Shooting monologue against ‘black’

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    • #37682
      Avatar210pe
      Participant

      For the past several years one of the things I have shot (as a hobbyist) are graduating teenagers saying a few ‘thank yous’ to their parents. I have shot on a green screen for several years now and had great success but want to change it up. I have seen interviews with a totally dark background, and with thecorrect lighting the person speaking is really separated from the background and it gives a nice clean look – especially for something that can be moving like this.

      What is a good material for the background. I do not have a proper studio to use. Something just painted black? A black cloth? Normal 3-point lighting? How far should the subject be from the background? Any pointers at all would be great. I am new here and appreciate all the good info but couldn’t find anything searching.

    • #167021
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Travis,

      Everything that looks black, isn’t necessarily. Your choices for ‘black’ background material are vast. Whether it’s cloth, paper, plastic, metal, wood or paint each material will have unique texture and light absorbing qualities that will be affected by light differently. It’s really going to depend on the look you want because one size won’t fit every instance of shooting.

      The two primary light absorption or reflective qualities materials will have are matte and gloss. Now there are near infinite degrees of matte and gloss (like velvet and chrome for example) not to mention the many shades of black from charcoal gray to starfield. So you’ll just have to sample different textures of black materials and try different lighting setups to get the effect you’re looking for.

      Just remember that the greater level of ‘matte’ the more light it will absorb and the ‘deeper’ it will look. The greater amount of ‘gloss’ and the more reflective it will be.

    • #167022
      AvatarD0n
      Participant

      anything will look black if it is four or more stops darker than your subject…

      what you want to do is try something less reflective, I have a velvety polar fleece blanket that works perfect… put it on a stand then use a seperation light to light the back of your subject and make sure the main light on your subject is bright enough to push the ambient light on the back drop to pure black… think light ratios how bright is my subject, how much light is on my background, and is any light from the front spilling onto the background..

      Even a seemless white backdrop can be made to look black if you can control light levels and lightspill to keep it unlit.

    • #167023
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      ?I do not have any first hand experience with this product, but I think I remember somebody recommending it in the forum somewhere, for use as a backdrop.

      http://www.filmtools.com/blve58x24.html

      Product Description:

      Black Vinyl backed Velour, known as Tuff-lock or Tough Lock.?Measures 58″ x 24′. Unlike Duvetyne, our black velvet like velour is designed to be seen by the camera, unlike Duvetyne. It’s an economical product for the use of blocking light in non -heat critical situations. In other words, do not use this product as you would black wrap, or where you are not utilizing the flame retardant qualities of Duvetyne.

      The velour surface absorbs light and the camera will record a rich pure-black image. Great for shooting jewelry or other highly reflective objects.

      This product in not fire retardant. Ships as “oversize 1” so the shipping costs are slightly higher than regular sized products. Weighs 6 pounds.

    • #167024
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Hog,

      Pay for an ad.

    • #167025
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      composite…

      Don’t know why I’d pay for an ad…. I’m not affiliated in any way with that product, website or sell anything for that matter. Just giving what I thought would be helpful advice on something I remembered someone else posting somewhere, with a similar question. As formy post itself, I guess it sorta looks like I’m pushing the product because of the description and all(?), but really I just copied/pasted the info from thefilmtools website.

      BTW, I’m just a hobbiest videographer and lurk in this web forum mainly without posting much unless I see something that interests me. I find most information here helpful and thought I’d start participating more. Your comments and assumptionsmake me want to participate less….: (

    • #167026
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      …So I did a serach in the videomaker forums and couldn’t findthe postrecommending the TuffLok backdrop from film tools, but realized it wasn’t here that I read it, rather in the sony forums here…http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/forums/ShowMessage.asp?MessageID=683865&Replies=23(4th post down) and I if I could figure out how to edit my previous post& removethe product description, I would.

    • #167027
      Avatar210pe
      Participant

      composite1, D0n and, HOGWILD, thanks for the info. I knew there was a way to make things look darker as i saw a tutorial on some web site where the guy said he used brown but the way he lit it made it look completely black on the video. I will experiment with a dark matte surface (maybe a fleece, thanks D0n). I know lighting is where I am weakest. I would love to go watch someone else set up and shoot with studio lighting since most of what I have had to do is shoot with bounce cards or no help only. – Thanks again.

    • #167028
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      Hog,

      You’re initial post comes off quite suspcious. There are dozens of posters every month who pretend to be members but are just pitching product. You say you’re not affiliated with the company, but there’s no guarantee that you aren’t. I didn’t remove your post on the odd chance one of the other moderators might have figured you weren’t pitching.

    • #167029
      Avatarcomposite1
      Member

      210pe,

      Glad we were of assistance to you. Since you’re weak in the area of lighting, check out the VM video archives for tips on lighting. Another good training source is Victor Milt’s ‘Light It Right’ DVD. Good luck with your projects.

    • #167030
      Avatarfaqvideo
      Participant

      I’d check for the background paper in the local photography store. Better yet, buy it with the rack. To separate your subject from the background you would need a “rim” light(s). It is not a necessity for the green screen, but will definitely “unglue” your subject from the BG.

    • #167031
      AvatarChrisAthey
      Participant

      VM March 2008 issue has an article on this topic … here’s an excerpt:

      “When you set your lights up, place them 60 degrees above your subject and make sure that no light spills on the background. This is called cameo lighting. Close the iris on your camera, so that the skin tones on your talent’s face are natural. Use an extra monitor to check your shot. You should end up with a well-lit face and nothing in the background but black. Even in a white walled room! To your eye, the room will seem bright, but, to the camera set to the right exposure for your talent’s skin tones, the background will disappear! Ahhh, the power of the f-stop.”

      The two key pointshere are the f-stop setting and to make sure you are able to keep light from spilling onto the background – I use barn doors and have even set up pieces of cardboard, etc. for other erroneous lights sources that may be spilling.

      I have used this technique with great results – and you do not need a background to pull this off. However, I do have the luxury of having ablack muslin – which I use – and itensures my background will be totally black. You don’t need the muslin for this to work …

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