The VFX supervisor is not the most loved part of the production crew. They’re constantly holding things up, making people move huge chunks of set around and generally holding up expensive shoots causing expensive actors to wait around eating expensive catered food.
But there’s a good reason for all that pedantry: it can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars saved in post on a tentpole feature. One area where on-set diligence can save money is the creation of a light probe. Light probes are high dynamic range captures of the lighting on a set. Using a light probe, CG artists can quickly match virtual lighting with the original on-set lighting. The upshot is much more convincing CG effects with much less effort.
Now what’s interesting is that if you’ve started dabbling in the new VR craze you probably already have the equipment you need to capture a light probe of your set–without making Tom Cruise wait in his trailer.
Our sister site moviola.com has created a whole fundamental training series on adding CG elements to live action. For this week they’ve set free the section on capturing a light probe using a VR fisheye camera. Be sure to check it out. And if you want to start adding CG to your shots you might want to check out the entire series.