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Monday, March 5, 2012

Colored Gels- Light Up Your Video

Colored Gels- Light Up Your Video

Smith-Victor Universal Filter Holder

Smith-Victor Rainbow Pack 12 X 12" Color Effect Gels 
When discussing color, it is important to understand the difference in color of light versus color of pigment. As taught in school, the primary colors of pigment are red, yellow and blue; mixed together they will make black. However, in light, the primary colors are red, green and blue; when mixed equally together,the end color will be white light.
When we talk about adding color to the lights, what we're really suggesting is adding a specially-made transparent piece of colored plastic in front of the lights. This plastic is known as gel, color media, color filter or just color. The gel is a special transparent or translucent piece which can withstand higher temperatures (although it may fade in color as time passes and should be replaced). This is the most common type of medium used to color lighting. Other methods include a more permanent glass filter or lamp dip (Colorine) for applications where low wattage will be used and gel is inappropriate.
Gel is applied in front of the lights using a color frame. This frame allows a piece of gel to slide in between the two panels. Then the frame fits in the slot located at the front of the fixture.
Cool colors include those in the blue-green-violet range. Warm colors include the red-yellow-orange range. Generally, it is ideal to add a cool color to one ofthe 45° angled front lights, and a warm color to the other. This will provide agood color of light on the actors' faces or set, and give the illusion of depth.Together they should mix to white light (unless a specific effect is desired).
Color in the rest of the instruments depends on what feeling or mood you want your area to convey. For example, if you have a cheerful, fun musical, you'd most likely want to use warm, vibrant reds, pinks, ambers, etc. but you are the designer, so the choice is up to you. - From Vincent Lighting Instruction 101

1) If you are filming people around a campfire and you are using a daylight-balanced light, you will end up with video that has white illumination. To turn that shot into a more dramatic shot, you can add a warming(red-yellow-orange range) gel over your light to capture a golden color of the fire glowing on your subject. It will make it seem like the people were lit naturally by the fire.

2) When filming neutral subjects against a sunset, a warming gel helps in matching the golden light of the sky. This will help balance your foreground and background light.

3) When you are shooting a scene with a mixture of indoor and outdoor light sources. You can use the gels to match which ever light source you want. Blue gels will give it a cool look whereas orange gels will warm up your light.

Tech Tip - Gels and Diffusion from Framelines TV on Vimeo.
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