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Thread: Green screen lighting for talent in live sets

  1. #1
    Exec Producer TV Webinars
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    Green screen lighting for talent in live sets

    Hi there,

    We're struggling to get the studio lighting right to deliver clear, clean green-screen talent as you have provided in the tricaster sample videos. I wonder if you folks might be willing to share the lighting setup you use for all those green-screen talent shots?

    Thank you!

    Lance
    Lance ("L.A.") Simon
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    (240) 400-0432

    TC460, Advanced Edition V2, NDI Transmit, VSE-AE, LiveText
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  2. #2
    Registered User Stream's Avatar
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    We use 38W 6500K fluorescents lights. We have 6 banks of 4 to give equal lighting in the whole studio and it works a treat.
    Tricaster 460 Advanced Edition 2, Tricaster 40 V1
    2 Sony PXW-X70 Cameras, 2 Panasonic AG-HMC40P Cameras
    VSE 2.5 - VSE Advanced Edition, A bunch of Doo-Dads and cables

  3. #3
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    Metal-bowl clamp-on lights from hardware store, with GE Reveal light bulbs. Seriously, it's not so much the lights you use, but the placement that is most important! I can get beautiful keys with a cheap HD camera and hardware store lights, all about the setup.

    • Keep talent several feet from green backdrop if possible, to minimize spill and shadows.
    • Don't over-light the green background - more important to light evenly than brightly.
    • Talent is lit separately from background.
    • Add a hair light - small light from above and behind talent to hit head and shoulders, provides cleaner separation from background.
    • Manual white balance and focus in camera.
    • Manual iris, don't overexpose talent.


    EDIT: I'm not advocating that everyone use hardware store lamps, mine are just for demos and not real studio production work ;-)

    Thanks

    Jeff Pulera
    Safe Harbor Computers

  4. #4
    Exec Producer TV Webinars
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    Thank you, all!!
    Lance ("L.A.") Simon
    Lance.a.simon@gmail.com
    (240) 400-0432

    TC460, Advanced Edition V2, NDI Transmit, VSE-AE, LiveText
    Panasonic AW-HE120, Canon XF-305, Canon VIXIA HF G40

  5. #5
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    There's a great tutorial in the Tip Jar, I think. It includes how to use scopes to really tweak your settings (and hence your lighting) for best Chroma key.

    Cheers,

    Fritz Golman
    Museum of Broadcast Communications

  6. #6
    Exec Producer TV Webinars
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    Yup got it --
    http://tips.newtek.com/basic-green-s...ng-techniques/

    Thanks! Weird that some folks recommend high-end professional lighting and others recommend quite simple, relatively cheap lights.

    Lance
    Lance ("L.A.") Simon
    Lance.a.simon@gmail.com
    (240) 400-0432

    TC460, Advanced Edition V2, NDI Transmit, VSE-AE, LiveText
    Panasonic AW-HE120, Canon XF-305, Canon VIXIA HF G40

  7. #7
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    As I work a LOT with lighting for process screen, I was hoping to pass on one of the best videos I've come across that came from from Moviola.com. But the weasels have since changed their subscription model so won't do you much good as they no longer have a free option. However if you know someone who does, have them snag it for you. Or, do a short term membership.

    https://moviola.com/webinars/how-to-...-green-screen/

    It's about 1 Hr. in length.

    I've been doing blue screen, green screen, even red screen for over 30 years, mostly feature & TV work (I mainly work at Warner Bros. these days), and literally did many of the first computer games using hardware keyers. It's amazing how much erroneous info is out there on this subect, but the above tut really had the most accurate & went into excellent detail as to where you can cut corners and where is folly to do so. It also had some slick techniques that are easy, inexpensive but more importantly, effective.

    Commenting on the above forum replies, I'd strongly recommend NOT using Home Depot level fluorescent fixtures & globes. Compared to the correct equipment, they're relatively heavy and the output of the lamps usually have a fairly low CRI (color rendering index). As long as they're used only on the screen though, you can (and folks are obviously) getting away with using them as the current keying software is extremely tolerant. However, they are only 60 Hz fixtures so if you need to do any high speed work, you're out of luck.

    Instead, I'd recommend either renting or budgeting to purchase a few flo units from:

    http://www.kinoflo.com/index.htm

    They're also pretty much available all over the countr4y so if you have a rental house near by, check them out.

    Kino ballasts kick the frequency output up to 400Hz+ vs. your household 60Hz. This means you won't have flicker issues and can even use conventional tungsten instruments with them. For ANY process work in a studio situation, shooting at 5500 K. is totally silly. Shoot tungsten (3200 k.)and save yourself a TON of money by not having to rent HMI lights.

    Kino tubes are available in standard kelvin temps (2900, 3200, 5500) and have a CRI of 90+. I'm guessing you won't need DMX ability (used for dimming & general control), and I'd stick with Flo's rather than LED for cost and weight. not to mention cost.

    You could easily light a 12' wide screen with two 4 x 4 fixtures, one on each side, mounted vertically from floor stands.

    Next, just because something looks green or blue doesn't mean mean it will key like materials (paint or cloth) designed for the purpose. Again, in many cases you can get away with it, but if keying out details such as hair or transparency is important, you'll want to get the proper materials.

    As far as lighting, your screen should be even of course & about 1 stop below what the subject is keyed to. I.e. using a spot meter, a gray card at subject position should be at zone 5 with your screen at zone 4.

    Also, if the camera isn't seeing it, flag or turn off any lights hitting the screen; unless your eye is trained (and most aren't) you'll not see the green pollution into the scene, but your compositing software certainly will. Your compositors will thank you as well. Remember: if you can see it, your digital camera can see it considerably better.

    I'm sure there's more to pass on, but with the correct equipment it really isn't rocket surgery.

    M.

  8. #8

    lucky to see this thread now    lots of great info.

    i was doing some GreenScreen tests in Fusion the other day, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxSkc9uDIho

    and it seemed a bit difficult to key the image i used,
    but from the look of it, it looks like this Prometheus GreenScreen Lighting was done in a hurry?
    - not evenly lit ?
    - maybe they roto-masked it ?

    Last edited by erikals; 04-12-2017 at 06:45 AM.
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  9. #9
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    They could but for something like this, they could simply do multiple passes with the keying software.

  10. #10
    I make things Eric Pratt's Avatar
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    I'm going to go with the shameless plug option: Darim Light bars
    https://www.virtualset.com/led-light...cal-stand.html
    A pair of them are enough to evenly light an 8x10.
    Here they are with one of their screens:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Chromudio-CMRoom-Virtual-Set-Chroma-Key-Background-02.jpg 
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    It's not the cheapest solution (I too used to use the Home Depot option) but extremely portable which is a must for me.
    Eric Pratt
    Virtualset.com - Virtual Set Marketplace
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  11. #11

     They could but for something like this, they could simply do multiple passes with the keying software.
    Thank You, i need to look more into this i guess.  

     I'm going to go with the shameless plug option: Darim Light bars
    Those are pretty nice. Think i might go for Kino DIY alternatives to $ave Dollar
    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...y=DIY+Kino+Flo
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  12. #12
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post

    Thank You, i need to look more into this i guess.  

    Check out Andrew Kramers site, www.videocopilot.com. Best site for anything FX and After Effects related. Should be easier to find greenscreen & compositing tuts that are worthwhile vs. taking your chances on youtube.

    Those are pretty nice. Think i might go for Kino DIY alternatives to $ave Dollar
    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...y=DIY+Kino+Flo
    Gaffer on "The Middle" uses those quite a lot, mostly for bringing up the level in dark corners of the set. Flop on on the floor & your good to go.

    Tungsten is always going to be cheaper & consistent. Adding diffusion is pretty much standard to even things out. Be mindful of what you globe them with. Most household will be in the 2900 K. range but for screen work that's not really an issue as long as the subject area is correct. True 3200 K photoflood type globes have a very short life; couple of hours at best.

    Something I'm seeing quite a lot lately is Kino fixtures but globed with Quasars. These are flo looking tubes but actually LED. Not cheap ($250 ea. for a 4') but less parts than a Kino.

    https://www.quasarscience.com

    They have a Bi-color and variable version. I'd go with the Bi-color personally.

  13. #13

    Thanks, i'm thinking of mixing Tungsten and multiple DYI $90 CFL solutions,
    Griffin's DYI tutorial - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFzIP_TN75A&t=305s

    cheap, no flicker, color looks alright, low energy  
    i think they can be dimmed, (hopefully) so need to google that.

    bah, removing Tungsten from the list, only lasts 80 hours... outch...

    edit: nope, looks like i'm going CFL all the way
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xu9OggkQMc
    Last edited by erikals; 04-13-2017 at 08:30 AM.
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  14. #14
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erikals View Post
    Thanks, i'm thinking of mixing Tungsten and multiple DYI $90 CFL solutions,
    Griffin's DYI tutorial - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFzIP_TN75A&t=305s

    cheap, no flicker, color looks alright, low energy  
    i think they can be dimmed, (hopefully) so need to google that.

    bah, removing Tungsten from the list, only lasts 80 hours... outch...

    edit: nope, looks like i'm going CFL all the way
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xu9OggkQMc
    Ya might want to really read the warning labels on CFL's, particularly when it comes to disposal. You can't just toss them, at least legally, but I'm sure millions are each year. You almost need to file for an EPA permit. In the industry, we refer to them as Carcinogen Filled Luminaires.

    You might be able to dim them to a degree (with a true Variac dimmer, not the cheap SCR type you'd find at Home Depot) and certainly not smoothly over a 0-100% range. Most LED's are better but suffer the same issue. Professional LED instruments that do dim use sophisticated electronic ballasts.

    BTW, quartz type tungsten globes will last for hundreds of hours typically but you're not going to find those in a standard household base.

  15. #15

    Will for sure look at what the Variac can pull off, thanks again.
    We got good disposal arrangements, so should work fine. i won't be doing lots of video though, so they will last for quite some time.

    so, CFL for now, maybe something else later.  
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