Stepping into the Light

I'd like to talk a little bit about some of the lighting techniques I've been using for the film, more specifically the equipment. When I first started down the path of stop-motion I really couldn't find too many resources online that spoke specifically about lighting for miniature sets and characters or that dealt with what sort of lighting equipment to use, so hopefully some of this information will be helpful to you. With that being said I am not a professional cinematographer and though I have consulted with a few cinematographers regarding various techniques, most of the things I share here are from my own experiences in making the film meaning it might or might not work for everyone depending on their specific situations. But it has produced results that I am very happy with and is definitely open to being adapted for you own projects.  

Below is a video explaining more in depth the kind equipment I use and how I use it.

Here's an example of the equipment put into practice.

1) Here is the primary light source covered with a full CTB (Color Temperature Blue) gel and some of the packaging foam diffusion held onto the light with clothespins.

2) This is a circular cutout spray painted black (see reverse view in red) with a piece of the screen door material over the opening to bring down the light.  The idea was to give the light a vignette effect while at the same time mimicking the appearance of moonlight shining through a circular window.

3) A small piece of white poster board (reverse view in red) used to bounce light on the left side of the Hollow Boy's body.

The wooden dowels that you see in front of the Hollow Boy were placed to mimic the circular window's steel bars casting a shadow over set.

Here is what the final frame looks like:

So as you can see you can get some pretty good results using some fairly inexpensive equipment. I've even heard of people using fabric softener sheets to diffuse their lights! So there are definitely a lot of creative possibilities within the realm of household items.



  1. The lightning is awesome ! Can't stop watching your character... He's so kewl.. Wish i had created it. I really like the shot with the red rose. I didn't read a lot in your blog (i will). Is your movie finished yet or about too ?

  2. Thanks for the kind words Vincent! Glad your liking the Hollow Boy. The film is not finished yet, but I'm fairly close to completing the actual animation part of it. Then after that it's on to sound, music, etc... so hopefully soon!

  3. Great lighting vid! Learned some new tricks from it! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks Jon, I hope you found it helpful.