studio space is also dual use, not
dedicated either and you are going to be standing a meter or so away from the back wall.

Oh, and you have 4:37 seconds. Ready? GO!

Seriously though, thanks for some of your genuinely useful criticism (esp. the
lighting tip "...bouncing a little more white from the left in this
case."). And I cringe at the Telly thing too, but I really struggle
with self-marketing and thought this might be good for my brand a good
for getting clients, most of whom are not in the industry. Meh, I guess
it'd be a little like if I claimed to be "...the most unique,
cost-effective one-man-band production company in the nation." which
would surely be an unfounded bit of marketing exaggeration, even though
my rates are very low, certainly less that $175/hr.

Eric


birdcat's picture
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DEF - Good to see ya!

I know it's a bit odd but I think I've seen too many of your tutorials - I now hear your voice when I read your words.... Scary, ain't it?

BTW - Like the new beard... Makes you look professorish.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


composite1's picture
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Eric,

I want to echo Derek in welcoming you aboard. Hope you found the post in the spirit of what you put out. Don't mind Herr Hester. He's our resident "DA" (Devils' Advocate) and his comments generally help flush out those who haven't put much though into their work (which you obviously did.)

In fact, I've been researching how to put together a kit based upon yours and a few other setups. Thanks for posting your videos as I have commented on several others besides this one.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


Videopia's picture
Last seen: 5 years 3 months ago
Joined: 06/07/2009 - 11:02pm

Hehe, thanks and no worries: I have thick Internet-proof skin and can take it...and dish it (although I'll be polite here, I promise!). Plus, Mr. Hester DID have some very valid criticisms too, which I genuinely appreciated. Time to step up my game!

p.s., Derek, I want my job back.


Ryan Duncan's picture
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 03/24/2010 - 6:42am
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Loved the video and found it very informative. Keep doing what you're doing because for every hater out there, there are another 50 people taking down notes and implementing your instruction. I'm all for constructivecriticism, but it's all about the delivery. Plus criticism on any level is much more effective accomplished with proper grammar and spelling.

Now onto something more productive. I was curious if using a couple white sheets would work as well as paint orlinoleum? Anybody who has info on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks


composite1's picture
Last seen: 5 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
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Wow this is an old one.

Glad you found it useful. As for your 'white sheets of paper', yes you could but you'll have to disguise the seam well. Then there's the fragility of paper to contend with so your talent would have to tread lightly.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


Yvon Robert's picture
Last seen: 1 year 2 months ago
Joined: 10/17/2010 - 1:35am

How to create a good white background ?

Buy a roll white paper backgroundor white cloth (muslin) this cost about$60

For lamp use swirl neon lamp Philipps (Daylight or Bright light). = 5000K write on the box.

Make soft box cardboard box 2 x 6 containing up to 10 sockets each box that means 10 lamps (you can control number of light)

Place a diffuser like a very thin white paper or frosted plastic or cloth very thin just to diffuse the light.

See on the web video how to build soft box some guy show big rectangular box much better than small reflector.

Naturally if you have money the solution is to buy a complete set up but you can acheive same result yourself for about 30% or less. Remember that one day you need to buy everything because customer seeing you home made studio an not trust this, in my case I obtain better result with my hand made studio than the Big KIt from video supplier.

Regards,

YR


Ryan Duncan's picture
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Joined: 03/24/2010 - 6:42am
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Just wanted to update a comment after I completed a shoot implementing infinite white. So I opted out of painting a wall due to time constraints and instead paid $10 on two 10 packs of white poster board that I purchased from a craft store and taped together using duct tape (white duct tape, but mute point because I taped the back only). I also purchased some of the clamp lights that the tutorial spoke about, but found that a couple well placed $16, 500watt flood lights from the hardware store did a fantastic job for blowing out the back wall. I was amazed on how well the background looked. Makes me want to do more shoots on the screen. Thanks for the tutorial b/c you gave me a guidance and most of all a well placed starting point. Love this site and appreciate all the users who keep it going.



Anonymous (not verified)

This is a great post! Thanks for this, I've been meaning to make a parody of the Apple commercials for a while now and this will show me how to do it cheaply! Thanks!


Joshua Knight's picture
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/17/2012 - 9:01am

the whole, bad lighting comment, really? do yourself a favor grimmer and buy a DSLR, and stop using outdated HDV cameras, what you will realize is that the light capabilites of new cameras are amazing, and that you wont even need expensive lights in any situation, simply because with a large image sensor will save you tons you would only need three point lighting in situation where it is very low light and you want the subject very well lit


Jennifer O'Rourke's picture
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Eric knows his stuff, no doubt about that!  Besides the awesome DJ work he did, he used to be Videomaker's technical editor [as did Derek Sine, who also is piping in on this post - It's like a family reunion!]  Love Videopia.

Managing Editor jorourke@videomaker.com VM Customer Support: 1-800-284-3226


Charles Thompson's picture
Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 12/04/2011 - 3:12am
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If you use paper, you can pick up a roll of 107" seamless white for about $50 USD on eBay.

 

What I did in my photography studio for the floor was to purchase 2 4x8 sheets of white tileboard (like you put on the walls in your bathroom) and overlap them on the floor so that the edges were pointed toward the backdrop.

 

Tileboard is about $12 USD/sheet at Lowe's or Home Depot.