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What kind of overhead lighting should I have for filming battle reports?  [RSS] Share on facebook Share on Twitter Submit to Reddit
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Made in us
Water-Caste Negotiator

West Virginia

Hello! I am constructing a hobby room in my new house. I would like to have the option to film battle reports in the room. What kind of overhead lighting would you suggest to help make it look as good as possible? I feel like track lighting would be my best option, but any advice you can provide would be great. How many lights on the track, suggested lumens, any other lighting tips I may not be thinking about...

The room is going to be about 11' by 10' with one large window. Thank you!
Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

I don't know but a quick internet search showed this link https://arteis.wordpress.com/2017/06/10/lighting-for-the-wargames-table/ where someone apparently already worked on the issue.

Were I to try to design from scratch, I would get a couple of 1000W (or approximately 15000 lumen) worklight lamps (halogen) (or, if some I liked were available, LED). Point them at the ceiling indirect light style (basically throw it up at the white walls and ceiling of the room a bit like you are running a searchlight and looking for bombers). This would give you a lot of diffused background lighting, pretty quick. I would NOT however use just one bulb style to make the light -- better to mix in some different warmth categories of bulbs till you like the result.

A more permanent "we aren't filming today" setup would be some sort of strip lighting or LED lighting over the table itself. That's not idea in filming in 40k, at least, as far as I remember in the big tournaments, the people doing filming of the top tables used a series of reflection mirrors (curved) to diffuse the lights off of multiple large worklamps. (*I am not CERTAIN they are the same worklamps as one can buy for 30 dollars at home depot or its ilk, so you might start with just one and see how it works, then counterweight it with bulbs from the other poitns in the "warm zone" in the track lighting.
The mirrors they used appeared to be made of mylar or similarly reflective plastic, curved over a bent plastic surface, but I am fairly sure you can get some by searching ... ayep, "https://www.efavormart.com/products/photography-photo-portrait-studio-600w-day-light-white-umbrella-continuous-lighting-kit?variant=35101061650&msclkid=85e1cbd87fae1ca606d3943605d69ec8&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=B%20-%20EFMT%20-%20Shopping&utm_term=4577541785555928&utm_content=All%20Products"

That site seems to sell things aimed at photographing humans, and they descri be their bulbs as 105 watt flourescent bulbs in the "6500 K" or "true daylight" (YmmV) range. A similar warmth to those bulbs is somehting you could seek out in your purchase options for lights.
A background article on the warmth ranges of bulbs (from a random internet source cause I am too lazy to type it out at you) is here. https://www.hunker.com/13411409/what-does-daylight-cool-warm-mean-in-light-bulbs ..

You know what? You should go to an old school camera store, or photography store, if you can find one, and ask this question there. I bet anyone workign in one can answer it better than I could, and would love the chance for an interesting application of their arts and knowledge. Your goal (a high CRI bulb with a high "K" rating (I believe that the K value represents an vague nod towards the black body radiation sort of composition of hotter and hotter things giving off higher and higher energy radiation. Our sun is quite hot, and thus, its "apparent" heat represents the radiative light thrown off of thigns heated to about 5500 to 6000 C (and K of course, is a mere couple hundred kelvins off of the degrees of C temperatures. So I expect they are trying to describe how hot a source the particular bulb emulates. But I digress, and I don't know that is the most useful thing to know -- what is important is that the high CRI bulbs with high kelvin counts will probably give you good rendering of model colors, while the cooler temperature described bulbs will wash out a lot of the colors, and emphasize yellows, or blues. Subtle effects with lighting are theoretically possible -- like putting all the warm bulbs from one direction and the cool ones from another, allowign your models to seem brighter towards the "sun" source while not showing huge shadows and not showing huge dark areas on the other side of the model.

However, that goes well beyodn my skill level.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/01/01 01:45:15

Guard gaurd gAAAARDity Gaurd gaurd.  
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut


How much height have you got to play with?

In the simplest of terms the bigger your light source (relative to subject) the softer the light will be (less harshness on the shadows).

Think of it like this, on a very bright midday summer day the sun casts very harsh light because its a tiny spot of light in the sky - you get sharp highlights, dark shadows and its not that nice photographically speaking
On a cloudy day the light is much softer, the shadows and highlights are far less marked and its much more photographically easy to work with.

So in theory what you'd want is a big light source one easy trick would be a light within a softbox - basically a box with a small end for the light to go in and then a big opening which is covered with a white sheet - the white sheet becomes the light source as the light within is reflected onto it.

OF course most rooms don't have a ceiling tall enough to make that practical. What you can do is instead of a light right over the top, is position lights to the side.

If you ever see photographers setup you'll see either softboxes (big boxes over the light) or umbrellas which can be shot through or reflected off (either way makes the light source bigger).

Another trick is to paint the walls white and bounce the light off the ceiling. Yep you fire the light at the wall, not the subject - the wall becomes the light source (relative to subject) and is a big area reflecting the light down. Though whilst this works for flash photography, its again not practical for video lighting.

Made in us
Longtime Dakkanaut

Er, why not? .. practical for video lighting, that is?

Guard gaurd gAAAARDity Gaurd gaurd.  
Made in gb
Decrepit Dakkanaut


Yes but if you're bouncing the light it might mean that you've got lights pointed at odd angles aiming upward - ergo blinding your players or getting blocked as they move around the table.

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