LED Back Lighting Fun

Hi There,

I had the wonderful enjoyment of recording a burlesque show which had every camera operators favorite joy, high powered LED lights from the back facing towards the crowd.

The result is what it is, but what would be the best effect in Video Clean-up I could run to improve the image.

I'm not expecting miracles but would like to know what others have found to work well for them?

1920/1080, Data 28760kbps, Bitrate 28920kbps, Frame 30fps



  • Well... that answer will vary in terms of the footage and the amount of "damage" done. 

    Try to figure out what you want to do with it in terms of cleanage. That would help a lot more than knowing that little specs from your file. 

  • Can you share a quick clip of what you have so we can see how you shot? Some will depend on how much you opened Iris for the girls and let the BG blow out. If you exposed for BG and had the talent drop to black, there's little to be done. No detail to recover. 

  • Thank you both,

    yes it was a very broad question, but I suppose the discussion has started.

    I'm not going to be too disappointed about not having it cleared a great deal but it has taught me a great deal for my next jobs.

    Is there a way to upload a clip here rather than share a link? as I have not uploaded the clip to any site as yet.

  • @Kircard there isn't a way to upload to the forum but you can use cloud storage like Onedrive, Google Drive or Dropbox if you don't want to post anything on YouTube or Vimeo yet.

  • I have received permission from the event director to upload a small portion for the purpose of technical discussions.



  • @Kircard ; I captured your clip and had a play.  Here is a quick results export:

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/v29xu4ldflrnhjs/saturation down.png?dl=0

    I was n't sure exactly what you are trying to achieve so I kept it minimal.  I added a Hue, Saturation, Lightness effect and dropped the Sat to -30 and the the Lightness to -7 just eyeballing the result is above.  I also did some playing with curves and saw that there are a lot of details that can be brought, but again it depends on what you are trying to get.  Hope this helps a bit; I am not the most proficient at color grading and whatnot so others can do better I'm sure. 

  • Thank you tddavis,

    I guess it's one of those things. The act is designed to capture the whole blue emersion effect, but with the suggestion you listed, I can work with the director to get a balance for what she needs.

    Mainly the video is for the performers who obviously didn't get to see the acts while being back stage and also to have a memento of the occasion.

    I know at the next event I will discuss with the lighting team to go with more front lights and not so strong on the back lights.

    Every tutorial on lighting seems to have this as the number one rule, front lighting should make up the majority of lighting for stage shows. :-)

  • @Kircard ; I had a play with Curves and Color Balance and a little key framing.  Here is the project file.  Just load your clip you shared into Hitfilm 2017 and drag it into this project where the missing media will be and it should let you tweak around a bit if you'd like..

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/saagf70avg6ms8a/led backlight project.hfp?dl=0

    What I have found, since the 80's, recording stage stuff is hard even with front lighting.  In a theater, the room is mostly dark so when you zoom out to show the wide shot of the whole production everything on stage blooms into white blobs.  Zooming in for close-ups has proper lighting though.  A manual Iris setting helps tons there.

  • Theater lighting is some of the hardest to capture. You always end up with some parts blowing out and others too dark. 

    Note in Express Color Curves is part of the Starter Pack add-on. 

  • The best solution I've found is actually to throw your white balance sky high. (like 20,000k)
    You'll still keep the blue of the LED, but the blocky-ness is actually over-exposure on the blue channel, so try shooting with a nice high white balance in those scenarios to protect the blue color channel and then you'll have a bit more to play with to your liking in post.

  • Thank you everyone, these are some great ideas and suggestions.

    I will work through what I have now and I will also try some of the balance changes at the next gig, which is a Bon Jovi and Poison cover band performance next month.

    Regards Dave. :-)

  • I'm a hemisphere away from my computer right now, so I can't check if Express has a "Chroma Blur" effect or if that's Pro-only. If so that could help with the blockiness without killing too much detail. 

  • Chroma UV Blur is in HitFilm Pro, I'm editing now.

  • @Triem23 Express has Chroma UV Blur under Keying

  • Just an update, the editing is coming along well, thank you everyone for the assistance.

    Cheers Dave

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