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How to light silver materials (10 replies and 23 comments)

Vanniyan
2 months ago
Vanniyan 2 months ago

Dear master roger how to light silver kind of materials. We did one commercial film. The concept is divine oriented. There is a silver statue and chain based silver lamp and everything. Here by i have attached one picture. This is the picture what we have shot on. But I have took this snap from my mobile. There is 2kw soft box over top the stautes. Soft box distance from the statue 3 ' and i had put 5kw tungsten light kicker angle. For baground screen i used 5kw open light. There is a polystyrene bounce for frontal fill.that is the way we light this shot.the problem was silver over exposed even when I use soft diffused light. Even when I see through the Alexa optical viewfinder i can see over expose area. You can also see the over expose area in this pictures. It's about commercial. I need not to over expose silver material. Can i apply inverse square law for this situations. I need divine mood at the same time soft beautiful light. How to light this picture. 

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/P_20200213_222448_1-scaled.jpg
Roger Deakins
2 months ago
Roger Deakins 2 months ago

There are so many ways. Your overhead sounds like a plan. What does it look like with just that overhead soft box at a very low level and with the candles actually lighting the shot?

Vanniyan
2 months ago

Master roger We don't want to candles mimicking the shot. Our goal was to achieve soft contrast. We were just create th soft light with little bit contrast.can you give me some ideas. I think I have to apply the light theory you have said "size of the source relative to the subject and the subject size. You are seeing my subject size. What size source i have to use?

Vanniyan
1 month ago

Master roger i have read the light theory "softness is determined by size of the source relative to the subject. I can't understand this sentence relative to the subject. i have placed approximately three and half feet. There is umbrella cloth covered on soft box already. I had another 216 diffusion below the soft box. What size of the light source I have to create for this size of the subject. You have seen already that picture.

The Byre
1 month ago

One way to make silvery material 'pop' is to light it up with primary (RGB) or very singular colours (orange, purple, whatever takes your fancy).

Given your display, I would bring the overall lighting down a good bit to get rid of the burnt-out parts and point some 'birdie' lights with funky colours in them right at the silvery objects. Each object could get three 'birdies' each and each with slightly different over-the-top colours.

It will be all about finesse and balance!

Wouter
2 months ago
Wouter 2 months ago

yeah, try to have your light source as large as possible in relation to your subject. That way the specular highlights will be larger as well as less intense so that they don't locally oversaturate the sensor. I noticed this today on my wax polished shoes: it was overcast and my shoes didn't have much reflection at all! But when the sun shines, it hurts to look at them 🙂 

overhead might work, but keep in mind that if your light is at a large angle in relation to the position of your camera, the intensity of the reflections increases also. 

Since it is silver on a black background, you don't need backlight/toplight to create separation. I would try a very large frontal piece of poly at 45° downward above the camera.  

Having the candles light it could be interesting! The movement of the flames could possibly show up in the reflections! 

Roger Deakins
1 month ago
Roger Deakins 1 month ago

You might study how they light high end car commercials. This is often done with a very large overhead soft box. When I say large I mean large. Think 8 times the size of your subject and then rig it as close as possible to the top of the camera frame.

Vanniyan
1 month ago

Where to study how they light high end car commercials. I am searching through internet. I couldn't find out anything high end car commercials lighting. If anybody knows any link please comment.

Wouter
1 month ago
Vanniyan
1 month ago

Thanks master roger and wouter. I need to know how they light jewellery and gems commercial also. If anyone know good tutorial link please comment. I have seen this car commercial picture. Do you have any idea wouter what type of lamps they are using for create large diffusion.

Wouter
1 month ago

The picture I linked is probably CGI, but it illustrates the principle. They use all sorts of lights for that. But generally I would say daylight HMI or maybe X-lights.

But you could achieve the effect in so many ways. It depends on the situation.

for that particular table in your picture, I would imagine you can get away with a frame of about 2x2m and fill it with a full, white diffusion textile. And above that, you could perhaps rig an overhead skypanel or something similar. The lighter the better, then your boom/stands won't have to be really big. A skypanel would be enough output, you won't need much and you could dim it if needed. Because it would be cool as Roger suggested not to overpower the light from the candles!

David M
1 month ago
Vanniyan
1 month ago
Vanniyan 1 month ago

Master roger if I want to create small shaft of source or 3/4 back light How to do? Should i create the same size large soft source?

Wouter
1 month ago

use a small amount of smoke/haze

if you want parallel beams, use a narrow fresnel, or a profile spot like a source4 and mirrors. You need a lot of distance for the beams to become parallel like. You'll have to test it yourself to figure out what you like.

Mike
1 month ago

Wouter,
Are you saying that you did not write the above. That’s very strange. Perhaps Robert could figure that one out.

Wouter
1 month ago

I did write the above, the fake message is now gone! 

Seems like Robert runs a tight ship! 😉 

Robert Dempsey
1 month ago

We try and run a tight Ship for the members!

Wouter
1 month ago

much appreciated!

dmullenasc
1 month ago
dmullenasc 1 month ago

"Master roger i have read the light theory "softness is determined by size of the source relative to the subject. I can't understand this sentence relative to the subject."

In this drawing I did, the two soft lights are the same size from the perspective of the subject, so they create the same degree of softness on the subject even though the farther one is larger in size -- relative to the subject, the size of the two soft lights are the same.

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2020-02-18-at-10.04.07-AM.png
dmullenasc
1 month ago
dmullenasc 1 month ago

Another drawing of mine... the subject is facing two soft lights, one is much larger than the other but backed farther away so relative to the subject, they are the same size and produce the same degree of softness.

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2020-02-18-at-10.18.05-AM.png
Vanniyan
1 month ago

If I put 40'X40' at 10 feet away and 8'X8' at same 10 feet away. Which one give more softness. I think both look same size from the subject perspective. Right?

dmullenasc
1 month ago

The two lights are the same distance away so the larger one creates a softer light. Move the larger one farther away until it is the same RELATIVE size as the smaller one from the perspective of the subject and the softness is the same (but not the fall-off rate or intensity).

dmullenasc
1 month ago
dmullenasc 1 month ago

Here, I labeled the soft lights:

https://www.rogerdeakins.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Screen-Shot-2020-02-18-at-10.21.50-AM.png
dmullenasc
1 month ago

The two lights are not the same physical size but they are the same size RELATIVE to the subject.

Wouter
1 month ago
Wouter 1 month ago

Excellent, David! 

Perhaps there should be a compilation of these basic understandings of light in a subsection we can easily link to. I only spend time here occasionally, but every time I'm here I'm seeing the same questions. No offence but, I admire your patience! 

Mike
1 month ago

Wouter,
How would you demonstrate the basic principles of light and how it reacts relatively to the subject. The forum is a team effort by many who are eager to share information for the benefit of helping others. I am intrigued why you only ‘tune in’ to the forum occasionally, do you not find the subjects fascinating. What would you do to make the forum more attractive, your ideas are most welcome. What subjects would make you visit the site more often.

dmullenasc
1 month ago

The thing is that most of the characteristics of light can be learned through OBSERVATION -- we can give some principles and advice but that doesn't get rid of the need to go out there and LOOK at light in real life and study it, break it down into its qualities. You have to develop a feeling for the different textures of light in real life to draw on when you start lighting, the tech stuff is only there to help you execute an image in your own mind.

Wouter
1 month ago

I'm sorry Mike, rereading my comment it does seem I was a bit too harsh! I hope you can appreciate my apology. It's not about the forum. I'm here when I'm out of work! Ha! When I have work to do I don't want to occupy my decompression time with film making. But I will often watch a film! 🙂 Don't worry, to me this forum is the most important resource on film making at this point in time. And actually, I think it's important that this is place is populated by both highly experienced people and newbies! When I first came here, I was a total newbie so I can relate! (and in some regards I still am!) But some of the questions make me cringe a little bit. I think many newbies want quick answers and solutions, but there is no such thing. You have to take your time to read about the basics and then implement them yourself. And then, if you don't understand, you have a valid reason to ask a question and ask for help! I'm understanding but only up to a certain point. The questions are always the same. I can't remember how many times David has made great efforts to explaining soft light and what the word RELATIVE means in that context. Or crop factor... and stuff like that. People shouldn't be afraid to ask Google such questions! And if something isn't clear, then you can ask help! But at least put in some effort yourself!

As for how to demonstrate the principles? Youtube alone is SATURATED with audiovisual demonstrations of how light works. EVERYTHING you need to know is there. And if that doesn't do it for you, there are many great books, although I've personally never needed to pick up a book because like I said: everything is on youtube. 

Technical videos on light:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJWNQv01VtI»
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2y-XA_aAYE»

This are very practical videos on soft light:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-rAnxVX9kE»
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGabbuXF2jw»

And this is literally me typing some search words into youtube for no more than 3 minutes. Many newbies don't realise how easy it is to find all this information. It's at your fingertips! And it's FREE

David M
1 month ago
David M 1 month ago

This video might be pretty helpful to those asking about lighting cars etc. 

https://vimeo.com/208515491»

Vanniyan
1 month ago

I have seen this bill Bennet car commercial couple of months ago. I feel this video won't help for my problem. Because they are creating and doing reflection lighting.

Wouter
1 month ago
Wouter
1 month ago

You need a combination of a lamp that you can "spot" and a lot of distance.

This is achieved through the use of fresnel lenses, mirrors and DISTANCE.

Use haze to accentuate the beam.

I've already told you this. Perhaps you looked over it?

Vanniyan
1 month ago
Vanniyan 1 month ago

Master roger do you generally use the diffusion size 8 times bigger than your subject size. What is the math 8 times than subject  size? 

dmullenasc
1 month ago

He was talking about lighting a curved reflective object like a car. How would you light a 6' tall actor in a kitchen with 10' tall ceilings with a diffusion that was 8X larger (48'x48')? I believe he was just suggesting you think much larger when dealing with a reflective surface.

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