Studio setup advice

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Ifti, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. Ifti, Sep 27, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013

    Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    Im looking to create a basic studio setup in my garage for creating my YouTube videos.

    I'll need lighting, and a backdrop.
    The garage is built with breeze-blocks - so no light bouncing etc available.
    The camera will be fixed, directly ahead, on a tripod and not moved while recording.

    Im quite sure 2 lights would be enough for my uses.
    Im trying to keep the lights as energy efficient as I can.

    Considering lighting is probably the most important part, bearing all the above in mind I was originally going to go for these lights, and purchase the background kit separately:
    with this background...

    However, I then came across the entire set for slightly more then the cost of the above lights alone!

    Considering its more for YouTube videos etc, would the above set be recommended, or should I go for the PhotoSEL lights instead, or neither??

    Thanking you in advance for any advice.
  2. musique macrumors regular


    Apr 10, 2009
    Random thoughts on putting a studio together

    These suggestions might be out of your budget or overkill, but they may give you some ideas.

    For a small studio, if you’re going to be sitting at a desk or even standing, you might want to have four lights in a relatively standard set-up:
    Key light: 1 over the camera (aimed directly at you).
    Fill lights: 1 on either side of the camera at a 45-degree angle to the camera (aimed directly at you).
    Back light: Behind, but on you.

    You could buy the backdrop with a stand or you could think about putting it on a pipe suspended from the ceiling. This would permit you to put a light high and above the backdrop. Depending on the backdrop you select, you might want one or two additional spots for illuminating all of it or just to highlight a portion of it. Take a look at the hundreds of backdrops at a site like B&H for some ideas. If you decide to go with green screen, you’ll need to have pretty even lighting on the screen.

    Bounced light
    There are stands to which you can attach a reflector so you can always find ways to bounce light.

    Suspended pipes for rigging
    If your set-up is pretty permanent (i.e., you’re leaving the car outside), you might think about installing some metal piping to the ceiling affix your lights to. If your garage is as small as most are, you’ll be surprised at how much clearer the space will be without the stands in the way. A lower potential for accidents!

    Many will tell you that audio is at least 50% of video. It’s an adage, but reasonably valid. The thing to remember is not to keep your microphone on the camera. Ideally, it should be about 18 inches and pointing at your mouth.

    None of these ideas is set in stone, just some thoughts. Best of luck.
  3. ChrisA, Sep 27, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    No. Those little lights just will not cut it. Unless you are doing just a talking head and have the main light 3 feet from the subject.

    You say you can't bount lights? Why? Get some white sheets of some kind. Even cardboard with white latex paint. What you want is a big white eiling and a white back wall in back of the camera. Then aim a lot of light on those.

    The idea of bounce light is that you aim the light at the reflector and iluminata a spot that is (say) 6 feet square. It is that 6 foot square that them lights the subject. The "softness" of the light equals the appearent angulare size of the light as seen from the subject's location. Now you see why those softboxes need to be in the subject's face, very close. They need to look 30 degrees or so wide. Walls already look wide, just light one up.

    4 foot long flourecent tubes are good. You can buy the kind that are "daylight", about 6000K or so. The little CFL lights just don't project any light you'd need 20 or 40 bulbs. Also cheap are the 1000W work lights from Home Depot. Aim a few of those at the wall. Yes they will burn a few kilowats but you only run them when the camera is on.

    The best light is a window and daylight. Open a window that does not face the sun and have it hit the subject at a 45 to 30 degree angle.

    For more details we'd need to know the size of the set, how many people are there and what else needs to be in the shot.

    buy a BOOK on video lighting. It is a complex subject.

    No one here knows what you want for a "backdrop" How about a 25 foot square green screen? And lights to remove any shadows and even up the lighting on it.

    NEXT: Sound. In a situation like this you can use a lavalier mic on the talent(s) or even plant (hide) a mic some place on the set or do both.

    EDIT: About bounce lights. If you can hange a green screen for the background you can hang a white screen in back of the cameras. The other method is to hange a sheer white curtain and then shoot the light through it. Make a big light spot on the shear "scrim" Thin ripstop nylon works

    It is hard to have to much light. The more light the cleaner the image, less noise.

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