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Ryan Constantino

Best Practices For Lighting a Translight Backdrop?

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Hello there, Im curious if anyone has some recommendations for lighting a backdrop in a studio setting? (I'm still learning a great deal so forgive me if I label something incorrectly!)


The set is a 10ft H x 20ft W room in which there are two windows on the far wall. I have looked into renting a backdrop from pacific studios and they have explained to me that this specific rental is a true translight backdrop which needs to be lit from behind. I can see how this would be beneficial as to provide a true luminance for the background.


However, my independent research has led me to examples such as the following image album:




These images seem to show a vinyl backdrop which is lit from the front.


My question here is, what methods are suitable for front lit vinyl backdrops and how does that compare to a back lit translight?


Would I use the same methods (I.E. Kinos from above) for the translight as the front lit vinyl?


Thanks very much for the suggestions! The project I am working on is a short film produced and funded by myself where I can decide how much budget to allocate to various lights etc. Thanks!

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Translite backdrops can be lit from both the front and the back.

Light it from the front and you get your daylight scene.

Light it from the back and the light passes through all the little windows in the buildings, which are actually semi-transparent, and so this reads as if the windows were lit in the night.

Combine both for dusk/morning/etc...

As for the choice of sources, it can be anything. Traditionally open face fixtures and molebeams. Kinoflos or space lights.

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Hi Guillaume, thank you for your reply. When corresponding with the associate via email I asked that very thing by saying:


"...To confirm, You said that it needs to be backlit. Is that for the nighttime look? Because I would be wanting the daytime look, which I thought was front lit?..."


and she replied with:


"...The backdrop is a true translight and must be lit from behind. It is made on duratrans which is a backlit film material. It is a day only. You would have to have a digital vinyl material to light from the front for day and the back for the night. This is not that material..."


That research led me to a couple images like this: http://murphsmedia.com/Translite3-history-translite-duratrans.html Where the lights are arranged in a grid array and not just in a line at the top. So I'm still confused about which is which.

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That's probably because many people, including me, will use the word "translite" as a generic term to describe a backdrop. I've never heard "digital vinyl", I'd call the type I was describing a "day to night translite".

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