Thread: Helmet/visor reflection

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  1. #1 Helmet/visor reflection 
    Hi! I know that most major films removes the glass in space helmets, due to the reflection issues. One of my next projects has three days of shooting an astronaut with a helmet, and removing the visor/glass is not an option. I understand there's no easy way to do this, some of the tips I have gotten so far is:*

    -Bring cardboard cutouts of the location you are shooting at, and make a hole in it for the lens.*
    -Shooting at an angle (obviously). Only problem is that a lot of dialogue is with only the helmet man, and I can't be shooting only from the sides.*

    Any other tips? Lighting for close ups is also a major challenge I guess, as *reflectors/bounce will show. Im thinking about bringing a hard source and gel it warmer, so I might be able to sell it as the sun.*Im doing both day ext and night int, and hoping to do LED strips inside the helmet for night, that can take care of his lighting, and everything else are practicals perhaps..

    Best regards

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  2. #2  
    Senior Member PatrickFaith's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    This is for still photography, but when taking pictures of paintings in museums using a polorizing filter on the camera and a large polorizing film for the light, that cuts reflections considerably.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2017
    Might be too close, but this is an idea.
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  4. #4  
    Yep, polarizers will definetly be used. Another question regarding that. Is there a special glass or on-helmet filter perhaps, which reacts together with on-lens polarizers? Or perhaps just a glass finish that has a minimal reflection, if I can control the helmet at all.... I don’t believe dulling spray will work, as the glass can’t be matte.
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  5. #5  
    Hmm, Difficult.

    For a reason most films have lights inside their helmets and no glas. Basically the camera is not the only thing that will be seen but basically you need a 360 set with only practical light and as you say hide the camera behind set walls that you shoot through. And even if you do all that... the glas of the helmet and the light difference between the inside the helmet and outside will pretty much give 100% reflection in the helmets / you will not see much of the actors in there which is usually not whats desired.

    If it was me I would talk to a post house to add reflections in post. Not to difficult. Just leave the helmets open and design them with some natural tracking points. Then capture reflection plates of the whole set.

    Guestimate to get the work done, 3D track the helmets and add in the reflections would be less than 3 USD / frame. To me that is a considerably low cost compared to the other option of trying to solve it / make it look good on set.
    Björn Benckert
    Creative Lead & Founder Syndicate Entertainment AB
    Flame / VFX / Motion capture / Monstro
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