Monthly Archives: November 2011

Website Design Inspiration and Initial Ideas


As I am not very confident using Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 but I want to create a unique and realistic artist website I have decided to start researching it already and looking at various tutorials for what I want to do on my website. 

As we have already filmed the music video I wanted to start focussing on both the digipack and website as I know if I leave it until January I won’t have enough time to do any indepth research or planning for either of these things.

Pictures For the Website:

The most practical solution for this is when I take photographs for the digipack I will also take photographs that can be used for the website. I will only be able to start contructing the website when I have completed the digipack as I have decided that I want an ‘Enter’ page advertising the digipack I have made with phantom links to iTunes and Amazon where you can hypotethically buy the album.

Enter Page

I have decided to create an enter page as I believe if I were to realisitcally create a website for a band then this would be ultimately free advertising for the digipack I am going to create.

I am going to create the enter page in HTML and try and keep it as simple as possible. Ideally I only want a picture of the digipack and links to buy it on iTunes and Amazon as I really want these things to stand out on the page. I really want to make sure the page doesn’t look cluttered as I think if it does the advertising won’t be as effective as it could be.

I will also use CSS formating inside of the HTML page to make sure the design looks neat and organised so I can make it look as uncluttered as possible. This is an example of the sort of design layout I want for my enter page:

Even though this enter page isn’t connected to my genre and is in fact connected to one that contrasts mine completely I believe the effect this creates is ideal advertising for any genre. The only things I would change is the album thumnail as a Hyperlink and would just have the iTunes and Amazon icons. I also like the idea of the links to facebook, myspace and twitter at the bottom of the page. I would ideally like the image to cover the whole of the page however this all depends on the image I am going to use for my digipack as if I use one with too much in the background or with digital inserts it wouldn’t work as well. The ideal image for this is probably something with a central image, muted colours and contrasting colours so it is noticable but doesn’t take away too much attention from the links on the page itself. Unlike many enter pages I would also like to avoid having a scroller on the right hand side. I really want it to just fit the size of the screen as I think it looks a lot tidier and professional and this is something I would like to do with a lot of the pages like the home page.

I was also considering having something along these lines on the front page:

The two arrows I have circled are the design element I am looking at here. Although I want to predominantly advertise the digipack I create I also thought it would be a good idea to have music videos on here.

However as I want to keep the design simple and organised which is why i’m going to use a CSS format on the HTML page I am unsure about whether to use this for the enter page or whether I should use it for the home page which would probably make more sense as it would be showing ideal contents available on the page. I could even have each members bio when you click the arrow and have a page dedicated to each of them.

Feed Computer icon.

RSS Feed (Really Simple Syndication)

On the news section of my artist website I want to create an RSS feed which is often used for publishing frequently updated things. The RSS feed is web based, desktop based and mobile device based, so when looking at hypothetically creating an artists website this sort of programming would be ideal.

The RSS reader checks regularly for new work, downloads any updates that it finds, and provides a user interface to monitor and read the feeds. RSS allows users to avoid manually inspecting all of the websites they are interested in, and instead subscribe to websites such that all new content is pushed onto their browsers when it becomes available. By giving my artist website such great technology and devices it allows fans of that band to access their information in various ways and gives an alternative to other slightly outdated pages.

 It allows you to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites you are interested in. There are many benefits to RSS feed and web feed as it allows you to subscribe without giving out your email details which is appealing for the user as it means they are much less likely to recieve spam or viruses.

When looking through tutorials for Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 on I came across a tutorial for a floating sidebar menu which would be ideal for the RSS feed and other links such as the band/artists YouTube acount, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.




For the home page I have decided I would like a CSS horizontal drop down menu as I have seen these present on many other artists websites like Kings Of Leon, Vampire Weekend and Katy Perry. I would like to avoid menus like on Silversun Pickups artists website as I think it looks outdated and doesn’t conform to what the contemporary website viewer wants. Through using structured HTML and simple CSS, it makes it possible to create a visually appealing drop-down menu that is easy to edit and update, and that works across a number of browsers, including Internet Explorer. Better still there is no JavaScript required for it.

There are a lot of helpful and useful codes here 🙂

  • Works in modern browsers withoutscript support.
  • Compatible with Internet Explorer 5 (Win and Mac OS9).
  • Based on nestedLists.
  • Current page link appears selected.
  • Sub-menus for the current page are visible by default.
  • Stylesheets are CSS hack-free.
  • In case there is no script support, Top Level List Items are linkedto top level documents (mostly for Internet Explorer).
  • In modern Browsers and Internet Explorer, this menu is Keyboard friendly (offset links are accessible).
  • It uses only one hookper Top Level list items.
  • It is Standards compliant.
  • It addresses Accessibility Guidelines.
  • It is Search Engine Friendly.

Website Design Research


WEB 2.0

For creating my artist website I have done some research on Web 2.0. When I did my online questionaire over half of the 20 people I asked said they expected an indie genre artists website to be in a blogging format so I started thinking about Web 2.0.

A third important part of Web 2.0 is the social Web, which is a fundamental shift in the way people communicate. The social web consists of a number of online tools and platforms where people share their perspectives, opinions, thoughts and experiences. Web 2.0 applications tend to interact much more with the end user. As such, the end user is not only a user of the application but also a participant by:

  • Podcasting
  • Blogging
  • Tagging
  • Contributing to RSS
  • Social bookmarking
  • Social networking

For marketers, Web 2.0 offers an opportunity to engage consumers. A growing number of marketers are using Web 2.0 tools to collaborate with consumers on product development, service enhancement and promotion. Companies can use Web 2.0 tools to improve collaboration with both its business partners and consumers. Among other things, company employees have created wikis—Web sites that allow users to add, delete, and edit content — to list answers to frequently asked questions about each product, and consumers have added significant contributions. So this type of website really would be ideal for a band as it would encourage an online community and forums on the artists website creating more hits.


Most web application frameworks are based on the model–view–controller (MVC) architectural pattern. The model-view-controller is a software architecture,currently considered an architectural pattern used in software engineering. The pattern isolates “domain logic” (the application logic for the user) from the user interface (input and presentation), permitting independent development, testing and maintenance of each (separation of concerns).


Many frameworks follow the model–view–controller (MVC) architectural pattern to separate the data model with business rules from the user interface. This is generally considered a good practice as it modularizes code, promotes code reuse, and allows multiple interfaces to be applied. In Web applications, this permits different views to be presented, such as web pages for humans, and web service interfaces for remote applications.


Web typography refers to the use of fonts on the World Wide Web. When HTML was first created, font faces and styles were controlled exclusively by the settings of each Web browser. There was no mechanism for individual Web pages to control font display until Netscape introduced the <font> tag in 1995, which was then standardized in the HTML 2 specification. However, the font specified by the tag had to be installed on the user’s computer or a fallback font, such as a browser’s default sans-serif or monospace font, would be used. The first Cascading Style Sheets specification was published in 1996 and provided the same capabilities.

A common hurdle in Web design is the design of mockups that include fonts that are not Web-safe. There are a number of solutions for situations like this. One common solution is to replace the text with a similar Web-safe font or use a series of similar-looking fallback fonts.

Another technique is image replacement. This practice involves overlaying text with an image containing the same text written in the desired font. This is good for search engine optimization and aesthetic purposes, but prevents text selection and increases bandwidth use. Also common is the use of Flash-based solutions such as sIFR. This is similar to image replacement techniques, though the text is selectable and rendered as a vector. However, this method requires the presence of a proprietary plugin on a client’s system. Another solution is using Javascript to replace the text with VML (for Internet Explorer) or SVG (for all other browsers). However font hosting services allow users to pay a subscription to host non-Web-safe fonts online. Most services host the font for the user and provide the necessary @font-face CSS declaration.

Here is a list of web safe fonts I have the option of chosing: WINDOW FONTS/ MAC FONTS/ FONT FAMILY

Arial, Arial, Helvetica, sans serif

Comic Sans MS, Comic Sans MS 5, cursive

Courier New, Courier New, monospace

Georgia 1, Georgia, serif

Impact, Impact 5, Charcoal 6, sans-serif

Lucida Console, Monaco 5, monospace

Lucida Sans Unicode, Lucide Grande, sans-serif

Palatino Linotype, Book Antiqua 3, Palatino, serif

Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif

Time New Roman, Times New Roman, Times, serif

Trebuchet MS 1, Trebuchet MS, sans-serif

Verdana, Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif

Symbol, Symbol (Symbol 2, Symbol 2)

Webdings, Webdings (Webdings 2, Webdings 2)

Wingdings, Zapf Dingbats (Wingdings 2, Zapf Dingbats 2)

MS Sans Serif 4, Geneva, sans-serif

MS Serif 4, New York 6, serif


I have decided I will use: Palatino Lunotype, Book Antiqua 3, Palatino, serif



A website wireframe, also known as a page schematic or screen blueprint, is a visual guide that represents the skeletal framework of a website. The wireframe depicts the page layout or arrangement of the website’s content, including interface elements and navigational systems, and how they work together. The wireframe usually lacks typographic style, color, or graphics, since the main focus lies in functionality, behavior, and priority of content. In other words, it focuses on “what a screen does, not what it looks like.”

Wireframes focus on

  • The kinds of information displayed
  • The range of functions available
  • The relative priorities of the information and functions
  • The rules for displaying certain kinds of information
  • The effect of different scenarios on the display
The website wireframe connects the underlying conceptual structure, or information architecture, to the surface, or visual design of the website. Wireframes help establish functionality, and the relationships between different screen templates of a website. An iterative process, creating wireframes is an effective way to make rapid prototypes of pages, while measuring the practicality of a design concept. Wireframing typically begins between “high-level structural work—like flowcharts or site maps—and screen designs.” Within the process of building a website, wireframing is where thinking becomes tangible.

Re- editing the rough edit


When looking back over the rough edit we have decided to do things much differently.

So what have we changed?

  • In the re-edited version we plan on editing the contrast and brightness levels so Mat is in a darker light which represents the cloud following him around and the couples are shown in less contrast and a brighter light to show their honeymoon period.
  • When Mat leaves the classroom door I managed to create a dual screen in sepia and kept this for when he was going down the stairs too. Brightness = -21; Contrast = -3; Sepia Amount 100; Highlight 26.
  • We did the dual screen by layering the images, putting the first in V1 and the second in v2. You then click on the second sequence in V2 and a crosswire appears which you then crop to the size you want and do the same with V1.
  • We then decided to do quite a dramatic change in regards to editing. When I was looking through the effects I could use we came across HSV Adjust, Light Rays and Sharpen which when I fidled around with them ended up looking slightly sketched and instantly reminded me of A-ha – Take On Me. I then looked at the video and fell in love with the contrast of the normal image and the sketched image. After considering what direction it would take our video in I thought it would actually go alongside the narrative very well as it is all about Mat being in his own world and the couples being in another.
  • In order to adhere to continuity editing rules I wrote down all the numbers for each editing effect so I could re-do it exactly in each frame and it would also allow me to finish the editing quicker so have more time to review it and look at what needs working on. For the HSV Adjust the Salvation was 2.74 and the Value was 1.64. For the Light Rays the Amount was 42, the Glow was 1.66 and Expansion was 0.7. The Sharpen effect wasn’t changed and we left it as it was originally.

Whilst doing the editing I didn’t feel we had fully tapped into the comic availability in our footage. This is where the idea of typography popped up, we had always said we were going to place ‘a student production’ in the opening shot of us in the class room however I had the idea to make the couples characters and my idea came from watching and reading the story revolving scott pilgrim having to kill the woman he is in love withs 7 exs. Mat thought it would be a good idea to have a freeze frame of the characters as we did the typography and everybody agreed so at the end of editing the video we are going to research how to insert the typography.

Here is the kind of typography styles we would like to do:

So in order to have a professional effect like this I’ve decided to freeze frame the image we want and drag out the time on it where we have the text and some other quirky effects characterising the egos of the couples! I found some really good tutorials on how to do this as I’ve decided to research it for tomorrow so when I do it I won’t have to waste any time researching this.

Here is how we are going to freeze frame, it is right at the start of the tutorial and the rest is obselete to the look we want to create:

Today we finally came to a decision on which effect we wanted to use throughout the music video as we were very sceptical using more than a few would still maintain the professional appearance we were so keen on creating. The effect is very basic but synchronises well with our shots and camera angles. It’s quite ironic that after looking at some of the advanced effects like ‘line art’ and ‘posterize’ we decided to use a simple colour balance change which meant us moving the green shadow to -1 in each shot. We also created the freeze frames that will allow us to build the ‘characters’ in each couple where the typography will include a name, generic bad relationship trate and how many relationships they have been in. We thought this would give our video a more sophisticated and contempory look as it is used in many films at the moment and related to the transition of graphic novel to film genre. In our freeze frames we leave a one second blackout then the image (as if it were snapped) and change the contrast to 67 then we leave another one second blackout before the character continues their movement. We created the freeze frames by getting the image up on the sequence box in final cut pro then going to modify and clicking ‘freeze frame’ which then popped up with another box containing the freeze frame then you have to drag the image and as you place it over the video it will come up with a box that says ‘superimpose’ which you drag it into. After which you can play around with the footage and to ensure ours looked in sequence we placed the razor tool on where we had stopped the video to get the freeze frame and cut it in half so we could place the freeze frame in the middle which gave the effect of it being a snapshot! Overall I’m very pleased with this effect and so glad we decided on doing it. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of final cut pro and am now a very keen editor and hope I get a chance again soon to edit more footage.

When researching how to insert text into a video on Final Cut Pro 4 I found this and thought it explain and showed us how to do exactly the kind of thing we were looking to create for the characters screenshots.


For some of the shots we wanted to include animated text for example when mat makes a angry face we wanted to include moving black text saying ‘grr’ similar to the animated text in Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. I found another tutorial on YouTube explaining how to do this exactly the same way we wish to. Here is the tutorial:


Contingency Plan & Music Video Production


Even though we have already had to film all of the music video & edit it due to a tight deadline this isn’t as relative as it would have been. However we have decided to reshoot some of the scenes which were a bit shakey or had bad lighting.

Shooting: Indoor scene

Time & Date: 11th of November 2011

Time Period: 20 mins max

Who we need: Mat

What if: Mat can’t come or there is no one to film? Then we’ll have to rearrange the filming.


Shooting: High street stop motion figures

Time & Date: 18th of November 2011

Who we need: Mat

Time Period: 30 mins max

What if: Mat can’t come? We will have to arrange another reshoot

It is raining? We will have to cover the camera or reshoot another day


Shooting: Stop motion figures in the Priory Gardens

Time & Date: 21st of November 2011

Who we need: Ollie, Me, Ryan, Mat, Naomi

Time Period: 45 mins max

What if: Somebody cant make it? We will have to reshedule the filming.


Editing Days

Monday 14th of November 2011

Monday 28th of November 2011


FILMING – 21st of November

EDITING – 5th of December


EDIT SUITE/STUDIO/ LIGHTING – we have to book in advance if we want to use these. The times are listed on Alan’s door (1007)

CAMERAS – it is a good idea to book the edit suite at the same time as cameras so we can begin digitizing material/logging footage and complete edit shot list on return.

FILMING – We should create a ‘video diary of the process’ for insert into our evaluation.


Filming Permission from the Council

As the majority of our filming happens outside of the college on the councils property for the reshoots of certain shots we have had to apply for permission again. We have been sent a for to fill out which I have copied below and have had our lecturer send the coucil our ‘Public Liability Insurance’.

Small Crew Notification for Filming in London

Small Crew is defined as a crew of five people or less, using handheld cameras or cameras on tripods only

Contact Name: Charlotte/Sammie/Chess/ Mat Application Date: 15 November 2011
Company: Bromley College incorporated with Orpington College: Orpington Campus Number of Crew: 4
Name of Production: Citizens! True Romance (unofficial) Tel No: 07805417696(Charlotte)               07948063014 (Sammie)
07969465075 (Chess)
Address:  The Walnuts, Orpington BR6 0TE Fax:  N/A


Please state the locations you would like to use along with a detailed explanation of each scene to be filmed (please ensure you list all streets)      
Location (including all streets) Date Time Description of shoot
Orpington High Street (High Street, Town Centre Orpington)



The Priory Gardens (Orpington)





Orpington college campus (The Walnuts, Orpington BR6 0TE)







18th November




23rd November




18th November

12 noon – 3 pm




12 noon – 3 pm




11:30 – 12 noon

We will be filming one guy walking down the high street.




We will be filming on the green the couples that are in our music video.



We will be filming one guy walking out of the college and listening to his music- Citizens! True Romance (with headphones)


Type of Production:

Student Production: Music Video for A2 Media.




This notification is not suitable for productions using any additional equipment, special effects, street dressing, stunts etc. Please call 020 8313 4351 for a ‘Filming and Photography Licence’.

Productions containing any of the following, should also contact local police or the Met Police Service Film Unit (MPSFU) on 020 7161 1099

  • · Violence     
  • · Firearms or other weapons
  • · Scene of a crime, or offensive nature
  • · Actors in police or other emergency service uniform
  • · Marked police car or other emergency service vehicle


Contact details for BFS and local police can be found on the Film London website:



Please also send evidence of your current Public Liability Insurance Certificate




Editing Research


Kubrick was once quoted saying “I love editing. I think I like it more than any other phase of film making. If I wanted to be frivolous, I might say that everything that precedes editing is merely a way of producing film to edit.”

Edward Dmytryk – “rules of cutting” that a good editor should follow:

  • Rule 1: Never make a cut without a positive reason
  • Rule 2: When undecided about the exact frame to cut on, cut long rather than short
  • Rule 3: Whenever possible cut ‘in movement’
  • Rule 4: The ‘fresh’ is preferable to the ‘stale’
  • Rule 5: All scenes should being and end with continuing action
  • Rule 6: Cut for proper values rather than proper ‘matches’
  • Rule 7: Substance first – then form

Walter Murch says there are 6 main criteria for evaluating a cut or deciding where to cut:

  • Emotion (51%) – does the cut reflect what the editor believes the audience should be feeling at that moment?
  • Story (23%) – does the cut advance the story or narrative?
  • Rhythm (10%) – does the cut occur “at a moment that is rhythmically interesting and ‘right'”?
  • Eye trace (7%) – does the cut pay respect to “the location and movement of the audience’s focus of interest within the frame”?
  • Two dimensional plane of the screen (5%) – does the cut respect the 180 degree rule?
  • Three dimensional space of action (4%) – is the cut true to the physical/spatial relationships within the diegesis?

“Emotion, at the top of the list, is the thing that you should try to preserve at all costs. If you find you have to sacrifice certain of those six things to make a cut, sacrifice your way up, item by item, from the bottom” – Murch


Here are some editing tips I am going to apply when I’m editing the music video:

1. Cut tight – The best editing approach is to cut tight scenes without becoming too “cutty”. This means taking out unnecessary pauses between actors’ delivery of dialogue lines. Sometimes it mean tightening the gaps within dialogue sentences through the use of carefully placed cutaways. It may also mean losing redundant lines of dialogue, after the director has reviewed your cut.


2. Temp music – Many editors like working with temporary music as a placeholder. I advise against this for two reasons. First – people tend to fall in love with the temp score and then it’s hard to get real music that feels as good. Second – temp music becomes a crutch. You tend to be more forgiving of a weak scene when there’s interesting music than when the scene is naked. I prefer to cut a strong scene and make it work through editorial solutions. If a scene can stand on its own, then the addition of sound effects and a score will make it that much better. The exception is a visual montage set to music. Here, I tend to do better when I’m cutting to music rather than the other way around.


3. No Dragnet edits – The original Dragnet television series used a certain approach to cutting dialogue scenes. Audio and video edits tended to be made as straight cuts between the actors without any overlaps as they delivered their lines. It followed this formula: cut to actor A – deliver the line; cut to actor B – deliver the line; cut back to actor A and so on. Walter Murch refers to this as the Dragnet-style of editing. Our brains seem to react better to edits where the change in picture and sound is not always together. These are called split edits, L-cuts or J-cuts.


4. Matching action – Matching actors’ hand positions, use of props, eyeline and stage position from one cut to another fall into the technical category of how to make a proper edit. Walter Murch offers a rule of six criteria that form reasons to make a cut at a given instance. The greatest weight is given to whether that cut drives the emotion of the scene or moves the story along. Technical matching is the least important concern. I’m not saying you should throw it out the window, because a mismatch that is too extreme can be very jarring to the audience. On the other hand, as an editor friend often tells me, “Matching is for sissies.” The audience will often ignore many minor continuity differences from one shot to the next if they stay totally engrossed in the story. Your job as the editor is to cut in such as way that they do.


5. Moving camera shots – Moving the camera around is a staple of action sequences. This might be a camera on a dolly, crane, Steadicam or just handheld. In an action scene, this is designed to create a level of tension. When I cut these shots together, I prefer to cut on movement, so that the camera is in constant motion from one shot to the next. Many directors and DP will disagree, preferring instead to start and stop each camera move before making the cut. Both approaches work under the right situations, but my tendency is to cut tighter and not let the audience’s eye rest on the set or a shot or a scene for too long, unless there is a reason to do so.


6. Don’t cut back to the exact same angle – If you have a choice of several camera angles, don’t automatically cut back to the same camera angle or take that you just used in the previous shot. This is, of course, unavoidable in a dialogue scene with only two angles and one take of each; but, if the director shot different takes with different framing, try to use a little of all of them. Don’t get stuck in a cutting rut, like master/single/reverse, master/single/reverse, etc. Mix it up.


7. B-roll shots in threes – When the scene calls for cutaway inserts, it feels right to use three on a row. Not a single shot, not two, but three. These should be at least 1.5-2 seconds long (or longer). An example might be when a character enters the room and looks around. The POV inserts work nicely in triplets and give the audience a good idea of the landscape that the character encounters. It mimics our real-world experience of moving our head around and seeing different aspects of the same surroundings.


8. Cut for the eyes – Actors that do well on TV and in films (as compared with the stage) are all very expressive with their face, but most importantly, their eyes. When I’m cutting an intense dialogue scene, I’m looking at how the actors’ eyes play in the scene. Do they convey the proper emotion? What is the reaction of the other actors in the scene? What the actors are or aren’t doing facially determines my cutting. It drives my decision to stick with the principal actor delivering the dialogue or whether I briefly cut away to see reactions from the others.


9. Pull the air out of actors’ performances – Going back to Item 1 – I like to cut tight. Recognize that many actors will overact. They will milk a scene for more than is appropriate. They will accentuate pauses, add more stumbles and stammers (where scripted) and give lengthy glances. Sometimes this works, but your job as the editor is to dial these back as you cut. Take these pauses out by cutting away and then back.


10. Shaping story – It is said that there are three films: the one that’s scripted, the one that’s been filmed and the one that’s edited. When you cut a feature, pay close attention to the story chronology and don’t be afraid to veer from what was written or filmed if it makes sense to do so. Many editors use note cards on a storyboard wall to create a quick visual representation of the storyline. This helps you make sure that you reveal things to the audience in the most logical order and that nothing is inadvertently edited out of place.


11. Digital aids – Modern NLEs and finishing techniques like digital intermediates offer a lot of tools that aid the filmmaker. For example, digital images are very tolerant of blow-ups. You can add camera zooms or blow-up a shot (creating a wide and a close-up from a single shot) with these tools. This is especially true if you shot on 35mm film or with the RED One camera, because the large image area of the film negative or camera sensor allows more overshoot space than HD cameras. Don’t be afraid to zoom in as long as the image quality holds up.

Many editors talk about using split screens for invisible edits. This is often done when the timing of the performance of two actors (such as in an over-the-shoulder shot or a two-shot) doesn’t quite match on the preferred take. Sometimes the original performance was right, but the pace of the scene has been picked up during the edit and now the timing of the two actors feels slow or late. If the camera is locked off and the overlap of their physical positions in the shot isn’t too complex, it’s a simple matter to create a new OTS shot. This would be a visual effects composite of these two actors with a slight offset in the timing of their performances.


12. Make your choices, but be prepared for others – Your job as the editor is to shape the story and the pacing of the film. First and foremost this means you are there to help the director realize his or her creative vision. But you were also hired for your own best instincts. Most editors finish a first cut without the director sitting over their shoulder. During that time is your initial chance at putting your own stamp on the film. When the first cut is completed, the director and editor work together to refine that cut into the director’s cut.


Lighting Research


To define light source color properties, the lighting industry predominantly relies on two metrics, correlated color temperature (CCT), commonly used as an indication of the apparent “warmth” or “coolness” of the light emitted by a source, and color rendering index (CRI), an indication of the light source’s ability to make objects appear natural. However due to the fact we didn’t use any lighting techniques when we filmed we will have to manipulate the lighting through various editing techniques including basic ones like changing contrast and brightness.

Three Point Lighting

Three-point lighting is a standard method used in visual media such as video, film, still photography and computer-generated imagery. By using three separate positions, the photographer can illuminate the shot’s subject (such as a person) however desired, while also controlling (or eliminating entirely) the shading and shadows produced by direct lighting.

The key light, as the name suggests, shines directly upon the subject and serves as its principal illuminator; more than anything else, the strength, color and angle of the key determines the shot’s overall lighting design.

The fill light also shines on the subject, but from a side angle relative to the key and is often placed at a lower position than the key (about at the level of the subject’s face). It balances the key by illuminating shaded surfaces, and lessening or eliminating chiaroscuro effects, such as the shadow cast by a person’s nose upon the rest of the face. It is usually softer and less bright than the key light (up to half), and more to a flood. Not using a fill at all can result in stark contrasts (due to shadows) across the subject’s surface, depending upon the key light’s harshness. Sometimes, as in low-key lighting, this is a deliberate effect, but shots intended to look more natural and less stylistic require a fill.

The back light (a.k.a. the rim, hair, or shoulder light) shines on the subject from behind, often (but not necessarily) to one side or the other. It gives the subject a rim of light, serving to separate the subject from the background and highlighting contours. Back light or rim light is different from a kick in that a kick (or kicker) contributes to a portion of the shading on the visible surface of the subject, while a rim light only creates a thin outline around the subject without necessarily hitting the front (visible) surface of the subject at all.


Four Point Lighting

The background light is placed behind the subject(s), on a high grid, or low to the ground. Unlike the other three lights, which illuminate foreground elements like actors and props, it illuminates background elements, such as walls or outdoor scenery. This technique can be used to eliminate shadows cast by foreground elements onto the background, or to draw more attention to the background. It also helps to off-set the single eye nature of the camera, this means that it helps the camera give depth to the subject.

The background light will also provide separation between the subject and the background. In the standard 4-point lighting setup, the background light is placed last and is usually placed directly behind the subject and pointed at the background.

In video  the background light is usually of similar intensity to the key light because video cameras are less capable of handling high-contrast ratios. In order to provide much needed separation between subject and background, the background light will have a color filter, blue for example, which will make the foreground pop up.


What four point lighting and three point lighting share in common are their basic lighting triangle. All three of them will employ a main light, called the key. The key light will come in one one side and act as the main light source. The key light will be used to get the most viewable side of the subjects face, unless you want it to be consumed by shadow.

The opposing light that also comes from the front will be the fill. In three point lighting this is often done by a white card so that there is simply a diffused light coming on the other side of the subjects face lightly. This is done just to see the skin tone of the subject and not to get dramatic definition.

Four point lighting will be a little looser with this, mainly because four point lighting is more responsive to the needs of dramatic narrative scene. Both three point lighting and four point lighting will employ a back light to hit the subject’s head. The backlight in four point lighting is often called the edge light, and it is usually brought up far above the subject’s head so that it will peer down on them. You may also want to bring back the edge light away from the subject’s head in a four point lighting set up.

Four point lighting essentially sets up this square, yet it tries to remain free and responsive to movement and changes. Four point lighting is supposed to be the practical basis for most narrative film lighting, so you have the options to change it. The major changes in four point lighting come from utilising excess light in the form of bounce cards or reflectors.