Can anyone provide insight on the following:
We got a new ring light, that had worked wonderfully for several interviews that my organization records, until one of our donors wore glasses. Now, there's a persistent glare from the ring light that is incredibly distracting.
I have looked through existing tutorials and turned to google with almost-helpful results, but I am still coming up short. Grateful for any assistance. Here is a photo of the issue. Here is my email spelled out: archivist at d j h s dot org. If you reply with your email, I'll send you a copy of the video file to play with, as well.
You might want to try Content Aware Fill in After Effects.
Content-aware fill may work, best of luck to you.
But that isn't "glare," it's reflection. And shame on whomever was recording that interview not to notice and adjust the position of the light -- that's their job. I know it can be very hard to interrupt an interview, especially if the person you are recording is high-prestige, but you can see why it really must be done.
The workflow for this is to to find frames where his head moves in a way that does not produce those glare. screenshots, frame holds, masking and a lot of keyframes should be able to solve it, for faster results you can apply the same theory and play around with the tracking tool in AE
I appreciate your suggestion so much! My timeline to get this video edited was just pushed up significantly, and I am still so clumsy with the software and processes....how much would someone with your skillset charge to fix this issue in about 40 minutes of footage?
Jessica Schneider, MA
Archivist & Volunteer Director
[Personal information removed by moderator.]
Hi @DJHS Archivist,
As a former lighting technician for film and video, I read your note with interest. You see this common problem with these cheap "ring" lights very frequently. They are everywhere! The problems they introduce are pretty much insurmountable to fix in post. A small LED video light works much better, but they are not as well-known to be used by the masses and are more expensive. Here are some examples.
I see you have requested the services of others on the forums, so I wish you luck if you can find anyone that can solve this. I think it would probably be very time consuming, with mixed results, and in turn being cost prohibitive with unsatisfactory results.
With that said, is it possible to simply leave the video as is? I think that's what I would do. I dare say, it's not ideal, but some problems are not easily solved and you probably will have to live with the results. Otherwise, you'd do better with a re-shoot if that is possible.
"Next Time"...Tips for you:
If you are control with how these interviews are being shot, or are involved with them direclty, you might ask your interviewees to consider these simple tips when setting up their own interviews. The annoying "ring" can still sneak into someone's glasses, no matter how careful you are, though!
I can get good results with these lights and people with eyeglasses if the fixture(s) are well out of the frame, set quite high, and with less of an extreme angle, like 45 degrees. Bouncing the light off a white wall or ceiling is often the best bet. A bit of diffusion draped in front of the light can also work wonders, like a bedsheet over a couple of stands.
These ring lights usually work OK unless the person wears glasses, then you are forced to deal with the results. Not fun. You have my sympathy.
I fully agree with you, @Kevin-Monahan!
Them glasses are pesky little things and as a cameraman you have to be willing to interrupt the interview to fix things.
The main trick with lighting is to "light from the sky": place the lights high enough and point downwards (akin to the sun). What also works is instructing your talent not to raise their head, as soon as they look up, they will catch the light in their glasses. In some cases adding a little bit of gaffer tape to the stems of the glasses which makes the glasses angle ever so little bit forward will do wonders as well.
But trying to fix this in post? Nah, I wouldn't want to go there...
Jessica, I agree with Kevin-Monahan.
The main issue you will have with any post-production technical fix is that you are replacing someone's eyes for an extended period during emotional testimony. It would require the skills of a Disney-level animator to make the tweaks necessary to pull it off convicingly.
Your work is important. Best of luck going forward.