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big window in the shot, how to light???

yaman zoral

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i'm gonna shoot a scene in the sound stage apartment and in the scene the big window is gonna be seen from the front....i'm gonna light it from outside the window as if it is sun light coming in and the apartment is supposed to be somewhere at the top floors...i don't wanna see outside cos it's in the sund stage and i don't have anything to put outside the window...and it's gonna be in the shot for a while....should i blow it out?i am not really sure how i can do it...if i should blow it out how many stops should i overexpose it?i am open to any suggestions...help please!!!!:)

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How about using some nicely painted backdrops of a nearby skyline?

You could also blur it a lot so it suggests a shallo wdepth of field since the background is so far away. It think it is important not to keep it black and dark since this would destroy the daylike feel of the set. Are you lighting with HMI from the outside?

I dont think that simple overexposing and flaring out is going to help you, but if you dont have access to backdrops you could try with a big white and bright surface that you shine some HMI pars on to in order to exaggerate the hot bruning out look. if you are using a zoom it will most likely flare which could be good. but dont just burn it out if it is not in the sunpath it will look unreal. what you could also try is CG stuff. It is hard to key with harsh sunlight coming through the window, but if the camera is locked off you can use a soft edged mask and paint in the background in post.

Altough the first idea seems to me to be the best I think just adding a bit of sunlight bathed texture in the background might just be enough for you. have the bg look bright, interesting and not flat

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Painted Background seems good idea, what I usually do if shooting in conditions like this, if my background is not as appealing, I just let it burn around 2 to 3 stops over key reading, so it will breathe some texture, but almost white. Using a green background, it's also a good idea, mainly optics define depht of field, since background through the windows might not be the most important theme in the shot, well that's just me.



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It is also easy enough to cover the outside of the window in diffusion material like 216 and then backlight this which will then blow out white. If you wish to light into the room through the window, then you need to paint a large set of boards and place them at least four or five feet away from the window. You can light into the room from one directon but position your lights so that when the camera faces out it only sees the board. Paint this board white or light blue and then light it with white or light blue light.

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My first question is what would really be outside the window. Is it tree?s or a skyline? You definitely need a backdrop that is white or sky blue. Over exposing it will help. You may want to add dirt to the windows. These will create overexposed elements that are closer to the camera and will help to obscure the background. Large double nets are great for adding atmospheric haze to a shot. I?ve had good luck adding stylized elements to suggest a sky line. 4 x 8 Black foam core can create the side of a sky scrapper. Foam core painted gray gives a better impression of distance. You can really have fun adding elements like windows, billboards or water towers to add realism. You can also diffuse the windows. I?m getting away from the tracing paper blown out windows in favor of diffusion that just blurs the view. I?m currently into Hampshire frost of Vinyl light for this purpose. Then you can add lots of stylized elements and they still look real.

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Very well suggestions. You can always have curtains partially covering the windows since you dont have a backing and blowing out a big and completely naked window can be disorienting (Unless it's The Shining) and most importantly it may look artificial. Even when it's white hot, when you overexpose trace paper on a window it looks like what it actually is, you see the material blown out . In reality it is the sky further back that is hot, light behaves differently at such distance. Wether the window will be an important part of your composition and in focus are important factors. You may depend on the fact that you'll leave the window out of focus anyway so you light accordingly but then the blocking may change so you should be prepared. Hope this helps.

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