Easy Infinite Blackdrop

Over time, we covered quite a lot of infinite white tutorials, but I think this is the first infinite black backdrop we are sharing. This one comes from UglyMcGregor and the smarts of it is that it scales down to small and cramped spaces like home studios.

Creating An Infinite Black Background

The setup uses a black backdrop that covers the entire body of the singer. McGregor actually uses a bought background, but any other black fabric will work. The only thing you have to make sure is that it is perfectly smooth and creaseless. If you are using a seamless paper, you are probably good, but for fabric, you ay want to iron our any folds and really stretch out the material. The smarts for this setup lies in the lighting.

The lighting for this setup is not the typical 3 point lighting and it comes almost directly horizontal to the models. The reason the lights are set up like this is to completely avoid shadows on the backdrop.

The first two lights are 800 Watts “Redhead eBay knock offs“, as McGregor calls them. The first one almost horizontal to the subject (watch the shadow on the far left) and the second one comes a bit behind the shoulder as rim light. A third 300 Watts light was placed on the left to fill in some shadows.

A 160 LED panel was ducktaped to the ceiling and pointed at the head from the back to provide some separation and a last 90 LED panel was set on the floor adding some detail on the guitar.

Creating An Infinite Black Background

After that, in post, all the surrounding elements were masked out, leaving the guitarist free to roam in a black space. The final result can be seen below.

[Creating An Infinite Black Background via nofilmschool]

  • http://wilcfry.com/ Wil Fry

    I just use a piece of black fabric I bought at Walmart; doesn’t matter if it’s wrinkled when I place the lights just right… As long as the lights are closer to the subject, falloff means they don’t significantly illuminate the background. (Or, if I place the lights at the sides and make sure to flag or snoot them.)

    • david

      right, it also helps if you can keep the subject at least 8 to 10 feet from the background.

      • http://wilcfry.com/ Wil Fry

        The farther the better, yes. Except my fabric is something like 6’x4′, so I can’t get too far away, except for a head shot. :-)

        (Bringing the lights closer changes the distance ratio, which works too.)