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Determine how many lights are needed (4 replies and 2 comments)

JackJames
2 weeks ago
JackJames 2 weeks ago

Hello Roger & the forum,

When starting out how would you know how many lights where needed for a particular lighting plan / scene to get your desired shooting stop. I see some of your lighting plans & I always question how you know how many lamps are needed especially when some scenes are listed with a considerable amount of lights.

Is there a way to calculate what levels you will get with multiple lamps before you've set them up?

or is this just something that comes with time & practice?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

 

 

Roger Deakins
2 weeks ago
Roger Deakins 2 weeks ago

Time and practice are important. There are photometric charts for every lamp that can help but I would only use them as a guide.

punkduck66
4 days ago

For scenes such as the burning church in 1917 where I have read that you used 2000 1K lights, how do you calculate such huge numbers? Thanks 🙂

dmullenasc
2 weeks ago
dmullenasc 2 weeks ago

When in doubt, aim for more than you need, it's easy to add a double scrim or dim them, harder to deal with if you come up short and have to shoot every scene near wide-open.

Asigadak
2 weeks ago
Asigadak 2 weeks ago

You can use foot candles to give yourself a rough idea.

FC = foot candles

ISO 100, 180 shutter, 24fps, f/2.8 needs 100FC
ISO 200, 180 shutter, 24fps, f/2.8 needs 50FC
ISO 320, 180 shutter, 24fps, f/2.8 needs 40FC
ISO 400, 180 shutter, 24fps, f/2.8 needs 25FC
ISO 800, 180 shutter, 24fps, f/2.8 needs 12.5FC

You can adjust the formula as you need.

If you are shooting on a camera (like a DSLR) that does not allow you to set a shutter angle of 180 degrees, you should set an exposure time (shutter speed) of 1/48 or 1/50 if that is your only option (assuming you will shoot 24fps).

You can adjust the formula as you need.

Roger Deakins
3 days ago
Roger Deakins 3 days ago

I had done a number of similar rigs to the one in '1917', though nothing quite that large. I needed the whole lighting unit to be the size of the fire it represented. Then I calculated where I needed to concentrate light on certain sections of the set, where I knew specific actions were going to happen. So, it was like lighting five 'shots', deciding on the numbers of Dinos and Maxis I needed for those and then filling in the rest of the rig with smaller lamps so that it felt like one continuous fire source. 

punkduck66
3 days ago

Thank you 🙂

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