The Animatress Pipeline

Filmmaking Adventures

Quality of Light

# An image that is lit with direct light sunlight. Guess the direction of light, and explain, based on clues in the context of the image, why you believe the light is cast from that direction.

Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
The sunlight is coming from the top left of the screen.

The sunlight is coming from the top right of the screen.

# An image that is lit with diffused, soft light. Is it possible to guess a direction of light for you image? If so, which direction?

In Cover Girl the light is diffused but coming from two places: there’s a key in front of Rita and what looks like a volume light giving her a rim light effect behind her. Arguably this can be an example of a secondary light as well.

Quint is silhouetted against against the 10am skyline. This image would be a direct sunlight candidate if the contrasts weren’t so muted for much of the frame.

Elizabeth the Golden Age
It is very difficult to determine what direction the light if coming from in this image. One simply has to rely on their common sense and assume that the light originates directly from above and it is a typical overcast day in Great Britain. Hence no shadows.

# An Image that demonstrates secondary light.

Dark Crystal
There is a key light the illuminates the Mystic and secondary light emitting from the candle right above Jen’s head. I would assume the use of secondary lights is a necessity when shooting on a soundstage as opposed to on location.

# An image that shows one of the light sources was a colored light. Suggest what color the light(s) was, and why.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The whole scene has a blue hue—even the red coat. It reminds me of James Cameron’s obsession with using blue lights.

The Blue Umbrella
I’m split on this one. It can be shot with a blue light or the blue hue is actually the result of the magic of the Indian Uttar Pradesh landscape. The location shots from this film are incredible!

# An image that might require the use of a cookie or gobo to recreate the lighting scenario. What shapes, or negative image is in the cookie? How might the angle of the cookie, or the surface effect the shapes that are cast in shadow?

This whole series is named after the color Blue White and Red. The use of a cookie is obvious in the shadows that fall across Juliet Binoches face and shoulders. The silouhette of the window frame could prove me wrong, but I think the cameraman made use of a cookie and well as found objects in the scene.

Down Argentine Way
40’s Hollywood sound stages, the playground for man made lighting. I suspect that there is a spot or area light ( maya) on Carmen and key light on the sound stage. I think the light uses on Carmen has been diffused just a bit with a gobo to avoid completely washing out her features, blinding the audience with her adornments and of course melting her make up!


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