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- Needed images:
- The setup as whole
- Curtain light spilling reflections on the lightboard—>fixed
- Floor-level curtain reflection–>fixed
- White things reflecting on the lightboard
- Blacks lowered, before&after image
- How to turn off red signal off sony camcorder
- Masking borders, before&after image
- Shotgun mic setup as backup
- Lavalier mic on talent
- Lightboards own light switch
- Fresnel lights placed on the sides
- Backlight & remote controller guide image
- Image: why lights in the front doesnt work
- Image: talent behind drawings vs talent next to drawings
- Image: talent with white and medium color shirt behind drawings
- Image: talent with all black and disappears in the background
- Water bucket safespot
- Paper roll and the bin
- 100% backlight revealing dirt on lightboard vs 33% intensity.
- Different types of dirt on lightboard and how visible they are after blacks are lowered. before&after.
- Cables taped to the ground
Positioning and Reflections
- The more space there is between the backwall and the lightboard, the easier it is to make the background 100% black with lights and post production.
- The more space there is between the camera and the lightboard, the higher (and closer to the eye-level) the camera can be positioned without causing reflections (typically reflections from the floor-level seam of the curtains are the most problematic) to appear. More space also allows camera to be more zoomed in, creating less distortion in the image. Placing the camera next to the curtains is good idea to maximize the space.
- It might be needed to shoot lower than the talent’s eye-level to make the lights coming from floor-level seam of the curtains not appear as reflections in the image.
- Close the curtains so that there is no light reflections on the lightboard. It is good practice to not let people sit next to the curtains so that they would not accidentally touch the curtains and cause reflections to reappear.
- Avoid having anything white in front of the lightboard (white tables or paper for example). It is recommended to use black tape to cover the white logo on the camera.
- Turn off the red recording light signal on the camera.
- Including the lightboard’s borders (taped frames) in the camera framing might be a good idea. This way the talent cannot draw anything outside the frame (note that communication between the videographer and the talent is usually non-existent when the camera is rolling). The borders can be eliminated in post production by masking.
- Using a traditional teleprompter setup with lightboard is not possible because of the reflections the rolling white text would cause. It is possible to position the teleprompter diagonally as a separate system on the side, but the talent would not be able to read the text and look at the camera at the same time.
- Remember to tape all cables to the ground so talents or assistants do not stumble on them.
- The lightboard has its own LED string which should be turned on with the lightboard’s own light switch.
- There are two clamps for LED panels on top of the lightboard. Use these to light the talent.
- Two fresnel lights can be used to light the talent from the sides. Fresnel hats (barn doors) can control the light from not spilling to the background. However, the hard light from sides can easily overexpose the talent when the talent draws something in the very left or very right side of the lightboard. To avoid overexposing the sides, move the fresnel lights to a greater distance. Aputure 120D lights with fresnel hats at 20% intensity seems to be ok, but depends on the distance.
- Mini Studio has a backlight to separate the talent from the background. It helps especially if the talent is wearing black. The more powerful the backlight is, the more apparent all dust and dirt will be on the lightboard, resulting in more precise cleaning work. Leave the backlight at 25-50% depending on the hair color and height of the talent. This can be controlled with the remote controller. (More details on the remote controller coming later)
- Lights from the front usually add too much light to the background to be used. Front light is possible if the lightboard is moved closer to the camera as the light then does not need to be as bright to light the talent. However, the lightboard would then not be entirely visible in the image anymore. This might be an option if only a smaller section of the lightboard has to be visible.
- Around 5800K seems to be a good camera white balance for this setup. Avoid using camera’s auto white balance as it might get confused when different colored markers are used during the presentation.
- A lavalier microphone on the talent. Does not need to be especially hidden if the video is shot at wide angle as usual.
- Optional backup: a shotgun mic on a stand pointing to the ground in the middle. Not very useful if the talent is moving.
- The talent should not wear white. The most important element is the drawings or text and they will not be visible if the talent wears white and stands behind the drawing.
- The background is going to be 100% black, meaning pure black clothes might cause an effect of a floating head being the only visible part of the talent. Avoid pure black and white clothes.
- Other people in the studio, especially the videographer sitting next to the camera, should not wear white clothes as their reflections may appear on the lightboard. It is recommended to have the videographer sitting next to the curtains taking as much distance from the lightboard as possible. This makes the videographer disappear when Blacks are turned down in post production.
- The video will be mirrored. The drawings should be drawn so that they look fine towards the talent. For the talent it might be easier to think as if the audience is behind the talent, just like in a classroom. However, when speaking to the audience, the talent must speak to the camera.
- Standing behind drawings makes drawings less visible to the camera. Do not stand behind the drawings that need to be seen at any given time!
- Brand new markers are activated by pressing them against hard surface (the lightboard for example) for 5-30 seconds. This should be a one-time action.
- There are rulers in Mini Studio to help one draw a straight line or angle.
- The talent should stand close to the lightboard (even when not drawing) and not step away as the amount of light will reduce drastically towards the backwall.
- There are many ways to clean the lightboard, but a simple and effective way is to simply use water and paper. The less water is used, the faster it is dry and clean with paper.
- Drawings are easier to clean within a few minutes after they have been drawn as they still contain moisture from the markers. This allows videos where the talent is carrying a small piece of paper throughout the presentation to clean out drawings shortly after they are created. Some videos may benefit from this.
- Fingerprint-like or “transparent” dirt on the lightboard will not be very visible in the final video after the Blacks are turned down in post production. However, even the smallest dots from the markers will definitely be visible (think of the dot from the lower caption letter “i” for example) if they are not cleaned properly.
- When the water bucket is not used, place it next to the lightboard on the camera side. It is important to place the water bucket in a safe spot where nobody is moving because the studio is going to be dark.
- Flip Horizontally.
- Remove borders by masking them out with 100% black. Cropping is also an option, but it requires shooting at higher resolution and will not create safe margins for the drawings in the final video.
- Lower Blacks. Look at Lumetri Scopes for example to see when the background no longer has detail in the back curtains. This will make the edges seamless for masking.
- Add Aalto Studios outro at the end.
- Reduce audio noise coming from lights or air conditioning if needed.
- Add additional information (course name, topic name, teacher name) in the beginning if needed.