Lighting 101: Intro to Light Placement

published on July 17, 2020

Hey Matt from the a-team here and today on four minute film school we're going from this to this using only lighting let's go hey there my name is Matt and I'm excited to introduce myself as a new host performing at film school one of the key

Differences between amateur video and cinematic footage is lighting and today we're gonna cover the basics three-point lighting three-point lighting has been the Hollywood standard for years now we've been using it because it looks

Incredibly eye pleasing and it looks great on your subject within a scene three-point lighting has been the foundation of all light placements on a set it's a language that helps us talk about where our lights come from in our

Scene but what about one point lighting what about four point lighting any combinations of light work but today we're focusing on the main three three-point lighting three point

Lighting refers to the light placement on a film set to in front of the subject and one behind the two in front are the key light in the fill light and the one behind is the backlight the first light is the key light this is your main light

In your setup it's also the brightest and covers the face the most this light can be a side light a frontal light or a high angle light the most common type of light comes at a 45-degree angle up into the side giving a really cool triangle

Light on the subjects face this is also known as the Rembrandt light the second light is the fill light which is usually on the other side of the key light and all this light does is just fill in the shadows given by the key light a typical

Way of using the fill light is to place it on the opposite side of the key light while dimming down the brightness so you don't flatten out the face sometimes all a fill eye is is a reflector board utilizing the key light bouncing back at

The subject other times there's no fill light at all the third light in this three light setup is the back lights and this sole purpose is to separate the subject from the background

A typical back light is placed about 45 degrees behind the subject illuminating the shoulders in the back of the head next is a hairline which is directly behind the subject illuminating the shoulders the back of a head and giving

A really cool halo effect and then lastly the rim light which is placed way off to the side illuminating the chin in the jaw from here you can kind of mix and match for all kinds of combinations for example what if we took away the

Fill light this is called low-key lighting because the overall lighting hitting the subjects face is low this is called high key lighting because overall the subjects face is very bright or maybe you just have one backlight or

Maybe two back lights in one fill light or maybe your key light is directly in front of the subject or overhead for a top light or maybe you want the key light in the backlight to be on the same side or maybe you want the backlight to

Be a rim light to create an interesting shape on the subjects face so as you can see there's a ton of different combinations for your lighting setup none are particularly correct though each light could be defined as a key

Light a fill or a backlight it just depends on what you're using it for in your scene in this setup the key light is in front of the subject creating a more flat appearance but let's say let's move the light over to the side of the

Subject let's skip the fill light and now we have a shot that looks a bit cinematic but the subject is still blending into the background so let's add a backlight and now that light is popping her out from the scene

So let's recap the key light is the main light in your scene it can come from the front flattening your subject or it can come from the site splitting the light on the face or it can come from above otherwise known as a top light and it

Spreads across from above or it could be a Rembrandt light which creates dynamic shadows on the face the fill light fills in the shadows of your subject and can be bright dark or gone completely the backlight accents the subject and either

Highlights the back of the head and shoulders the hair or the side question of the day what is your favorite light combination let us know in the comments below for a chance to win a super cool app sure MC if you've enjoyed these

Videos follow us on Facebook Twitter YouTube all the social media platforms and stay tuned for next week where we talk about how to modify any light for the best possible look and until then happy shooting

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