Lighting

Vertically stretched caustics behind Jared Leto (5 replies and 3 comments)

snorkel
4 months ago
snorkel 4 months ago

Hello,

I tried to post last night, but the forum froze.  But apologies if I double post somehow.

I know nothing about lighting, but the caustic reflections in Blade Runner were so fabulous, I have a real need to know more!

Specifically, how were the tall, skinny caustic reflections behind Jared Leto achieved.  Trying to visualise it is doing my head in, the other night I was actually dreaming about there being some hidden lenses that magnified the light in one direction only!  I'm pretty sure that's not it 🙂

It was a really cool effect, and I'd love to know how it was actually achieved!

snorkel
4 months ago
snorkel 4 months ago

PS this youtube video shows what I'm talking about https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECvi58sqbxo

Mike
4 months ago
Mike 4 months ago

Hi there,

Roger did discuss this scene a few months back if you want to check the archives.

There was a large water tank above the set and the water was disturbed with paddles to create the ripples. Obviously, the light source had to be positioned at the right angle to achieve the desired size of ripple.

snorkel
4 months ago
snorkel 4 months ago

Above the set?  So the visible water wasn't where the reflections were from?

I read a bit about this scene from what I could find, but couldn't see anything discussing the difference between Harrison Ford and Jared Leto's shots.

I'm now suspecting that the lights for the Jared Leto shots were under water. It's the only way I can make the angles make sense.

Mike
4 months ago

The shallow water tank was above the set with lights penetrating through the water onto a backdrop. The two backdrop scenes had different water patterns probably made by someone agitating the water above using a separate method. Obviously, Roger experimented methods of agitating the water to get it right. I have seen this method before in a number of films but Roger has taken it to a larger scale with even a larger backdrop. This is a great example of theatre engineering not just to make it but to get it to work and I take my hat off to him for having the courage to bring it to life. I think he should get an Oscar for this. This is very nice work.

Roger Deakins
4 months ago
Roger Deakins 4 months ago

There were two ways of creating the caustics. One was projecting through a tank of water as seen in LUV's office and as she ascends the steps. The second was purely bounced light off the surface of the water as was done for the caustics you ask about. For the scenes in Jared's office there were T12 lamps boxed in a bouncing off the water.

snorkel
4 months ago

>The second was purely bounced light off the surface of the water as was done for the caustics you ask about.
Ah, thank you very much.
Right, I get it now, the light source is much closer to the wall and the angle is a lot tighter on Jared's side. Thank you for the answer!

Roger Deakins
4 months ago
Roger Deakins 4 months ago

Yes, the effect is different because of the walkway and the narrower angle I had to bounce a light off the water. I was struggling with this until I realized it was so interesting that in the same situation and with the same chop on the water the effect looked so different. I especially liked how Rachael appears with a kind of 'sunrise' pattern on the wall behind her.

snorkel
4 months ago

That's awesome, thanks! And congratulations on the Oscar win!

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