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Lighting Miniature MOCO

Published : 4th January 2007

What would be the smallest (most precise) specular sources for doing table top work.

I've been the Lighting Director twice on table tops for Seiko watches. The footage is shot using the MILO system and most often with a Zeiss 100mm macro which allows the interior of the watch to fill the frame. The stops need to be around T16 @500asa at 30fps to get the hands and the face in focus AND the watches have to run in real time (I know I've ask repeatedly for a way around this) so under cranking the watch and the camera together is out of the question.

Thus far all I've found that works is dedos with lenses for punch, large sources for sheen and some very precisely placed shards of mirror and other reflective material for highlights.

So are there any sources that can put out a couple hundred foot-candles with precision that could light an area that is the size of a pencil eraser?
Is it also possible to hook up dimming to run off the camera sync to time to the move as well.

I know there are quite a few moco experts here. I really like to hear what you have come across for this type of situation.

Stephen M (definitely not built to work in a 12"x12" area) Lyons
Director of Photography IA600
Richmond, VA


Stephen,

I own four High End Systems Cyberlight CL's and a High End Status Cue light board. I use them with CityRep, an Actors Equity Small Professional Theatre, here in OKC as automated follow spots. The Status Cue can be programmed to do all sorts of automated fades, moves, etc. with the Cyberlights, and it can be remote controlled by Midi Show Control. They're moving mirror fixtures, they'll do things moving yoke intelligent lights can't do.

If it's a possibility that there could be some specialist rental work for me and my Cyberlights, I'm pretty certain I can modify their optics path to get them to throw a laser thin beam. Intensity's no problem, they'll easily throw 200 footcandles at 30 feet with the narrow angle lenses kits in them (which I have), optically narrowing the path will boost the light up even more. I've got several ideas in mind as to how I could produce a degree or so wide narrow beam. I'm fairly cutting edge in Cyberlight usage, last year I was invited to submit a short article to Lighting Dimensions magazine on how I used them as automated follow spots for a production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown".

Hal Smith
AM/FM Services Company
7312 Shannon Circle
Edmond, OK 73034


I remember quite a few years ago LTM had a little system of fibre optic
lights that were HMI driven.


Haven't seen one in quite a while, and I never used it, but it seems exactly what you need, maybe someone still has one in their rental inventory?

Steven Bradford
Collins College
Tempe Arizona


If you want a really cheap solution try using plastic magnifiers (the kind you can get in most stationery shops for a few $)

These will focus your lights to quite tiny intense points (like any magnifying glass) and because they are plastic you can bend them and shape the point of light to suit your subject requirements.

If you are shooting real time, they should be heat resistant enough. (or dim your lights until shooting)

Is pulling the watch apart (so you can animate the second hand) out of the question?

Cheers
Steve Newman ACS
DP Sydney, Australia


> I remember quite a few years ago LTM had a little system of fibre optic >lights that were HMI driven.

As I recall from them, they'd have to be nearly sitting on the subject for T 16. but stocks are faster now etc etc)

I also remember an issue with varying CT with varying length of the fibre optic ? But they did have cool little Fresnel lenses. I rented the rig once (after having too much fun playing with them at a trade show) but didn't use them on that job as it turned out. The focal spot attachment for Moles was what I used actually, I think.

But the LTM seemed good for micro kicks & micro backlight especially.

Sam Wells
fillm/../nj


Stephen M Lyons wrote :


> I know there are quitea few moco experts here. I really like to hear what
> you have come across for this type of situation.

Hi,

I usually shoot watches with multi-passes :


Face, Strap, Case, Highlights and a Matte pass using a 90 degree shutter.


If the watch has a metal case and a black strap then additional passes at
170 & 45 degrees.

I usually set the stop to T4 or wider. The minimal focus helps with wire
and rig removal.

Stephen Williams DoP
www.stephenw.com


Stephen,

Are you shooting multiple passes of the watches with the movement stopped? Is just the second hand in motion?

For our shots the hand movements (hour ,miniatures and seconds) are always in motion with the second hand sweeping through a predetermined position for the edit. Camera moves are most often x y and z combined with a moco turntable move on the product. We do not or at least haven't till now had the ability to permanently stop the movement of the hour and minute hands So the watch is reset for each pass. Even with extreme care it would be impossible to reposition the watch for multi pass compositing.


We do multi pass in telecine for exposure control and painting in Smoke, seems like everything has flaws and scratches at these magnifications.

Stephen M Lyons
director of Photography IA600
Richmond, VA


> Are you shooting multiple passes of the watches with the movement
> stopped?
> Is just the second hand in motion?

The watch is running so the beauty pass on the face goes first. I find
that 1 minute early or late can be acceptable so if the rig does not fire
you get a second chance. I often fix the ends of the strap to wires fitted
to motors, allowing the strap to move whilst the watch turns on a model
mover. Watches without a second hand are easier!

>seems like everything has flaws and scratches at these magnifications.

That’s one of the reasons I shoot at a very wide T stop, out of focus dust
and scratches are less of an issue.

Stephen Williams DoP
www.stephenw.com


>seems like everything has flaws and scratches at these magnifications.

I have a Lastolite light tent that is very useful for small product shots. It produces such a soft, shadowless and reflection-free light that many otherwise visible flaws and imperfections are eliminated.

I think it might be particularly useful for watches.

http://www.lastolite.com/

Greg Lowry
President
Scopica Inc. / Scopica3D
Vancouver



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