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Thread: Perfectly black background

  1. #1

    Default Perfectly black background

    I'm currently trying to make a video of a candle in the dark. But when I watch the video on the pc the black background has much noise and it's not perfectly black. I was wondering if you have some advice for me on how to get the background all black and smooth. Would I have to do it through editing the video after shooting or is there something I have to do (with light maybe) while shooting? Thanks in advance for your ideas and suggestions.


  2. #2


    I am presuming your camera is struggling with shooting in just candle light. My only suggesting is play around with the iris until you get a better result. You could try (but my not work) adding some light and closing down the iris.

    Just thought, if you don't have manual iris adjustment on your camera try increasing the shutter speed this might give an interesting effect of the flame as well.

    These are just my novice ideas off the top of mu head. I'm sure you could thing of a way to "cheat" at the editing stage such as shoot the scene with the candle lit and the shoot the scene with the candle unlit and put the flame on the unlit candle in post.

    Hope these ideas help you come up with a solution.

  3. #3


    Thanks a lot, midnight, for your ideas. I have a Canon XL1 and acttally I played with the iris and the shutter speed but either I get the candle with a noise background or I get too much light so that you can see the candle and everything that's behind. Actually what I want is to have the candle that lights a worldmap underneath, but all the other surrounding perfectly black. So that's why i wonder how they do in professional movies with a perfect background and smooth objects in front of the background. those are images of the video as it is

    this is how I would like the black to be


    do you have any idea how to get this effect on the video, a bit blurry and smooth contrast

  4. #4


    This is how I would do the candle shot. Make sure the room is totally dark. Put the table as far away from the background as possible. Set up either a soft light source or at the very least a reflector so that light is shining down on to the map and to wards the camera a little this will reduce the illumination of the background. You will be able you to see the map better so now close down your iris a bit so you will get less grain in the picture and the flame will not be burnt out. Make sure you haven't got any auto functions running on the camera as it will try and compensate to make the whole scene light enough, which isn't what we want. You could get inventive about camera position try moving it back from the subject and use the zoom to frame it. This will this will help get rid of the background by lowering the depth of field. (This may cause graining if there isn't enough light) You will have to experiment with it.

    You have to balance the lighting so it doesn't look false ie so it looks like it's only lit by the candle when in fact it's not. If your background is far enough away it will not be illuminated by the extra light. If this is happening use a dark cloth to cover anything seen in the background.

    I hope these ideas help you out.

    As for the Easy ride video there is a tonne things been done to it. For example the the still you see before you start the movie has a grad filter effect on it. Different software will do this in different ways. As you posted this in the Adobe section I presume you use Adobe. I've never used it, I use Sony Vegas so I don't know how Adobe would do it.

    I'd just put a graduated colour (burnt orange to transparent) above the track and reduce the opacity until it looked right.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Huntington, West Virginia USA


    Quote Originally Posted by Aymen View Post
    I'm currently trying to make a video of a candle in the dark. But when I watch the video on the pc the black background has much noise and it's not perfectly black.
    Something else you might try in the editing phase. There is a "black restore" video effect in Vegas that might help you mask out the noisy background portion of your picture. Or, you could use a solid black overlay on a video track above the candle footage, then use a feathered cookie cutter hole to allow the candle and flame shine through.

    As Midnight says, it's better if you can do with the camera and Iris opening, but if the video noise level of the camera is too high, you may be SOL.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    Midnight's got it absolutely right in my opinion.

    My suggestion would be black velvet background as far away from the candle as you can get it. Add a soft light to the candle so that you've got a very bright candle and adjust your camera settings to give the lowest contrast image you can get away with.

    Expose such that you've got detail in the highlights. In post production increase the contrast and reduce the brightness until the detail in the flame starts to disappear and you should end up losing any noise in the blacks.

  7. #7


    Thanks a million for your ideas!!! I'll try to test it tonight and keep you updated on how it went. Thanks again!


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