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Monitor Reflection In Eyeglasses

Published : 29th Sept. 2005


Hiya CML

>I need to capture a computer monitor reflected in the glasses of the subject. The frame will be ECU but not extreme. Will show the other eye slightly soft focus and some forehead and nose.

>Details: S16/ Cooke 9-50 zoom/ 7217 200T/ 24FPS/ Spirit TK with PWindows. Camera may need to move/drift slightly in shot. Can't plan for static shot. Edit will be on FCP. Shooting Mon/Tues next week. Tight budget.

>I tested with camera and my G4 powerbook and found the lens focuses close enough to get the frame required but the light level is of course way too low using the actual laptop screen as a source. I also found when I used some other room lights to mimic the effect of a lighting set up- the weak reflection I had washed out quickly.

>My idea is to feed video out from laptop into LCD projector and train that onto glasses lens very close to subject so the size can be decreased to the postage stamp I need, but am concerned this will provide too much candlepower and blow out the eye.

>I searched the archives but didn't find anything exact. seem to recall this being discussed before here though.

>I've seen this gag done in spots several times. Appreciate any comments...

Caleb Crosby, soc
DP
USA
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How about using a video projector to project the image onto a square translucent screen? Maybe onto the back of a frame of 216 or 129? You'd have to flip the image left to right but that shouldn't be too hard.

>Or, considering that most video projectors have some pretty serious keystone correction controls built in, you might be able to project the image on a screen in front of the person's face and correct for the projection angle.

>Decent video projectors are pretty cheap these days. It should be easy enough to buy, rent or borrow one.

>Art Adams, DP [film|hidef|video]
Mountain View, California
San Francisco Bay Area - "Silicon Valley"



Art,

>True enough! I like the idea of an aerial image just a few inches from the eyeglass. Why can't I think of things like this?! I have access to a small InFocus DLP projector and I think it has "image flip" built in.

>Also If I read your 2nd thought correctly, you are considering projecting from behind the head of the talent (over shoulder) into a reflective surface held close to the glasses so as to build some kick into the kick (sorry...!)

>OK thanks very much Art- you got me thinking in a better proximity to reality!

>Caleb Crosby, soc
DP
USA



>OK thanks very much Art- you got me thinking in a better proximity to >reality!

>That comes from having such a detached view of it.

>Let us know how it works out. I'm dying to find out if this works. I can't think why it won't, which means it either has a great chance of success or I'm simply in denial again.

>Art Adams, DP [film|hidef|video]
Mountain View, California
San Francisco Bay Area - "Silicon Valley"



I have shot glasses reflections before, and used a video projector bounced into an appropriate sized white card (laptop screen size in this instance) close to the subject's face.


This definitely provides enough footcandles depending on the content of the projected image.

>Hope this helps.

Robb Fischer
Cinematographer
Midwest USA
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What about a greenscreen swatch in the glasses (or Green glasses for translucence), and the put in the monitor screen as a post element? You can track the monitor screen to track with the glasses.

>Just a wild thought.

>Steven Gladstone
CML East Coast List Administrator
Gladstone Films
www.gladstonefilms.com



>What about a greenscreen swatch in the glasses

>I'd think a compositor would prefer an ordinary CU shot of someone wearing glasses to put the reflection of the computer screen into it rather than reflecting a greenscreen on the glasses or using glasses covered in green, since they still need the eyes behind the reflection.

>All they need are some tracking points and eyeglasses probably would provide those naturally.

>David Mullen, ASC
Los Angeles



Any chance of simply using a traditional CRT monitor instead of an LCD?

>These are significantly brighter and I've gotten just this type of reflection shot using them in the past with no special tricks. Just adjust camera speed or computer refresh rate to eliminate flicker.

>Mitch Gross
NYC DP



Two thoughts :

>Undercrank?

>Probably not if it is not a static shot, but there you go

>I don't see much benefit to trying to aim the projector right at the glasses - you want the reflected image in the glasses and that will be hard to work out with just a projector

>I like the LCD projector into a screen - I would either try to get a piece of rear projection material, or just take a piece of 1000H tracing paper or drafting velum or maybe 216 and make up a small frame and use that.

>Bear in mind that if you want the computer image sharp, you need to pull focus to the distance between the camera and the screen via the mirror (the glasses) so if the screen is big and far away, the face and glasses will be soft...

>...with this in mind, the smaller and closer the screen is to the glasses, the easier to get more of it all in focus at the same time or with less pull.

>You can test with a piece of show card or paper or index card or whatever to see when you have the right sized screen at the right distance

>Now when you try to focus the projector that close, you will find out that it won’t want to - the lens will fall out the front.

>You may need to build a little stand or shelf or whatever for the lens out in front of the projector to get it to focus as close as you need.

>I would recommend getting a LONG focal length lens with the projector if you can so you can back the projector out as far as possible – your focus is determined by screen position not projector position

>By the way, flipping the image can either be done electronically, or by shooting the proj into a mirror and shooting that onto the screen - we do that all the time with VistaVision rear projection where we can't flip the film in the gate.

Good luck - tell us what worked

Mark Weingartner
LA based



David Mullen wrote:

class="Paragraph">>I'd think a compositor would prefer an ordinary CU shot of someone >wearing glasses to put the reflection of the computer screen into it >rather than reflecting a greenscreen on the glasses or using glasses >covered in green...

>I would agree with that. As a matter of fact, I did this exact shot for an episode of "Family Affair" about a year or two ago (Mark Doering Powell shot that show).

>Mike Most
VFX Supervisor
IATSE Local 600
Los Angeles


>I've always shot this kind of thing for real, 500 ISO and T2.

>CRT monitor cranked up.

>Make sure that the eyeglasses are not coated, most are now.

>Cheers

>Geoff Boyle FBKS
Director of Photography
EU Based
www.cinematography.net



Thanks camera gents.

>Should be getting a projector in today and will eyeball test these ideas today and tomorrow. I will let you know what happens!

>Mark W reminds me of what I have found before (and forgot) :
projectors don’t focus down very close! Maybe I can fit one of my diopters on it...

>Re : compositing, the concern would be about preserving the reflective 'fall off' or glare of the reflected image in the glasses lens. if the monitor is shot as a plate and cut out and pasted onto the master shot of the glasses - I’m wary that opacity and soft edges can sell the shot. This is only FCP finished.

>Geoff mentions something I hadn't considered - I'll be heading out to the glasses shop and getting several types of glasses.

>(Do glasses shop people know about photographic testing? Or do they _charge_ for lending out 10 pair of glasses? Hmmm)

>The surface has to have a huge effect. My stock is 200T so I'll meter some CRT's. Thanks Geoff, as always!

>More soon.

>Caleb 'testing testing' Crosby, soc
DP
USA



Caleb Crosby wrote:

class="Paragraph">>in today and will eyeball test these ideas today and tomorrow. I will let >you know what happens!

>Since my suggestion was a no go on compositing, here is another one.

>Don't just eyeball the test. Shoot some "Roids"

>Um Polaroids that is.

>Steven Gladstone
CML East Coast List Administrator
Gladstone Films



Caleb Crosby writes:

class="Paragraph">>I need to capture a computer monitor reflected in the glasses of the >subject. The frame will be ECU but not extreme. Will show the other >eye slightly soft focus and some forehead and nose.

>If you don't need to be able to read what's on the monitor, but simply indicate that there's a monitor in front of the subject, you needn't give the reflected monitor full exposure, so you may be able to get away with the illumination level the monitor already gives you. Keeping your surrounding lighting on the low side will help, as well.

>Tinted glasses (preferably uncoated, as someone already mentioned) may work better because they'll give you a darker background against which the monitor screen will show up with greater contrast. Note that the darkness of the glass itself is completely unrelated to its degree of front-surface reflectivity.

>But the tinting *will* tend to suppress back-surface (secondary) reflections, giving you an additional advantage.

>Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Greenbrae, CA


>I just wanted to say thanks to Geoff for his straight up advise on shooting eyeglasses reflections. I went with exactly your recco Geoff and nailed the shot. at 500 EI (rated at 320) I had exactly the T2 you forecast. thanks for the good steer.

>Dom Rom at Moving Image Post in NYC really pulled my TK together beautifully. Thank you Dom, as always. MI Post is a cool place. Nice pool table and an all around good vibration! Rick Anthony showed me the cleanest lab I've ever seen. Scott brought it all together on the Spirit. I'm back for another session this Friday on another job.

I went to D5 for the first time and onlined in HD from a data file on a firewire drive- all perfect. The Spirit I was on had a very different look than others I've used. Nice look! The spot went state-wide and was well rec'd.

>Also I'm speechless about the generous save play of Nathan Milford of our list (and AbelCine) who expertly talked me out of my ham handed ground glass cleaning the night before the shoot! so rather than drone on I thought I'd just mention I'm making my second CML donation in Nathan's name.

>Team CML!

>Caleb Crosby, soc
DP
New England


>Caleb Crosby wrote :

class="Paragraph">>Dom Rom at Moving Image Post in NYC really pulled my TK together >beautifully...
>MI Post is a cool place. Nice pool table and an all around good >vibration! ...the cleanest lab I've ever seen.

>I used them last October on Mitch Gross' recommendation - I have to chime in that Moving Image is phenomenal. We've got great labs and facilities here in LA, but boy do I wish we had a place like that.

>What great work they do. So helpful.

>Mark Doering-Powell
LA based DP