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JYGough

Beauty lighting for a car promo.

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Hey guys, I've been drafted in late to shoot a car promo in a studio at the end of the week, I've got experience shooting cars on location and driving etc but I have never lit a car in studio before. If anyone has advice or tips when it comes to lighting for car beauty shots I would appreciate it.

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I've seen people use truly huge overhead bounce panels - often semi-permanently rigged. Since the car is defined more by what it reflects than what it looks like, this is quite important. It gets results like this:

 

Screen-shot-2011-07-03-at-11.23.56-AM.pn

 

Needless to say, this will just get you a car commercial that looks like everyone else's.

 

There are (or certainly used to be) some setups for this sort of thing at Malcolm Ryan studios.

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Tips? I'd be looking for a Gaffer who had lit cars for beauty before. Probably not the time for you to be here asking, "How.....", but plenty of time to ask questions and observe a master at work once you've hired him or her.

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I feel for you. I only lit one car commercial. I was called by a producer who said they heard I was good at product shots. When i showed up - it was a car in a white studio. So I lit it like any other product. 12x12 silk over head, skypans through it, two 5k Seniors as the corner backlights and lots of white in front - 8x8 silks and 4x8 foamcore, lit by the 5k back lights. The grips also hung a teaser to cut the top light off the cyc. The client was happy and the check cleared. As Phil said, you need to give it something to reflect. And the crew needs to be dressed in black or hide behind the foamcore. We cut a center whole in the foamcore and stuck the lens through it.

 

Good luck

Edited by David Landau
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You need the light source to be bigger than the subject/object.. with cars that would be a big box light overhead .. ideally you can have a "skirt" around the edge to keep it off your background.. as a basic .. and then go from there.. but without that big over head its going to be tough.. check out the colour of the car too.. and the studio cyc..

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Another way I lit up a car is 2 x 10k freshnels into a 20x20 overhead and you can also put some kinos low on the ground to create light

 

what is important is color of the car, what kind of finish it has - and how you want to stylize the light

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