Experiments with the light board

Over at my company YouTube channel I've posted a few light board videos, mostly test runs through with short ~3min videos.

I've tried a few techniques that seem to have worked well and thought I would share.

First, clean the glass. Both sides. Speckles of dust become beacons!

Second, no light on the camera side of the glass. I installed blackout curtains.

Third, camera settings. I use F2.8, 1/100 shutter, ISO 320, on a Sony RX10 IV. This means the camera is focused on a very shallow depth.

Fourth, the post production. I use kdenlive and audacity. I first run the audio through a noise-reduction filter. I then crop the edges. I then use a Bezier-curve to slam the black level down (so everything close to black becomes absolute black). I then flip (mirror) so you can (almost!) read my scribbles. I then use a chroma-key overlay and pick up the whitish-green marker and replace it with a neon green (see below video).

To add a bit of pizzaz, I sometimes overlay in objects or colours as well (you'll see that here for example).

Getting the lights and microphone setup was a lot of trial and error, I think i have it relatively dialed-in now.

For those who wish to follow the journey, please feel to subscribe to the YouTube channel, and of course, the company blog where I will promote them and add some descriptive text, some what like here.

Let me know if you have suggestions for content or how to improve the videos!

3 Comments on “Experiments with the light board

  1. Are you using F2.8 because you can’t get enough soft light behind the glass? You do seem a little out of focus. Might be better to crank up the ISO a bit and stop down the aperture. On most SLRs the noise reduction works great when you are working in HD video because the native pixel count of the sensor is so much higher. Maybe also try a polarizing filter on the camera – you’ll sacrifice 2 f-stops but you might find you have more options in dealing with reflections allowing you to crank up the lighting.

    • Also make sure you use something to soften the lighting to appear to be from a large source. Maybe bounce the light off a large sheet? I’d love to come experiment with the setup

  2. I have diffused soft light behind the glass (two big light boxes).
    I want a shallow depth of field (to avoid seeing wrinkles on the backdrop sheet).
    I’m shooting in 4K w/ a Sony RX10 IV bridge camera.
    The camera is about 70cm from the front of the glass.

    I experimented w/ ISO320 and ISO400.

    I’m using a bezier curve to force-black all near-black.

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