View Full Version : Chrome ball ?
23rd September 2010, 13:33
Does anyone knows a good online supplier where I can buy VFX stuff.
At the moment I'd like to get a chrome / gray ball for on-set shooting.
Thanks a lot,
23rd September 2010, 17:57
The Billups chart includes a black and white ball.
24th September 2010, 03:43
Thanks, it's link is pretty interesting but I could not find what I wanted.
I'd like to get a chrome / gray ball as such :
24th September 2010, 13:24
Most people suggest finding at a garden store - I also have saved these links over the years from various posts/forums but have no experience ordering from these:
Smaller juggling balls for tabletop/small areas
24th September 2010, 19:02
This may be good?
2nd October 2010, 09:09
Thank you for your help guys,
A friend of mine had a VFX kit with gray / chrome balls and other stuff to shoot VFX.
Unfortunately I lost his contact infos.
Anyways, I let you know if I find what I like.
3rd October 2010, 09:41
I've never known what people actually do with these chrome balls when they've got them. Dumb question but is it a guide to manually make reflections or would you make a map from that portion of the frame?
4th October 2010, 04:53
They are a tool for HDR imaging.
These images get stitched together and map in inverted ball and when used in 3D they can be used to provide a luminance that helps the CG generated elements appear to have identical lighting shading as the environment. This method is a way of making 3D elements that composite into live action and appear much more natural than previous methods.
5th October 2010, 09:02
Correct me if I'm wrong, but most HDRI reference/light probe photography on movies and TV shows these days is done with fisheye lenses, with or without a panoramic head on a tripod?
The chrome balls haven't been entirely retired (they get walked through shot, along with the grey balls, as reference objects) but it's just too fiddly and time consuming to set up a camera AND the chrome ball on a busy film set.
For lower budget, or student work, the chrome ball can be the best choice as it's cheaper than a $450+ fisheye lens, but that's the trade-off between time and money. If you don't have the money, you have to spend a little more time instead?
6th October 2010, 18:11
Not that I have any experience at all (only what articles I have read in magazines) but you are correct. In that they do the same thing.
Except that the proper lens should also eliminate the need to remove the reflection of the camera from the series of images. So it should save time later on as well as saving time on location during the shooting process.
I can't attest to what a lens capable of HDR imaging goes for.
6th October 2010, 18:47
Mirror balls still have applications even though wide angle lenses are probably more often used now. One example is in tabletop or miniature photography where then camera may not be able to get into position but placing a small chrome juggling ball at the desired location will do the trick. A mirror ball can also give you more than 180 degrees view.
One non technical reason a mirror ball could be preferred is for on set behavior. If you walk onto a set with a fish eye lens you have to clear the set of ladders, prop and lighting people - if they see the chrome and grey ball come out a lot of people know the drill or will by the end of the shoot.
6th October 2010, 20:07
Good points about the on set behaviour. Your "set up" time with the chrome ball is time for others to clear the set. So those times sort offset any savings.
Just listened to REDCentre EP70. Mike says his HDR fisheye was around $900.
The Chrome garden ball is going to a bit cheaper.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.