Day for Night Conversion in Visual Effects

17 Сен 2017

Day for Night Conversion in Visual Effects

Duration: 2,5 hours

Date: 16.11.2019 at 16:00

Price: 500 UAH


Geoff Leavitt – Visual Effects Supervisor, Producer and Artist.

Geoff is a native of Los Angeles, grew up immersed in the entertainment industry. After finishing up undergrad in animation and visual arts, he landed at The Walt Disney Company where he was a designer. After leaving Disney, Leavitt went to Warner Bros for a short time before realizing that he had a bigger calling. From there he started a creature effects studio called Cinemorph Effects Group. While there, Leavitt designed characters, creatures, body suits, animatronics, stop motion puppets and prosthetics for various TV shows and feature films. In the late 1999/2000, he turned his attention to visual effects and has been a part of projects such as “Dallas”, “Longmire”, “Zookeeper”, “Grownups”, “Bucky Larsen: Born to be a Star”, “From Prada to Nada”, “Area 51”, “Mirrors”, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop”, “The Grudge 3”, “Bedtime Stories”, “Punisher: War Zone”, “Basement Jack”, “X-Men: The Last Stand”, “Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles”, “Knight Rider”, “CSI:Miami”, “CIS:NY”, “NCIS:Los Angeles”, “The Good Wife”, “The Big C”, “Prison Break”, “3lbs”, “Vanished” and countless others. Leavitt has supervised and run visual effects departments for several companies before realizing that in order to really make an impact in the industry, he needed to start up his own studio. He was one of the co-founders of Nitrous Visual Effects, based in Calabasas, CA and has since gone independent. He recent work includes: “Point Break” (remake), “ShadowHunters”, “MacGyver”, “The Fix”, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, “9-1-1”, “Terminator: Dark Fate” and “DC’s Stargirl”.


Course information

1. Brief introduction 


a. Background

b. Projects


2. Introduction to the concept of Day for Night


a. Day for Night (1973) – Director – Francois Truffaut

b. Thelma & Louise – Monument Valley Scene – Director – Ridley Scott

c. History

d. Why Day for Night?


  • i. Budget
  • ii. Schedule
  • iii. Decisions made in post

e. Benefits


  • i. Keeping shallow depth of field

1. When shooting at night, cameras have to be wide open which reduces the depth of field.

  • ii. Less grainy
    1. More detail is recorded and available for contrast and realism
    2. Shooting at night reduces information camera can capture, thus
    more grain and noise being introduced due to camera filling in
    pixels that it cannot read.


f. Drawbacks


  • i. If it isn’t shot properly, it won’t look real
  • ii. Large backdrops will be more difficult and time consuming due to added
    roto and lights that need to be added in post for realism.
  • iii. Timing of the shots are crucial


g. Methodology – Shooting footage for Day for Night


  • i. Frame out skies as much as possible and you want to make sure that you
    put the sun behind the camera.
  • ii. Shooting at dusk or on overcast days will help with the conversion over to
  • iii. Graduated optical filters and polarizing filters can be used to cut back on
  • iv. Using a neutral-density filter (ND Filter) or filters designed to cut back on
    lighting and color.
  • v. Setting up the scene to throw as much of the background into shadow as
    possible and keeping the foreground subjects lit appropriately to their
    environment. Silver reflectors are typically used to produce a cool
    moonlight cast.
  • vi. Underexpose shots by 1.5 – 2 stops to mute the shot and reinforce a
    nighttime look.


3. Types of Day for Night Shots


a. Exterior Day for Night Shot

b. Interior Day for Night Shot

c. Classic Blue Day for Night Shot


  • i. The moon has a color temperature of 4000K (warmer than daylight).
  • ii. Low light environments look bluer to the human eye due to what is called
    “Purkinje’s Phenomenon, which states that in low light situations, we
    perceive more blue and green colors than reds and yellows.
  • iii. In the absence of other lighting at night, the human eye does not
    perceive the warmth of the moon, we see more of the muted moonlight
    blue that has become standard in film.


4. Techniques for creating believable Day for Night shots


a. Tinting

b. Color Timing

c. Contrast

d. Exposure

e. Adding Details

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