View Full Version : Do you lighting TDs prefer to light an empty or populated scene?
10-19-2007, 12:24 AM
This is a question really for any lighting TDs who have worked on mid-to-large pipeline productions.
Do you start lighting your scene with no characters in (i.e. environment only) or do you wait for the characters to be animated and camera positions to be set before lighting a scene?
10-19-2007, 12:00 PM
after the scene is populated with at least the camera motion and ideally the hero char.
no point lighting a scene if you dont know where the sun/light should come from and where it will fall
10-19-2007, 09:28 PM
I guess it depends on what you mean by "start". Typically there is some amount of sequence lighting (rigs or otherwise) that can implemented for a group of shots once time of day and general lighting direction/source has been established (which should come from background plates, art department, or a cinematographer).
Each individual shot then absolutely requires its own tweaking depending on camera angle and character action, but at least there could be some amount of work done to help establish continuity.
Is that what you're asking?
P.S. On a side note, if you ask a variety of famous cinematographers, you'll hear some talk about lighting "the space", since the actors work in and through that space, while other cinematographers like lighting people/characters. They're just different philosophies of lighting. However, both still determine general time of day, lighting directions/sources, color tempature, contrast ratios, and some other things before they start lighting for each shot.
10-19-2007, 11:34 PM
Thanks very much for the replies. I'm at an internet kiosk at Stansted airport with about 3 minutes left for my £5 so I will read in more detail and reply when I get back home tomorrow!
5 hours overnight left until check in opens :sad:
10-21-2007, 03:38 PM
Ok thank you for your replies!
Yes that was what I was asking :)
So the procedure really is to set up the general lighting rig as soon as is practicable (when you know the feel of the shot and the director's intentions), and then when the animation has been done and the camera animation finished, then you can tweak the shot and add any "specials" as needed?
10-23-2007, 03:25 PM
Jason has very good answer for you already.
I believe most mid to large size production consist of both sequence/set lighting and shot lighting. Pay more attention to the credits after an animated feature and you will mostly likely see that.
Even for live action films, in my knowledge it's the goal for most cinematographers/DP to set up the lighting for the set and minimize the need to replace every other light for the close up shots unless it is very specific. Moving lights around, metering, all these stuff just add way too much overhead and cost to the production and is not efficient. In my belief the same applies to animated series/features.
For a commercial though then I can see how sequence lighting can be less useful.
10-23-2007, 03:25 PM
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