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Lighting in Layers


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πŸ‘‰πŸ»How do you Light in Layers? (Background/Midground/Foreground)

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πŸ‘‰πŸ» What all to be careful about lighting up in layersΒ 

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πŸ‘‰πŸ» Is there any rule that can help?Β 

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You commonly use different lights on each area,Β 

Need to set the light levels so that they're appropriate to the overall look of the scene/shot.

Use your eyes, what looks right for what you're trying achieve, probably is.

There are a number of books on film lighting, it's worth reading those.

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Not sure that's a helpful way to think about it -- sometimes it works out that way but every situation is different. If the best way to light a small room is to bounce a light off the center of the ceiling and it looks great, then how is that lighting in layers?Β  Or any space lit with a single light?

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it can vary case by case but in most situations the foreground lights need to be moved most often and if you have small g/e team then it can mean that the foreground lights need to be relatively small and lightweight. if having a bigger team, then you may have possibility to tweak it better and use larger/more difficult to handle gear for the foreground.

I see it like this:

background: stays mostly the same all the time. big lights which don't need to be moved often. large hmi or multiple smaller units can be possible because you need to build it once and then it stays relatively the same.

foreground: this is where most of the action often happens and you need to tweak the lights shot by shot. the units need to be able to be moved quickly even with minimal crew. On smaller shoots this often means Led units, possibly battery powered

midground:Β  often you only need to add some accents unless some of the actors move a lot in this area. So if actors on the midground, then you need to light it... otherwise, only add what you absolutely have to. this way you save lots of time

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