Day for Night Critique

Viewing 3 reply threads
  • Author
    • #60472

      I want to do an intro scene to an upcoming outdoor video that's a day for night conversion. I was playing around with a still to try and get the general look down. What do you guys think about this in terms of color, exposure, and overall realism?




    • #207348

      Like you're trying to have a shot that transitions from day to night? Or what? I'm a little confused…

    • #207369

      Looks like you've got the basics right but it looks a bit dark. You might have some trouble seeing what's going on. If it's just an "intro" (I'm not sure what you mean by that; establishing shot?) then it might not be a problem especially if you have sound effects to help set the scene (e.g. owl, crickets), but generally you might want to go a little lighter. Most productions tend to go with a blue tint, meant to represent moonlight, but I think this is more a matter of taste rather than realism. There are two things I've always hated about day for night shots which always gave them away which you might want to consider. 1) Bright lights (fire and headlights especially) always come out looking dim. Possibly fixable in post but a lot of work, more than it's worth. 2) The sky is too bright, it should be black. An easy fix, depending on the editor you're working with. Just pick out that color and replace it with something dark (you might want to do this first before you adjust the shot as a whole). If the border between the trees and the sky comes out less than perfect it shouldn't be noticeable once you darken the whole thing. Hope this was of some help. Good luck.



    • #207373

      @Demetrius, it would be a scene that appears to be shot completely at night, but was actually shot during the day and color graded to look like night to avoid things like video noise.


      @hal9000, Thanks for the feedback. This would be an example of an establishing shot more than anything else. The sequence I'm planning would basically be a sequence of scenes from walking up well before dawn, drinking coffee while checking the weather, leaving the brightly lit city and driving deep into the the wilderness, and then hiking several miles through the rough terrain with a flashlight. Maybe a one minute total duration or so. This would precede the dawn where any actual action would potentially take place.


      I also thougth it looked a bit dark, but wasn't sure where to draw the line between what I'd actually see vs what would look good on video. It's good to get a second opinion. That's interesting that the bright light scenes are a common area of error in your experience. I had thought of putting a car/headlight scene in it. I would make sure to really study it to make sure it's realistic. One thought I had was to actually film the exact same shot at night (with ugly grainy footage) to compare colors and light intensity to, or even just look at it with my eyes and study before adjusting the color grade. I would be working with After Effects, so it is pretty easy to work with layers and masks to adjust the sky separately.

Viewing 3 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Best Products

The best Nikon lenses — 2021

Nikon cameras are a favorite for DSLR shooters. Nikon has their own line of lenses, but there are also some third-party options available for both F mounts and Z mounts. Here are the best Nikon lenses currently available on the...