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Lighting a lego set

Aleš Svoboda

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I will be shooting a commercial involving children playing with lego's, drinving with toy cars, buildng houses etc. Everything will be framed very tight, so I will be only focusing on the kid's hands from the wrist down and the lego itself. The size of the lego set is only about 3x4'. It basicly resembles a small city, with a gas station, houses, firestation etc.


I' am trying to come up with a lighting solution, that will cover most shots, without having to re-light all the time, except when shooting some scenes that really require it.


I will have a couple of lighting setups that I will have to do - mid-day, sunset, night


My idea is to have a light going through duffusion (butterfly) above the lego set, that will act as a key light, which I will be diming based on the needed look and time of day.


Then I was thinking of putting a rim light behind the whole set, coming from either the far left, or far right corner, and occasionally giving me a nice lens flare.

Other than that, I could have a couple of dedo's pointing out certain subjects in the frame.


I would appreciate any tips on making the shots look as good a possible, while also being able to shoot from as much angles as possible.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For 3 years back in the 80s I lit lego christmass commericals. The Lego firehouse, the lego space station, the lego town square - We shot them in a studio and in a bedroom set, a living room set, etc. Some were day and some were night. The best method I discovered was to do standard product lighting for the entire room. I hung a large chicken coop (softbox) above and slightly behind the lego set-up. Kept it as low as possible. Added two kicker backlights, one from each side. Used soft light from infront, that was of a lower intensity than the chicken coop overhead. Sometimes it was 2ks bounced into 4x8 formcore and sometimes it was baby 4k softlights. Certainly you could use 4x4 silks. This setup allowed the kids to move around and play and the camera could be moved easily with only small lighting adjustments - mainly moving the backlights. Kids get tired when they get hot. They also have a habit of not doing the same thing twice. Ambiant soft light allows them more freedom.

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