Home of Professional Cinematography since 1996
Windows With ND
Published : 13th February 2004
Today, on an industrial video, I found myself having to squeegee ND6 gel on six 55inch x 60inch modern interior office tower windows. I've done similar installations many times in the past, and it's never any fun, but today's experience was one of the worst.
Anyone whose done this knows how difficult it is to use materials not designed for this purpose and to have the director and DP expect it to look like a factory tint.
Of course, the talent was a couple of feet from the glass, so I couldn't take advantage of depth of field to hide any sins. And, the director insisted on showing as much glass as possible so I couldn't tape the edges of the windows to hide any sins, either. The windows themselves had vertical rails for blackout curtains making it nearly impossible to get a blade to make straight cuts.
I had color aberrations with existing factory window gel clashing with my ND6, wrinkles that I just couldn't get rid of, clouding of the gel as the day wore on due to, I think, the gel drying out.
Has anyone got any tips or tools that would help this process the next time?
I use 4inch professional window tinting squeegees, Johnson’s baby shampoo as an quasi adhesive and lubricant, a sharp snap blade mat knife and always clean the windows before I start. If the budget allows, I try to use fresh gel.
One of the biggest problems I had was trying to make those razor thin straight and even cuts in the gel needed to adjust for the size differences in the rubber window seals. Has anyone found a small tool that would do this? I generally use a straight edge of some sort.
Also, is it possible to temporarily remove the rubber window seals in modern office windows?
David Wendlinger writes :
>Today, on an industrial video, I found myself having to squeegee ND6 >gel on six 55inch x 60inch modern interior office tower windows.
In my day, a long time ago, we used to use large, 8'x5', sheets of acrylic which you could hang or place outside the window, and if you tilted them you could get rid of light reflections. It was available in ND and 85B colors.
David Wendlinger wrote :
>Has anyone got any tips or tools that would help this process the next >time?
We have quite a lot of windows currently on our tv-series and set carpenter has made a couple of frames exactly the same size as the windows that need to be occasionally covered. There are different styles of the rooms so we have different type of frames metallic imitation or wood imitation so they match the environment Nothing fancy really but very practical and a fast solution. Once a type of filter has been agreed upon 15 minutes later the frames are covered and up in position. So maybe you could have a couple of sets of adjustable frames to match any window you might encounter in the future...
May not always work but...
Hope this helps
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