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    Lighting shadow puppet screen? Hard LEDs?
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    Member junct's Avatar
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    I'm doing a little project for a friends band, involving some shadow puppetry. I've been doing some tests, and have some projection sheets from material from an art installation, and it seems the best way to go is to have a screen between a light source and camera. Like this:

    ¦CAMERA¦>> ¦SCREEN¦ ¦PUPPETS¦ <<¦LIGHT SOURCE¦


    I was hoping I could do it with just some desk lamps, but I had a couple of problems:

    1) the light diffuses quite a lot, making the shadow images softer than I'd like, unless they're more or less touching the screen.
    2) the lighting is hot in the middle of the screen with quite a noticable radial gradient toward the edges.

    So, what kind of light source should I be looking for to create a hard light that can light a reasonably even screen? I'm hoping to keep the screen small (a3 sized, perhaps), as to not need a large light, room, etc.

    At the same time, I'd like to purchase another LED for my corporate videography work (LEDs favoured for this work, for portability and battery power options), so I'm kind of hoping some of the newer LEDs that are meant to behave a bit like fresnels might be suitable? Renting is obviously an option, but I'm doing this project on my down time so need a while to experiment and play..

    Any tips and suggestions for lighting source options, as well as techniques?


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    Try your cell phone LED in a dark room: you’ll see a single point light source works well. COB LEDs come in a variety of power levels- eg from Aputure, Godox etc. Perhaps set up as spot/Fresnel off axis to prevent hot spot recorded in camera (back lit).

    Might be useful (using optics to focus even light):
    https://www.amazon.com/Continuous-Ad...dp/B07XMQ6VFM/
    https://www.amazon.com/focusing-proj.../dp/b07xrfxst8

    EDIT: double checked links in another browser- perhaps USA only? Here's the descriptions to search:

    $249 USD
    Godox S30 30W Focusing LED Continuous Adjustable Light Spotlight with Barn Door for Professional Photography for Film and Video Production/Still Life Shooting/Wedding Shooting

    $368 USD
    Godox S30 Focusing Fresnel LED Video Light, SA-P Projection Attachment with SA-01 85mm Lens,5600K Daylight, CRI96+ TLCI9+ Accurate Color, Beam Angle 6°to 55°, Comes with Battery Packs
    Last edited by jcs; 01-26-2020 at 12:00 PM.


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    #3
    Member junct's Avatar
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    Yeah I’ve found cell phone light gives a better shadow than a desk lamp. How do the cheaper LED cobs compare to more classic tungsten options in terms of “hardness”?

    The links at the bottom of your post don’t seem to work.


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    Id look at an arri tungsten fresnel - quite cheap - or (a bit small) a dedo 150

    Remember the further away a source is the harder the shadow and more parralel the beam.

    Otherwise im sure you would be good with an apture 100 or 300 - which will be more handy on other jobs?

    (ref cob vs tungsten) The harness of a shadow is defined by the source size - google umbra and pn umbra


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    All point source lights will behave similarly in terms of hardness/shadows. The reflectors and lenses will determine the defining look. The focusing/Fresnel COB LEDs look really good from the examples (haven't used personally, though might get one soon). Luma Cube and similar can work great if you don't need a lot of light output; they also work surprisingly well on camera: IMO much better than LED panels which can create weird shadows (unless there's a really good diffusor on them, or even better Remote Phosphor). I picked up one of these and Lume Cube magnetic attachments (e.g. snoot, barn doors, grids) will attach and stay in place (not a perfect fit though): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I also look for high CRI/TLCI especially Ra (average of R1-R8 = reds), R9, R13 as that's what makes/breaks skin tones (I'm sure you'll want to use the light(s) for people later at some point). >=95-99+ is what to look for (perfect light is 100, e.g. blackbody emitter (old school incandescent can do this: https://www.fullspectrumsolutions.co.../cri-explained ). It's taken a while, and now LED is approaching 100 with low energy & heat- pretty amazing.

    A recent COB LED with Fresnel+focusing optics will provide even, controllable light with hard edges, with low energy costs & low heat. For ultra low budget, used tungsten/halogen/HMI etc. can work fine (will get very hot & use a lot of energy): check eBay etc.
    Last edited by jcs; 01-26-2020 at 12:50 PM.


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    #6
    Member junct's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input all. JCS, your links work now - I was on mobile before and couldn't get it to load.

    In terms of lighting a the surface evenly with hard edges, am I correct in understanding that this is defined by the size of the light source, and the distance of the light source from the object (larger and further being better for my needs)?

    I'm unsure if those luma cubes would get me close enough, though are much more justifiable in cost (and perhaps even more likely to be used on my regular videography work, where I'm often having to travel via train/foot so portability is essential). The smaller aputure/godox/etc COB leds are probably most useful long run, but portability is a bit tricky.

    I like the look aputure mini 20 for portability, though the fan for such a small light is concerning
    Edit and it appears they don't do any spotlight optics for the mini.
    Last edited by junct; 01-27-2020 at 07:27 AM.


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    I would check out an ellipsoidal light like a Source4, should be cheap to rent because they aren't exactly expensive. If the screen is small, a Source4 Jr. or Mini might do the job. I wouldn't concern myself with LED vs. tungsten for a single shoot. https://www.etcconnect.com/Products/...gn=Source-Four


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    #8
    Member junct's Avatar
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    Thanks. Greg, I normally rent lights, but could justify having a lightweight LED COB in my kit for videography jobs + this job is one I'm doing in between other gigs, in a fairly playful/experimental way - so I need access to the right kind of light for an extended period of time (i.e. renting becomes less financially attractive). Hence thinking of buying


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    https://flic.kr/p/r7qFS7

    This example used an ellipsoidal stage light with a gobo pattern. Hard edge point source on wide beam centered about twice the screen height away.

    Ellipsoidals are ideal for this because they project a very even beam spread with no hot spotting and little falloff at the edges.
    Last edited by Razz16mm; 01-30-2020 at 11:26 AM.


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    Here's a review of the Godox:


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