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-   -   Lighting a car for a TV commercial (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1150706)

j416j 18th of February 2012 (Sat) 18:40

Lighting a car for a TV commercial
 
Hi there

I'm about to shoot a spec commercial in a couple of weeks and was wondering if I could get some tips on lighting a car. This will mainly be an exercise and a lesson in lighting.

The car will be parked in a driveway, and the director wants a basic lighting setup with nice and even reflections on the car's body, while avoiding any unwanted reflections. The car will be either black or grey and it is quite reflective.

The frame is fixed, but the scene will transition from day to night (not continuously, i.e. not timelapse)

I'm hoping to get some tips on lighting the car for both the day and night shots. I did some research and i learned that i should bounce lights off of large white boards but not much else in enough detail on how to achieve that.

How do you think the parked car was lit here: http://youtu.be/R55e-uHQna0. Do you think they used an overhead diffuser of some sort?

I'll be glad to share the final video as a result of your tips on here for everyone else to learn as well.

thanks

PhotosGuy 19th of February 2012 (Sun) 00:07

Re: Lighting a car for a TV commercial
 
The ONLY way I'd try that to get "nice and even reflections on the car's body, while avoiding any unwanted reflections." in a driveway would be with a silver car. Period. Don't even try it with a black car unless you get to pick the driveway & the angle that the car will be shot at.
Quote:

the scene will transition from day to night (not continuously, i.e. not timelapse)
You're talking video here, or several still shots?
Quote:

i should bounce lights off of large white boards
There's a link to a studio in the first post of the "Tips" in my Sig.
Best of luck with your project.

j416j 19th of February 2012 (Sun) 05:07

Re: Lighting a car for a TV commercial
 
thanks for the tips photosguy. silver or grey car it is!

yes the day/night transition will be a simple dissolve indicating passage of time. so the lighting of the car will be different for the night shot than the day one. It has to look like midnight, so I'll have to light the car minimally while still highlighting its features. I wonder what advice you'd have for this bit?

PhotosGuy 19th of February 2012 (Sun) 11:35

Re: Lighting a car for a TV commercial
 
Quote:

silver or grey car it is!
Gray paint = Light gray? Dark gray? Maybe, but probably no. Gray Metallic paint = probably yes.
Quote:

It has to look like midnight,
Why? Some of the best "night shots" I've seen were taken before it's totally dark while there's still some light left in the sky. You don't need much, but you need some.
"Day for Night.": http://marylandfilms.com/2007/06/sho...day-for-night/
http://www.worth1000.com/tutorials/161013/tutorial
http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-tu...toshop-214630/

j416j 19th of February 2012 (Sun) 12:00

Re: Lighting a car for a TV commercial
 
in the script, the night scene is supposed to look like late in the night when everyone has gone to sleep. and a silver or a reflective grey car makes more sense for that purpose as well, because it would need less lighting than a black car at night.

I received a few useful tips from another forum that i thought i should share here as well.

for lighting the side of the car during the day, a 4 feet diffuser roll can be stretched along the side of the car, 6-10 feet away from it, and a light source can be directed through that diffuser sheet to achieve the long white streaks along the contours of the car. another tip was to use a roll of butcher paper to bounce light off of.

How would you mute unwanted reflections on the lower part of the doors though? a low black cloth stretched along the side?

PhotosGuy 19th of February 2012 (Sun) 15:00

Re: Lighting a car for a TV commercial
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by j416j (Post 13924541)
for lighting the side of the car during the day, a 4 feet diffuser roll...

Did you see the "flats" in the studio in the "Tips" thread?
Here's an example of a black Chrysler 300 posted by spot9 in The automotive strobist setup pic thread.


Quote:

How would you mute unwanted reflections on the lower part of the doors though? a low black cloth stretched along the side?
That's what we used.

j416j 20th of February 2012 (Mon) 11:14

Re: Lighting a car for a TV commercial
 
yes. thats great. thanks for sharing.

to sum up, here are the few tips i learned from both forums:

  • will shoot just before sunset for soft natural light.
  • for overhead: large stretched white cloth (white bed sheets probably).
  • for the side of the car: direct light through a diffusion roll (or bed sheets). I dont think we'll have the budget to hire lights bright enough to bounce off of white boards.
  • for wheel rims: direct diffused light on each rim to brighten them up a bit.
  • for unwanted reflections of trees and buildings on the car doors: will try hanging a wide black cloth.

phreaknes 3rd of March 2012 (Sat) 11:31

Re: Lighting a car for a TV commercial
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PhotosGuy (Post 13925251)
Did you see the "flats" in the studio in the "Tips" thread?
Here's an example of a black Chrysler 300 posted by spot9 in The automotive strobist setup pic thread.


That's what we used.

Any Ideas on how to make some cheap portable flats. I've been suckered into doing a photoshoot of a black CTS-v Cadillac in a large shop. I've studied that Chrysler 300 setup shot extensively and I have enough speedlights (sorta) and I'm working on the shot setup.

PhotosGuy 4th of March 2012 (Sun) 11:29

Re: Lighting a car for a TV commercial
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by phreaknes (Post 14014488)
Any Ideas on how to make some cheap portable flats. I've been suckered into doing a photoshoot of a black CTS-v Cadillac in a large shop. I've studied that Chrysler 300 setup shot extensively and I have enough speedlights (sorta) and I'm working on the shot setup.

Since it's a large shop, there are probably several people who work there? You could just have them stretch out bed sheets for the few minutes it would take. Or buy some buddies a case & have them do it. ;)

Personally, working in a shop like that for the first time, you might concentrate on each highlight separately & plan on blending them into one shot in PS because while you're concentrating on one highlight, the sheet might sag for another highlight.

Csae 4th of March 2012 (Sun) 14:06

Re: Lighting a car for a TV commercial
 
I would note that the video was taken with an overcast day, if you look carefully you can see an edit where they added a blue gradient, and later on did not.

Overcast days will give you the most even light, as its a giant softbox effect.

As for eliminating reflections in a driveway.... Well.. Good luck. CPL will reduce them, and with lighting you can minimize them, but they'll probably still be around, although without them entirely, it would look completely unnatural.

Cozmocha 4th of March 2012 (Sun) 17:19

Re: Lighting a car for a TV commercial
 
Check this out

http://blog.vincentlaforet.com/2010/...-neighborhood/


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