Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Miscellaneous Techniques › Trying to get my lighitng right?
- December 10, 2008 at 3:49 PM #37439
I’ve got some problems getting my lighting correct
My lighting equipment:
two each umbrella lights with 4 each 30Watt 5500K flourescent lamps 125-150watt equivalent
One each mini-boom light with 1 each 30 watt 5400K flourescent lamp 200watt equivalent
Five each clamp lights with 32 watt flourescent lamp 6500K 125 watt equivalent
I bought the clamp lights Lowe’s and the lamps at a specialy lighting store.
MyCamera Sony HDR-SR12 HD quality consumer camcorder
I have spent several weeks experimenting with lighting and all of yesterday.
Getting lighting correct does have some quirks that experience teaches I am sure of it. LOL
My best arrangement so far has been 2 clamp lightsfacing the greenscreen. (Chest high)
I’m shootingsternum up at this time.
I place the umbrella lamps on each side of talent about arms length away, just above eye level.
Eachumbrella fixture has 4 each of the flourescent 30watt lamps.
The principal issue I have is lousy skin tones.
If my subject moves back closer to the green screen backgroundskin tones go greyish, and when I move the subject closer to the camera the skintones are orangish. I cannot seem to getgood flesh skin tonesat all.
If you cangive me some tips, pointers, links or anything that will help meresolve this skin tone thing I’ll sure appreciate it.
Heck, I’ll go buy a book if I need to. I could have bought a dozen books for what it has cost me in timedoing the trial and error thing. LOL
I think I understand what you are doing, but have a couple questions…
You are keying out the greenscreen on a shot of your subject that is basically head and shoulders, right?
Does your subject have to move closer to the greenscreen, or can you resize your background, to fake the movement, and keep your subject stationary to the lightsources?
do you have any ambient lightsources that affect your set?
here’s one I use:
have you tried placing one light behind your subject at 45 deg to seperate from the background. (back or kick light)
same two lights on the background (if that’s working for you, keep it). (background light)
one light in front of your subject 45deg, placed diagonally across from the other light. (main light)
one silver or white reflector to fill in the shadows on the subject face (reflect the main light into the shadows) (fill light)
remember to get the main light and fill light as close to the subject as you can, without having them in the shot, any lensflare can be controlled with flags, or gobos between the light and the camera, and a lens hood is invaluable when working in tight spaces….
use a photographic grey card to set exposure and color balance.
Right on the head and shoulders
Subject is pretty well fixed, onlyadvise small movement side to side.
No ambient light sources
The back lightsappear to work well.
The umbrella lamps are placed about like you mention.
I did try a clamp light at low level facing up toward subject, whichremoved some eyeand chin shadows.
The lamps are very close to the subject. I really thought aboutthis when I bought them to use flourescents for cooler operation.
Good point, I think you nailed it with the photographic grey card thing.
The camera doesso many things automatically I just never thought about white balance being an issue.
Since it hasAUTO white balancefunction enabled. The AUTO function is probably more of anoutdoor thing, certainly not a lighted studio thing.
My camera does allow me toset White balancemanually.
I’m not quite sure how to use thegrey card, or just what it does.
I have read where people use what they call “warm and cool cards” to white balance.
Umbrellas are usless for greenscreens, you wanna go with a couple of soft boxes and a barndoor for a back light.
Me i have just 1 professional light and Jerry riged the rest.I use the following for chromokeying and get perfect results no matter where my subject stands.
2 1000 watt work lights http://www.idealtruevalue.com/servlet/the-176893/Detailwith a router speed control to dim the lights http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=43060. I use this to light my green screen. I removed the wire guard and replaced the glass with frosted glass.
To light the subject I hanged a white bed sheet from the celing on either side of my camera and put 2 more of those work lights behind it. I use black sheets on the side to reduce bleed over.
for the back light i use the following http://store02.prostores.com/servlet/tubetape/the-89/QL1000–dsh–1000-WATT/Detailwith barn doors.
Sounds like your not using a back light, you might wanna try that first before you go replacing your lights.
set your controls to manual, and adjust your exposure first, when it looks good, then set your whitebalance, using a sheet of white paper for now. that should get you going.
goto a photo store and ask for a kodak greycard. ($18.00)
to use you point your camera at it (holding it in the light where your subject is/will be) and fill the viewfinder with the greycard and take a manual exposure reading, and lock it, then do a cusom white balance off the card (in the same light) and lock it. you are good to go.
Here is a link to Calumet grey cards.
I’ve never used a grey card, so maybe you could suggest something (inexpensive would help).
Or if you have other suggestion I’m open. I did find some sites on the web that had the warm and cool white balance cards.
They’re expensive, but another couple days of this… I’ll be toast.(burned out) LOL