Saturday, 28 January 2012

Set Building: Progress report

Here is a little update on the set building. This picture shows most of the props in place. Latest work was the application of the upper wall pattern in green, and some windows dress-up work.

This picture was taken without flash, with a single light from behind the camera. The trick is going to drop two incoming light on the carpet, as in the original game background. One square of light from the door, and another one from the window. No idea how to place the lights to do this effect. It is very hard to drop a shadow with nice hard edge...

Any photographer around to give me some advice on how to achieve this?


  1. Looking good! Are you going to do a blog post on how you made the props?

    1. I have posted about the props but I don't have any detailed "how to" since I have "outsourced" the making to more capable people. Typically I have recreated all the props in sketchup, made some detailed plans, and went to see a carpenter for wood part, some metal welder for metal parts. I have the chance to live in a country where getting small jobs done is still affordable option!
      The only thing that I did by myself is the set structure itself.

  2. It looks great seeing all this in place :D

    I'm not a photographer but some factors that would affect the shadow edges would be:

    a) The size of the light source. The smaller the better.

    b) The distance of the source from the window. The further away it is the better.

    Perhaps a torch bulb or a bright LED could be worth a try.

    1. thanks for the advice cplhenshaw.
      I did not think about the size of the light source. I could probably control that... as for the distance, I am limited in space.

      the idea of a torch bulb/LED is excellent. it will give me a pretty focused beam and should help placing and sharpening the shadows... I will give it a try.

  3. Consider making a 'snoot' for your light to change it's shape. Cardboard works, or you can buy one if you are inclined.

    The sun and moon cast hard shadows because of their size, and the clouds cast soft shadows because it diffuses and spreads the light out. Clouds turn the small hard sun into a giant softbox.