Lighting Fundamentals | Mansur Omar | Skillshare

Lighting Fundamentals

Mansur Omar, Video Producer

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17 Lessons (33m) View My Notes
    • 1. Intro

      0:32
    • 2. Soft Light

      1:46
    • 3. Hard Light

      1:21
    • 4. Ambient Light

      1:34
    • 5. Shadows

      2:25
    • 6. Highlights

      3:08
    • 7. Defusers

      2:29
    • 8. Bouncing Light

      1:39
    • 9. Light Intensity

      1:53
    • 10. Color Temperature

      1:51
    • 11. Three Point Lighting Intro

      2:18
    • 12. Three Point Lighting

      2:30
    • 13. Two Lights Down to One

      2:57
    • 14. My Light Setup

      1:58
    • 15. Light Positioning

      2:24
    • 16. Silhouettes

      1:59
    • 17. Outro

      0:13

About This Class

This short course is here to lay the groundwork for you to have a solid understanding of lighting and the effect it has on your scene. I tried to deliver the content without leaving much room for fluff. The course format is pretty consistent and fast paced. Understanding lighting even at a basic level will build and improve your overall production quality. I've experienced this bump myself a couple years ago.

Learn Lighting Fundamentals in This Comprehensive Course.

  • Master the lighting essentials

  • Change the game once you learn how small adjustments have big impacts on your scenes

  • Use tricks to illuminate your subject and scene

  • Walk away with a strong understand of the lighting basics in just 30-40 minutes

Learn how to create high quality videos on your smartphone!

https://www.skillshare.com/classes/Create-Professional-Video-Using-Your-Phone-No-Editing/288390555?lessonsTab=on&via=teaching

Transcripts

1. Intro: What's up, everyone? My name is one sore, and I'm a video producer. I put together this 30 minute long course and I tried to keep Everything is pretty short and concise. And in this course you're gonna be learning how to light a scene now, just the fundamentals of lighting. Now, this course here is for beginners, and this is just to get you through the door so that you can be able to have some type of foundation and then move on. From there. We're going to be covering the core basics, including the set up I've here. So without further ado, let's get right to it. 2. Soft Light: So now we're gonna talk about softly now softly has a very specific effect on whatever it is you're trying a light, and when you look at something that is really nicely lit, a lot of times it would be let using a soft light because it gives you really soft shadows , and it really smooth ends out whatever it is you're lighting. It's really good for, like, facial features, and you'll notice this. When you try recording in front of like a window, you'll get this nice lighting that you can't really replicate in the studio. And that's mostly because the light that you're using toe illuminate the scene. You know the light is coming through the window. It's gonna be some light, and the sun during the day mostly acts as a hard light source. Now indoors. That's when the light bounces. And then you'd get different types of effects. And that's when you get that really soft light. Unless, of course, the sun is beaming straight through your window. But if you're getting general ambient light, you're going to get pretty soft shadows. Now. If you want soft shadows, when you do step outside, you're going to have to wait to win. It's pretty cloudy out. So then the clouds, What act as the diffuser for the sun. So, basically, in order to get this nice soft light, you would have to have a big light source. So if you're in the studio, you're gonna need a very big like diffuser to kind of spread the light out to give you a nice soft look, because soft light has this type of wrapping effect where you are lit from every angle or that's how it appears. So you don't get any hard shadows. You get these really nice, clean, soft, you know, refined shadows. So that's just about it for this lesson. Now let's move on to the next one. 3. Hard Light: We just talked about soft light. And now we're gonna talk about hardly now. Hard light is the exact opposite Hard light. This is the light that you will see coming from like a flashlight. Now, the light source in the flashlight is very small. So when you, you know, shoot the light rays from this tiny light source and is pointing in one direction, you're going to get this really hard effect, and you would have really high highlights. But you have really dark, shallow shadow shadows as well. Now, if you're outside, things might be a little bit different because you've got the basic diffusion. And you might just need this hard light just to, you know, bring out a couple features or to, you know, bring in some more shadows and in certain areas that you're not really getting from just the standard, um, set up that you have that's already there. So if you want to get like a dark side of the face so you might wanna, you know, light one side and keep one other side really dark and get up like a horror type vibe, then you can achieve this using hard light It all depends on what you're trying to do. So the best way to remember this is that hard light comes from a small light source, and then the opposite is soft light. And we talked about that in the last list, so that just about covers hard light. Now let's move on to the next. 4. Ambient Light: So let's talk about Ambien like now and be a light is the light that is in the scene. So this could be anything from the sunlight to the light you have indoors and the reason why this is really important to know. You know what role this ambient light is having or what effect this NBN like, is having on your scene. It's because you always have to be mindful of it, regardless of where you're shooting and at what time of day you're shooting. So you don't want to go in and start filming something, and then you say, Oh, this didn't come out how I wanted it to be because I didn't account for this. So I didn't come for this or, you know, you know, you were a little bit late, so you know, the sun isn't quite as bright as you thought it would be in all of this or if it's cloudy or rainy. All of this is really gonna play a role in how your thing looks or in how your shot or photos look in the so be mindful of it. And the best way to practice is to actually just shoot your shots using Onley immediately. A lot of times you would use, you know, light say you already have. In order to enhance certain effects and features that you might, you might want to, you know, push, try shooting outdoors. Try shooting indoors. Try using the window as your light source and try to see what type of effect it has on you . Just experiment with ambient light so that you can know what role it will play in your productions, and that just about covers ambient light unless we want to the next lesson. 5. Shadows: So now we're gonna briefly go over shadows. And, of course, we know what a shadow is now shadows. It makes up a big part of lighting because if you have a shot that is nice, it's nicely lit and everything like that. But the shadows looked Yankee. Then it would destroy everything. And this is probably the biggest thing that you would focus on when you are lighting something, especially when you're lighting in a in a very controlled space. The shadows need to be, you know, paid attention to. And this is why Phil lights are very important because it gives you that control over your your shots, because the fill light is there to kind of help you out with the shadows, because sometimes you might get shadows are just too much and you need something. Teoh kind of fix that for you, especially when everything else is looking nice. Everything is looking perfect. Everything is the way you wanted it to be. But then you've got this big old shadow that's just there, and it's really destroying your image or your shot. So what do you got to do? You got to bring in some field lights you gotta control for the shadows. So you might need to bring down the intensity of some of your light sources to accommodate the fill light because the feel like does it bring some extra lights of the scene So all of this needs to be taken into account When you are watching for shadows Now, the shadows are going to be more intense when it comes from Ah, hard light. So if you got a light beam in straight at you, then you're gonna have some really, really heavy shadows. But of course, if you use a diffuser than the shadow is going to kind of soften, but it's still going to be there, it's spent in it, and it really depends on how far or close you are from the light source itself. We went over hard and soft light earlier. Now, hard light is going to give you heavy, hard shadows, heavy, thick, dark shadows and then soft light is going to give you it's gonna soften the shadows for you , and the shadows are gonna be very minimal. And working off of this concept is really going to help you when working with shadows in your shop. Shadows can be fixed in post. We know this, but the problem is that if you have shadows that are out of control, then working to fix that would be much harder. If you were to, you know, do it in post, as opposed to fix it in camera so that just about covers shadows. So let's move on to the next lesson. 6. Highlights: So let's now talk about highlights. Now, highlights is basically the bright spots in your image. Now, of course, highlights. They come from intense light. You can't get highlights with a really soft, weak light. You're gonna need something strong. So in order to get these highlights, you're going to need to use, you know, either are hard light, like, you know, something that kind of works like a flashlight. You can have, like, water or really shiny reflective objects in your shot in order to bring out these highlights. So anyway, highlights they come from hard. Like, you know, you can get highlights from your soft light source, but most likely it's not really a soft light source like that. Try using the sunlight and trying to get these, you know, really reflective highlights on your face. You're not really going to get that unless you have modified your you know, your window or you had, like, a stencil or something to give you. You know, some highlights in certain spots. So the reason for this is because when you have a very big light source, you're getting lit up from all angles, and the highlights come from a very specific spot. So if you wanted to get some good highlights from, you know, soft light sources, these light sources, they're not gonna be too. So because if it's too soft, you're going to get something that you would probably get from, like the sun or something like that. So typically, what is done is that you would either use a hard light to get very specific highlights, but you're gonna also have to control for the shadows. Or you can get your shot, get the highlights saying you need and then bring these highlights out in post. But these highlights have to be there in the first place. So, of course, you're gonna need to shoot with soft light. But make sure this light isn't too soft because you're going to take away from the highlights. That's why usually, in the studio said you would have all types of lights, because you're going to need to control for certain things. So if I wanted to bring up some highlights, I can point some hard lights and try to control for the shadows UNIFIL lights and then I would use the soft lights to give me overall diffusion. There's just so much there, so I wouldn't worry too much about the highlights. I'll try to make sure that they're there, but they're not, you know, overbearing. Because if you got overblown shots that you're gonna have some real problems in post. So if you have, like the base there you have these little shiny spots and you have you know, the highlights you want. They don't need to be as intense because the intensity can be brought up, you know, in whatever program you use in after effects. So if you're going to be working with video, maybe something like premier, or if you're gonna be working on a photo that maybe somebody photoshopped that you can bring up like the highlight slider, you can really mess with it as you please. But make sure that you get the highlights without destroying your image. And the way you do this is by keeping the highlights there, but not, you know, overbearing because the details you still needs to be there. I know I just went on and on about this, but yeah, that just about covers it. So let's move on to the next list. 7. Defusers: Now we're gonna talk about diffusers we just spoke about hardest off, like in the previous lessons. Now, diffusers is what you use to help transition between hard to soft like I don't think it works that well in reverse, but hard, like indefinitely turn into a soft light source. Now what air diffusers? Diffusers come in different, you know, shapes. But the purpose of a diffuser is to spread the light source. So this could be anything from a sheet of paper to a plastic bag. As long as the light can shine through, anything can work. Really? So you would use this to basically spread the light all across the, um the sea. Now diffuses don't just come in one size. They come in many different sizes, depending on what you're trying to do. But you also always got to remember that the bigger the light source, the software, the light is going to be. So if you have medium size the futures, you know something that sits around this big, then it's probably going to give you a soft enough, you know, light. But it's not gonna be too much to where you're going to need to bring up the brightness of the core light just to be able to illuminate the scene. So, of course, if you want to have a bigger diffuser, you should use, you know, a more powerful or a bigger light source in orderto power, this big diffuser, or to power through this diffuser. And if you're shooting in a place like a studio or really controlled space, then you're gonna have to have at least two or three diffusers at your disposal because you're going to be using them all the time shooting using a hard light source. You know this will be something that basically works in a way that a flashlight would will be very rare, you know, so you always have to have diffusers working if you're in a controlled space. So if you're going to be lighting scenes, make sure you have diffusers at your disposal. And if you don't know anything about them and find out about them because it's essential for your scenes and it's not a very heavy type of technology is just something to spread your life so it can just be anything from a from a white sheet that sits in front of your life source that your that the light is basically I'm gonna blast through in orderto like everything else. So that's just about it on diffusers. Let's move on to the next lesson. 8. Bouncing Light: So in this lesson, we're gonna be talking about light absorption now, late absorption. It sort of works in a way that ambient light would you always have to be aware of it as you go into your shoots. And this is mostly because there are certain materials that react differently to different types of life. So dark colors absorb, like while light colors sort of enhance and spread the light so you would typically see, you know, diffusers holding white sheets over them because this will help the light spread onto, you know, whatever it is you're shooting. So this could be, you know, your character or anything that is really there in your scene. So you're able to use, you know, white or light colors in order to help the light bounce around the scene. And it would help bring out mawr in your shot. If you have more light colors and, as you know, dark colors do the exact opposite actually takes away from your seen. So just be aware of the type of materials you have in your shot, and you would usually see this in effect when you have a set that has a black background. And this black is pretty much, you know, a star. Guests can be because the black material that can use cloth most likely they use cloth. This black material absorbs the light in a way that it keeps it as dark as possible, while the subject that sits in front of the camera is lit up, that just about covers light absorption and bouncing light, so let's move on to the next lesson. 9. Light Intensity: Now let's talk about light intensity. Now, the light intensity that you should have set, you know, for your scene really depends on the camera you got depends on what it is that you're lighting Depends on what is going on in your shop. So if you have a talent, who is you know of a darker complexion that you might need to use more light sources toe kind of bring out his features as opposed to somebody with pale skin. And you might need to, you know, use less light and maybe use more hard light to bring in some shadows and give him some definition to you know, his figure. So if you understand your camera, you understand camera settings. You know, what are the default neutral settings, then you can adjust accordingly. Now, if you have to bring up your I s soldiers to be able to see what it is you're shooting, then you are gonna have to bring up the intensity of your life because obviously it's not getting the job done and you're compensating with the cameras. I s o to adjust for that. And of course, there are other things, you know, like If your camera sensor is adjusted, Teoh basically take in very little light. Then you're gonna need to open this sensor now. Different cameras have different sensors, so the sensitivity really varies. But once you know what it is that you know, what is the standard? What is the default? That you should have the default settings, that you should have one recording, Then adjust your life accordingly. Now make sure nothing is blown out because you know something that's blown out is just as bad as something that is too dark. So try to find the sweet spot in the middle and then make sure you don't push for the extremes in camera. You know, like with highlights with the shadows, because you can always do that in post. Now that's pretty much it when it comes to light intensity. So let's move on to the next lesson. 10. Color Temperature: So let's start with temperatures. You know, depending on what you're going for, the type of effect you're trying to have, then the temperature would play a huge role in how your scene looks and a feeling that it gives, you know, the person who sees your your video or your picture or whatever it is you're shooting. So if you shoot for the blues on a temperature bar, then you're shooting for something that is, you know, like cold and maybe even you're trying to go for, like, a nighttime setting. Then you know the blues will really help, you know, emphasize this. And if you go for the warmer side of this are then you're going for something that's more warm, more friendly, more peaceful. It really depends on what it is you're trying to shoot. Now, of course, these aren't set rules. You know, these aren't rule set in stone, but this is generally the effect it has on, you know, somebody. And this mostly works off of the sunlight. So, of course, at night, you get the bluish light and end during the day. You know, if it's not, um, cloudy or something outside that you get a really nice orangey tint to your life. So if you try to replicate this, which your studio most lights would have a temperature dial so that you can adjust it toe how you want your seen toe look. Now these temperature adjustments can be done in camera can be done using your lights. It's you know, the light sources you can really dialled in the temperature if you have something very specific you're trying to get, or you can handle this in post. So this is probably the most dynamic thing you can really change, and it's not really gonna look too fake if you do it in post. So that's just it for, like, temperatures. And let's move on to the next lesson. 11. Three Point Lighting Intro: So in this lesson, we're gonna be talking about the three light type said you would have in a scene. And this is and these lights, of course, are always used in pretty much every type of media. And if you deviate from this light set up, then you must know what you're doing so that you can achieve the effect you're really going . For now, the most important and probably the strongest light source would be the key life. Now the key light works as just an illumination device. It's mostly there, too, like the scene in a really, really basic way. But it works. Is the primary light of the whole shot so it can come from right or it can come from the left. But it doesn't really usually sit right behind the camera. Unless, of course, you're going for some type of style I shot or you got one of those ring lights or something like that. Now the next light we got is the feel like now the fair light is there to basically cover up the shadows. So if you have one strong key light on this side, you would need a relatively strong feel like on the opposite side so that your face can be illuminated, you know, pretty in a pretty natural way. So this light serves as like a secondary line. So remember, key light is the key. Light is the primary light, and then you got the fill light and that it works as a secondary light, and it's basically there, too. Fill the seen and the last light is the hairline or also known as the backlight. And what this light does, it creates a halo around you. And this light is there to separate you from the background sometimes is used just to bring some aesthetic to the to the image so it can. It can be used just to beautify the shot whatever, because cinematographers tend to use a lot of back lights to bring out certain features to set certain moods and whatever it is that they're trying to do. Remember, lighting is more of an artistic than so there are standards. But then you also that people who use different techniques to achieve different types of offence so that just about wraps that lesson up and we're gonna be moving to three point lighting so onto the next list. 12. Three Point Lighting: now in this lesson, we're gonna be talking about three point lighting. Now, I know this light set up here deviates from what you're probably used to, but this is the standard seen light set up. And, uh, of course, the background is is not really looking the best right now. And that's mostly because this intense backlight and it works at, ah, hair like that's what you would call it. So what I'm gonna do is turn off all of the lights that I have here so that you can see the effect the ambiance is having on me now, I'm probably invisible right now, so I just put on the key light so that I can at least exist. You know, on video is obviously the most powerful, like here. And we spoke about this with the three types of lights because you have the key light. You have the feel like and then you have the hairline. Now, earlier, I just had to hair light on it was a little too much, so I turned it off. And now I'm gonna turn on the field like so that you can basically like me up because one side of me is a little too dark. So this is closer to my normal set up and then hair light. If I had something that would basically take away this light's effect on the background, then I'll be more inclined to turn it on. But you saw the effect that played in the scene when I had this, like halo around me and it was on one side, and this is usually used to separate someone from the background. Now I'm gonna briefly turn on this light so that you can get up better understanding of what I'm saying for the most part. So I'm gonna get to that. Now, As you can see, there's a little halo around me, and the light is a little bit intense. So if I wanted to have this type of light set up, I would have to optimize it so that it doesn't affect the background, and the light intensity can be somewhat controlled. But I'm sure you see what role this light plays in the scene. So this will be a hair light or the backlight. Some would call it, and then you got your failed light and you got your key like now I'm back to my standards set up. I choose not to use a hair light. It really it really doesn't do that much for me. So I decided to exclude it from my set up. And now you understand the three point lighting system. So let's move on to the next lesson. 13. Two Lights Down to One: Now I've changed my set up quite a bit. I went from three lights to two and now I'm gonna bring these two down one. So what I have is a key light up here right on top of the camera, and I haven't feel like here now what I'm going to try to do is to remove this feel like here and use balance. Like to basically work as the film like. And this is just to show you that there are alternative ways of lighting recede. But you do have to have at least one light source in the scene so that you can have something to control. So if you have one light source, then you can use different objects to illuminate the scene by knowing where to put it and how big this object is supposed to be. Because remember that the size of the light sources so has an effect on how your image looks. So right now, I'm going to turn off this feel like now, as you can tell, the shadows are a bit dark under my neck and they look a little too dark. So when I need to bring something in so that I can have some Phil. And that's why you use a feel like you the fill light to basically manage the shadows. That's how I like to look at it now. I got a big board over there and I'm going to bring it in so that I can work as something a bounce the light off so that I can have some diffusion or at least better diffusion of still lit up. But I need some light coming in from, you know, the sides or something to kind of basically control the shadows, make them a little softer. Now, when I place it right behind me, you can tell that this board is basically lighting me up from behind because the light is bouncing off of this surface. Here, Insistence is a shiny white surface. I'm being lit up from all around. It looks as if I'm in some type of doe of light, even though the light sources are just in front and behind me. Now, this board here isn't generating light, but it is balancing light because of the light coming from behind the camera. Now I'm holding the board here. I would play something behind it so that it can stay upright. But for now, I'm just gonna hold on to it. And you can't. I'm pretty sure that you can tell what this surface is going to the scene itself. Because I won't need to turn on this light if I have something like this sitting next to me . Whoa, That was a lot. Anyway, I've successfully put this border, and that's just about it for this one. So let's move to the next lesson. 14. My Light Setup: So we're gonna be talking about my light set up, and I'm gonna be using this to illustrate the effect off each particular light that I have set up here. Now I'm going to start by turning everything off except for the key light, because the key light is what keeps me lit is the strongest light source in the scene. Now, as you can tell, the light source is coming from this way, and I have a diffuser on this light. So that's why the light is not coming to strong has some diffusion to it. And we spoke about Diffusion earlier, so it's sort of sit somewhere in the middle. It's not hard and it's not soft. It's just in the middle, and then the diffusion just basically softens the light. But it doesn't make it, you know, a fully like global type light that keeps you defused all the way around. So I'm going to turn on my field light so that I can stop looking like I'm in some type of horror movie or something. Now, with this feel like on, this is probably somewhat closer to what you guys are used to seeing. But believe it or not, I have another light. Now this light plays a very small role in overall scene lighting is just there to basically clean up the shadows that are being left here from these two major light sources. Now, of course, you got the key light, and you gotta feel like now this feel like is almost a strong as my key light. But it's called a fill light because it's not the primary light is basically works as like a secondary light source. And I used to fill lights for my videos. So I'm gonna turn my second felt light on and you're not really gonna notice anything drastically different. But I'm going to revert to my old set up. And here are, though. So now that my lighting is a wage, you'll have it. I'm going to conclude, and we're gonna move on to the next lesson. 15. Light Positioning: Now there is no one way to light a scene. But there are standards set ups that most people follow, and if they break the rules, you have to understand the rules first. So in order to light a scene like this where you have your subject right in front of the camera and you you wanna have him lit toe where it's aesthetically pleasing and you don't really deal with weird shadows, make sure that the lights are not pointed. Coming from underneath, that's that's a start. Unless, of course, you're going for, like, a horror vibe or something. But just for standard video like this, you won't really need no lights coming from underneath. So make sure the lights are coming from overhead. That's the first thing. Okay, so when I mean bring the lights overhead, I don't mean to high up because when you do, bring it directly above the subject is gonna end up looking like you're in some type of interrogation scene or something of that sort. Another thing is to if you want to separate the subject from the background, and you can use a backlight to do that, and if you do use a black light. Make sure that it doesn't. It's not visible in the scene, so keep it just out of frame. And, of course, you get the best results when the when the light, of course, is in frame. But that would mess with the scene because you don't want no flashing light right behind the character. At one time I did this and it ruined the whole shot, and it was something that was really difficult to work around. So just make sure that the light sources just outside of frame because it can be pretty distracting if it is in frame and you never see the backlight and frame. And if you can't bring it into the frame, then you're better off not using at all. Now feel lights can be placed anywhere. Now. This type of light you can be the most creative with, and you can use this to patch up different air. You know, issues you might have lighting whatever it is you're trying to like. So that's pretty much it for the standard light set up. You generally have two lights in the front, one light in the back. One is ah um, key light. The next one is the fill light, and in the last one is a hair light. And then you keep all of these lights out of frame. Of course, the two lights has sitting behind the camera. They're gonna be out of frame anyway. But the backlight is the one you always have to worry about. So now that we're done with this, let's move on to the next lesson. 16. Silhouettes: Now, before we wrap everything up, we're going to briefly talk about silhouettes, and basically silhouettes are made by having a very bright background sitting behind the subject. You're trying to have be this silhouette or it doesn't have to be a person. It could be a thing. You know, you might want rings or something like that. Now most people pull it off by messing with camera settings and having the subjects stand very close to the camera, but also have the background not affect the character himself, so he can sit in a shaded space or something. And then you were focused on the very bright spots of the background, and the camera would adjust, and it was dark in the person standing in front of the camera. Now, the way you pull it off in the studio setting where you can basically control pretty much every light source in the scene, you can have it to where the subject himself doesn't have any light on him at all. And it will work equally as good or probably even better, because the camera won't need to adjust that much in order to create a silhouette. Now, the concept will still be the same. You would have the background be lit up, and then you would have your subjects stand just behind the lights because you don't want any light on him or else the camera is gonna have to make some adjustments and you're probably gonna be messing with the look of the shot. And then the effect won't quite work. So basically, you would have the lights pointing out, and then you would have the subjects that right behind the lights Now, as long as he's behind the lights themselves and he's not basically receiving any light, then he would basically act as a silhouette. Now you could be very far or very close to the camera. This doesn't matter. As long as he's, he's visible. Of course, in the scene he has to sit behind a life so that he is illuminated so that just about wraps this lesson up. And, uh, that's it 17. Outro: I hope you enjoy the course. Hope you benefited. And if you have any thoughts, please leave it in the form of a review. And then I'll take this information into my next course. So that's it for me by