Reply To: White Balancing with Moving Cameras

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AvatarJackWolcott
Participant

I’ve done this kind of work before and from my experience you have only two choices.
The primary consideration here is why you are shooting this footage. Is it simply a walk-through or does your client want a fully produced architectural presentation. If it’s the latter you’re going to have to treat this like a studio shoot: block out windows and bring in lighting. I’ve never had to do this but I’ve seen it done.

If it’s just a walk-through you have two choices. You can stop in each room and try to white balance. In most instances this is not practical for two reasons: it takes far too long and because you have mixed light sources the white balance is not very good.

Your other choice is to set the camera to auto white balance, which in most high-end cameras works fairly well, and then correct as much as possible in post.

A good way to soften the effect of moving room to room with differing lighting conditions is to create the effect of an in-camera cut: as you move from one room to the next, zoom in on an object that has no pattern — a door or wall — and let it fill the frame. Then zoom out as you enter the new room. Do this smoothly and it looks almost like a dissolve.

The reality here, as my partner often reminds me, is that “it is what it is” and ultimately what you do is dictated by your client’s needs and what they are willing to pay for.

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