Light is Essential

In any video making effort, proper lighting is essential. In fact, it’s the single most important factor. It’s even more important than having a script or idea to base your video on because without light there won’t be anything to see.

The thing is, even if you’ve got what looks like “enough” light to shoot a decent or at least passable video you could still be short of enough light to be able to use effects like chroma key.

The reason for this is that the chroma key background (usually blue or green) MUST be VERY well lit so that the video editor will be able to properly key out all of the needed color without leaving ‘holes’ in the effect or other things like unwanted green or blue ‘halos’ around the actors.

I used Chroma key in a recent project and while I had enough light for most purposes, it turns out that I didn’t *quite* have enough for a really good chroma key effect. As a result, several of my actors have green halos in places. This, in my opinion takes an otherwise good script and kicks it DOWN two or three notches in terms of quality.

This is what I get for having to rely on sunlight coming in the windows to give me enough light for Chroma key. I’d love to get a few work lights to light up the green screen but given the way my house is wired I’d probably blow the circuit breakers if I used more than about 200 watts on any one circuit.

Result: I STILL don’t have enough light!

[tags]filmmaking, video making, visual effects, chroma key, light, lighting[/tags]