Jump to content

Recommended Posts

What is the cleanest way to lift up dark eye sockets and not destroy contrast etc of a lighting set up?

i.e. I have lit a subject to taste, nice down side - key exposure is right where I want it but the eyes sockets are too dark. If I fly in some beadboard or similar it will flatten out my contrast somewhat, same with a soft light (although I could dim it down majorly but then the effect might be minimal).

Also for backlit exteriors when the sun is high; similar issue but here a bounce card would probably be fine and not break any contrast etc.

Any tips or tricks would be much appreciated. Thanks!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always wonder about this.

my approach has been that eye lights are reflections therefore a point source far away is the best bet - like a household bulb. The source itself will reflect brightly, but the distance will minimize actually lighting talent. Usually works ok, although I don’t do it very often. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Can you post any reference examples of the look you're trying to achieve? Or the look you already have?

Edited by Gerald King

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can use dedolights (dimmed w/ snoots attached) and specifically direct the beams of lights into the eyes. A similar trick was used on The Addams Family whenever they showed the momma witch. I can't say for sure exactly which lights were used, and I believe I read they used barndoors just to get a steak of light across the eyes. I tried to upload a file, but every file was too big. You can Google and see screenshots of her.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I like to light from the side with a semi soft source so that the key already makes good eyelight reflections depending on the angle how the actor is facing the camera. 

the 'eyelight' is a reflection of a source and thus it matters how big it is compared to the distance and eye curvature. 

I have never been a fan of very sharp small eyelights so I rarely do the dedo or pocket par with a snoot trick. another reason is that it often takes lots of time to adjust it correctly to make it look good and work for the actor movement at the same time so I usually don't bother with it...  another big reason is that bright lights pointing directly to the eyes distract actors heavily and they may start to blink more often in addition to the performance being less perfect. there is little point of doing killer beautiful eyelights if they distract the actor so much that the performance is compromised. 

anyway, you can do makeshift snoot out of cinefoil if you want to experiment with them. I also may use small round shiny kapa boards (about palm sized DIY shiny surfaced reflector) as a eyelight source, they work great is some situations and are easy and fast to use.

 

I don't know how much contrast you want but the semi soft side source without fill can still create quite contrasty look though may need some other fixtures as well for not becoming "too indie looking" .

 

here done with bouncing a 300w tungsten from a 3x3 styrofoam which is about 2 meters away if I remember correctly. no fill or specific eyelight used. 

louhiscreenshot.jpg

similar type stuff would be possible with the "deakins lighting" where one would use large soft side key with SAME SIDE harder but still relatively soft fill which is more frontal. key side filling of the eye sockets with a snooted 'eyelight' source might be the answer you are looking for?

Edited by aapo lettinen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a complicated subject because the size of the eyelight relative to the size of the subject and the distance of the camera to the subject can all affect what you use.  Plus the contrast of the image will be a factor -- if your grade is on the high-contrast side, the fill from an eyelight will be less obvious.

I often use a Litemat 1 as a low fill / eyelight, and if I want to reduce spill, I will put a Litetools snap grid on it. It does act as a fill though, but I also get a nice reflection in the eyes.  Sometimes I've used a small Aputure onboard LED light under the lens and the reflection in the eye is very tiny, like a dot, so it doesn't always read unless the camera gets very close so the light is larger in relation.

I think the key is to dim the light down just to the point that it barely reads as fill but you can still see the reflection of the unit in the eyes. Then add some contrast in the color-correction to reduce shadow detail.

Or position your key light so that it reflects in the eyes as shown in the previous reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/5/2019 at 2:05 AM, aapo lettinen said:

I like to light from the side with a semi soft source so that the key already makes good eyelight reflections depending on the angle how the actor is facing the camera. 

the 'eyelight' is a reflection of a source and thus it matters how big it is compared to the distance and eye curvature. 

I have never been a fan of very sharp small eyelights so I rarely do the dedo or pocket par with a snoot trick. another reason is that it often takes lots of time to adjust it correctly to make it look good and work for the actor movement at the same time so I usually don't bother with it...  another big reason is that bright lights pointing directly to the eyes distract actors heavily and they may start to blink more often in addition to the performance being less perfect. there is little point of doing killer beautiful eyelights if they distract the actor so much that the performance is compromised. 

anyway, you can do makeshift snoot out of cinefoil if you want to experiment with them. I also may use small round shiny kapa boards (about palm sized DIY shiny surfaced reflector) as a eyelight source, they work great is some situations and are easy and fast to use.

 

I don't know how much contrast you want but the semi soft side source without fill can still create quite contrasty look though may need some other fixtures as well for not becoming "too indie looking" .

 

here done with bouncing a 300w tungsten from a 3x3 styrofoam which is about 2 meters away if I remember correctly. no fill or specific eyelight used. 

louhiscreenshot.jpg

similar type stuff would be possible with the "deakins lighting" where one would use large soft side key with SAME SIDE harder but still relatively soft fill which is more frontal. key side filling of the eye sockets with a snooted 'eyelight' source might be the answer you are looking for?

Thanks for this info, great lighting in your frame grab btw. Simple is always better, totally agree with everything you're saying. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/5/2019 at 7:19 AM, David Mullen ASC said:

It's a complicated subject because the size of the eyelight relative to the size of the subject and the distance of the camera to the subject can all affect what you use.  Plus the contrast of the image will be a factor -- if your grade is on the high-contrast side, the fill from an eyelight will be less obvious.

I often use a Litemat 1 as a low fill / eyelight, and if I want to reduce spill, I will put a Litetools snap grid on it. It does act as a fill though, but I also get a nice reflection in the eyes.  Sometimes I've used a small Aputure onboard LED light under the lens and the reflection in the eye is very tiny, like a dot, so it doesn't always read unless the camera gets very close so the light is larger in relation.

I think the key is to dim the light down just to the point that it barely reads as fill but you can still see the reflection of the unit in the eyes. Then add some contrast in the color-correction to reduce shadow detail.

Or position your key light so that it reflects in the eyes as shown in the previous reply.

Thanks, great advice. I was concerned about a 1x1 source being too 'hard' but obviously depends how close or far away you are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is a good example of what you were talking about.  Sidelit with basically no fill but still defined eyelight.

I still can see how this could be accomplished.  What kind of light could they have used?

Do you think they just crushed the blacks a ton in the grade to get rid of the spill

 

 

IMG_20901.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The eye light is not frontal, it’s basically the key on his face from 3/4 and low, so 1/4 is unlit, creating the shadow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, David Mullen ASC said:

The eye light is not frontal, it’s basically the key on his face from 3/4 and low, so 1/4 is unlit, creating the shadow.

Thanks David.  So the key is providing the eyelight?  I guess it just didn't look like the angles matched.  

I appreciate the response

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think so, it looks like a 3/4 back with a low 3/4 front low key to wrap, which is creating the nose shadow and is being reflected in the left third of the eyes.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Related: just saw Long Shot and noticed how often the colorist had clearly done a power window to lift up Charlize Theron's eye sockets.

So clearly the answer is..... fix it in post!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing to remember is that it’s easier to add an eye light without destroying your contrast if you light using higher light levels. For example, if your key light is only 6 footcandles, adding any kind of fill to get an eye light will inevitably effect the contrast more than if your key is at 25 footcandles. Let’s say you need 3 footcandles out of your chosen eye-light source to be able to see it in the eye. That means you’ve made your low-lit scene key/fill ratio 2:1. That said, because an eye light is essentially a reflection, even if you stop down to expose for a scene that’s lit with 25 footcandles (two stops brighter than 6 footcandles), it’s unlikely that you will also need to bring your eye light up two stops to see the reflection. Even if you bring your eye light up a full stop to see it in the eye, your ratio is still 4:1. This means you can maintain a more contrasty ratio while maintaining the eye light.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Serious Gear



    Broadcast Solutions Inc



    New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment



    Abel Cine



    CineLab



    Visual Products



    Ritter Battery



    Tai Audio



    Rig Wheels Passport



    Metropolis Post



    Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS



    Paralinx LLC



    Glidecam



    Wooden Camera



    Gamma Ray Digital Inc


×
×
  • Create New...