Best Lighting for Virtual Sets – Ultimatte


Ultimatte Describe the Best Way to Get Great Lighting for your Virtual Sets 


Ultimatte received many complements for their lighting at IBC 2014. One person came up shouting “WHO DID YOUR LIGHTING FOR YOU?!?!?” he was so impressed. Of course the answer was “We do our own lighting”. The common theme that ran through all the discussions was the problem many people were having with traditional lighting directors being dogmatic about using techniques that simply don’t work in a virtual set. So…. after going through the same explanation several times David Hughes of Ultimatte decided to take some photographs of the IBC booth with a particular attention to the lighting.


Floor Lighting is Very Important:

Ultimatte_Best Lighting for Virtual Sets_1

In this photograph special attention should be given to the two floor lights that we used. These are KinoFlo LED lights that can be set to the desired colour temperature. We had them set to 2,700K. 3,200K would be fine but not a higher colour temperature when using 3,200 K tungsten or fluorescent lighting.



Why is Floor Lighting Very Important?

Because in a virtual set with a blue or green floor if there is no floor lighting the only light that the underneath of horizontal surfaces, such as scripts, chins, arms, etc, will receive is green or blue light from the floor. It is important to add white light to these surfaces so as to stop these surfaces from being seen by the Ultimatte as part of the backing.


1m Radius Cyc.

Ultimatte uses 1m radius ProCyc elements. The smaller the radius of the cyclorama the more difficult it is to light the stage correctly.


No Dark Line at the Bottom of the Vertical Green Wall:

Ultimatte_Best Lighting for Virtual Sets_2

A very common problem that comes from lighting incorrectly is the presence of a horizontal dark line at the bottom of the vertical wall above the cyclorama accompanied by a bright line in the middle of the cyclorama. This is always cause by the lighting. We used KinoFlo fluorescent lights to light the screen. It is VERY important to not have these lights too close to the screen. You should draw customers’ attention to the positioning of these lights, and that means height, distance from screen and angle of orientation.


Perfectly and Evenly Lit Green Screen AND Shadows:

Many people believe that you can’t combine a perfectly evenly lit backing with shadows. This Is not true. The shadows are created by the back lighting and key lighting. The floor is lit entirely by reflected light from the rear wall, and the key and back lighting.

Ultimatte Booth IBC 2014.mp4 - here is the video

This video was taken using vertical orientation so that lighting could be easily seen. Since the original would have required the viewer to lie horizontally to view it we rotated the video using Adobe Premiere Pro 5.5



Further Info:



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