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Thread: Lighting scene with subjects on a couch against a wall.

  1. Default Lighting scene with subjects on a couch against a wall.


    How would you effectively light two people having a conversation on a couch in a room that is against a wall using a basic 3 point system? Obviously backlight isn't available because of the wall so I'm just curious as to how you could define everything nicely without making it flat.


  2. #2


    Day time or night time ? Does the couch really really have to be against he wall ? Does it want to look intimate, formal interview, funky ?

  3. Default

    Hey thanks for the reply, sorry I should have been more specific. Daytime/morning, scene, two friends chatting/reminiscing about one persons dead relative.

    The size of the room is pretty restrictive and the couch would look awkward elsewhere. Bay windows to the left of the couch which can be curtained off if need be.

  4. #4


    I'd see how it looks with the natural light from the window for the main key light and use a reflector or two for some fill on the other side.

  5. Default

    Great thanks. I was just looking for a suggested starting point and that'll do nicely!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England


    Have you thought of Green-Screening? - that way the background can be put out of focus, lighter...darker to suit. Probably worth doing a straight shot first, then try again, provided you can illuminate the GS fairly evenly, and without creases, as you know.
    If doing cutaways you may need to shift the screen to include the wider parts

    EDIT: TS whilst technically all you say is correct; this Set is already a nightmare and if the actors wear a complimentary colour, red/orange.browns then spillage would be reduced. . . . it's not ideal, but with some care (and I understand HitFilm (sometimes sold with Vegas), claims to be something of a revolution in greenscreeing ). . . .
    Have you tried reflective screens? . . . these look black except from the lens, creating a much sharper differentiation, any spillage is nearly zero..
    + I did suggest a straight shoot first.
    Mad? . . . Moi?
    Last edited by vidmanners; 08-02-2013 at 11:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by vidmanners View Post
    Have you thought of Green-Screening?
    Are you mad? If the wall is hard up behind the couch the green screen is going to be even closer. Spillage of reflected green will make this impossible to key. Whaever happened to "Aim to have at least eight feet between the subject and the green screen"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    Green Screen - stupid idea.

    It's a straight forward interview, two people on a sofa with a background. It's not a "nightmare" it is a simple, easy job.

    As Midnight wrote, just have the key lights soft and to the left and right of the set, crossing over. So the light to the left lights the person on the right right and vice-versa. You can add a bit of fill from the front and that's it, job done.

  9. #9


    What about moving the sofa a bit away from the wall and into the room?
    Last edited by XXLRay; 08-03-2013 at 11:18 AM. Reason: addition

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