non-reflective material

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by -igor, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. -igor macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    #1
    I want to make a room completely black to film lit subjects in an entirely dark background and foreground, so that only the subject is shown. I don't know what the most money efficient way to do it is and also what material to use. I heard garbage bags are too reflective obviously. Would painting cardboard black work? Would basically any black fabric that doesn't seem to reflect work? My plan was to get a little bit of each black fabric I can find at a fabric store and do some tests with a still camera. This is for film, but i suppose it doesn't really make a difference with digital. I know this question isn't that appropriate for this forum but I just couldn't find any other flimmaking forums that are used as frequently as this one. Anyone have any experience with this approach to lighting?
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    Anything matte black will work (fabric, paper, etc.,) the key is that you need to have enough distance between your subject and the wall(s) so that your lighting falls off before it reaches the wall. Heck, if you have a big enough room you don't even need to cover the walls.


    Lethal
     
  3. -igor thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    #3
    Well that's the thing, the room isn't that big. And also the idea was to also make the floor black and have a subject on the floor to make it seem like it is floating.
     
  4. -DH macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Nashville Tennessee
    #4
    It might be best to "green screen" your room and key out the green in post. You'll need to create a cyc wall so the corners won't show. http://home.earthlink.net/~26thavestudio/id2.html

    For an all black room, black felt is relatively inexpensive and works well, but you'll need to vacuum it before each shot so dust won't show. The floor will be harder ... most floor coatings do reflect light somewhat.

    -DH
     
  5. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    It will be very tricky to light that, I hope you know. ;)

    What about a black fabric of some sort?

    Edit: People beat me to it.
     
  6. -igor thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    #6
    I will be doing no digital editing for this particular project. As I was saying before, this topic is kind of inappropriate as it has nothing to do with digital.
     
  7. -igor thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    #7
    but the same material will be used on the floor as the walls, what do you mean by the coating?
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    I did this once. The trick is to find the bigest space you can and let the inverse square law help you. Even if the background wall is pure white if it is 100 times farther away from the light than your subject it will look black on film.

    When you light a set think "ratio" not "absolute". In other words think about getting the subject to be 5 to 6 stops brighter then the background and not abut the color of each.

    The cheapest thing to use is flat latex paint, it don't matter to much what you paint, Old card boxes, bed sheets or news paper. the paint is all the camera sees. but you have to use a bit of physicis to compute the ilumination level. Light falls off with the square of distance. So get the light s as close to the subject as you can and the subject as far from the background as you can. In a space as big as a gym a white wall can look black. Work it out so you have about 5 to 6 stops of contrast. Use barn doors on your lights so the light hits only the subject and then falls off frame. You may even need to get the light(s) closer to the subject than is the camera but just out of view, you want the background at least abut 6 times farther from the light source then is the subject
     
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    Good post by ChrisA.

    You can use dark material to try and make it easier, but AFAIK there isn't anything that will absorb light 100% like a black hole. Distance between the foreground and background and controlling your lighting are the two key things.


    Lethal
     
  10. -igor thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    #10
    Thanks so much everyone, this is a lot of help. I'm still wondering if it is possible to create a floating effect with the subject on the floor as you can't actually bring it off the floor to make that distance.
     
  11. D ROCK macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    #11
    if the sublect is a person you could try setting them on a stool also painted a dull black color...
    have their legs hide the legs of the stool... I tried this effect once but I used a Large room. size of a gym at least and sat very close to the near wall and shot towards the fall wall... I didn't use any backdrop at all and my buddy did a really strong light almost directly above the speaker so we could get the shadows etc we needed on the face. a bit of a fill light from the floor off to the left of the camera helped even it out just a bit...

    my buddy knew the physics bit I just rolled tape!
    hahhaa
    hope you find something that works for you????
    try posting a pic of what you are attempting and we can try to give some more thoughts....
     

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