Definition June 2023 - web



How do you foresee advancements in LED technology changing the way lighting is used in cinematography? SASCHA JAZBINSEK: Physical LED lighting technology will be more and more integrated into digital workflows such as image-based lighting, digital light planning, pre-vis, tech-vis and, of course, virtual production. As these technologies are developing very quickly, workflows need to be established, and physical tools like lights need to accommodate. This integration will then lead to new operational standards that will help gaffers and DOPs to plan and deploy a lighting set-up more efficiently. Digital twins of fixtures will help to refine and organise shoots and lighting set-ups. JEREMY HOCHMAN: LED is advancing at an extremely rapid pace year over year. Colours are better, black levels have improved and driver chips allow faster signals. I know, I said black level in relation to lighting – but it can make a difference if the source is supposed to be high contrast and image based! Combining these attributes means better on-camera performance and improved colour accuracy. More importantly, the better the technology, the easier it is for creatives to achieve their goals – when the tech is a tool that’s embraced and not something that has limitations and requires workarounds. Whether LEDs are in frustum, moving lights overhead, or fixtures on C stands moving around shot by shot, the improved refresh rates and colour performance make the process much smoother with less technical trial and error on-set. CESAR CACERES: One benefit of shooting a scene in a virtual production LED volume is the realistic reflections and lighting from the LED panels themselves. This such is an important element of achieving realistic in-camera visual effects that many volumes have LED ceilings or flanking walls that will never be in shot, but are there solely to contribute to the lighting of the scene. However, in practice, the RGB panels we use today are great for direct view, but not actually very good for lighting a scene. Their spectral output is different from normal lighting sources, so skin tones in particular can look unnatural and some colours are shifted. This is changing with advancements in LED, such as panels with RGBW emitters for better spectral quality.

SASCHA JAZBINSEK CPO innovations & mechanical design Sumolight

Making sure that this advancement maintains colour accuracy and gives users the control they need will bring the next lighting evolution to VP volumes. Can you discuss any recent breakthroughs or innovations in lighting technology that you feel will have significant impacts on cinematography in the future? SJ: Apart from general digitalisation of workflows, I see potential in image-based lighting that will have an impact. Also, reflective lighting, although around for a while now, is taking over more and more. Because of their extremely narrow beam- angles, laser-based light engines will develop further. Lighting has become more of a joint effort of VFX and the lighting department. That leads to solutions on-set that need to be understood from both departments. With the Sumosky, for example, you can light a set but also use it for IBL or green/ blue screen – or feed it Unreal Engine content for reflections when on VP stages. The knowledge you need to use these systems in the best way is still spread across departments, which will lead to new roles or workflows in the future. JH: Prior to this year, LED video panels were only produced using RGB LEDs. Lighting has utilised a broader “Lighting has become a joint effort of VFX and the lighting department”

JEREMY HOCHMAN Founder Megapixel VR

CESAR CACERES Product lead Brompton Technology

39. JUNE 2023

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